I liked the hell out of Thor; it’s a fun movie, and I hope I’ll get to see it again while it’s still in theaters. Watch out, mateys, THAR BE SPOILERS AHEAD!
I liked Thor as a character well enough, and I appreciated that his major arc was realizing that he was kind of a dick and getting over himself. But it actually surprised me a lot that my favorite character out of that movie was Loki. I’m used to feeling fairly meh about comic book villains, but Loki felt like he had a lot of complexity to him.
And I swear, it’s not just because I’ve got a cat named Loki too.
Tom Hiddleston does an amazing job with the character. Loki’s constantly broody and thinky and plotty, and is obviously the smartest guy around, but at the same time just gets screwed again and again by his own issues. I’ve now read a couple of interviews with Mr. Hiddleston where he says Loki just really needs a lot of prozac and a lot of therapy. I’d definitely add a lot of hugs in there too, because damn I ended up feeling really bad for the guy for most of the movie. Yes, a lot of the bad stuff is his own fault for being all plotty and wanting to cause trouble, but the whole bit where he finds out he’s actually just a runty frost giant that Odin adopted… yeah, man needed a hug right then. It’s really not the sort of thing that you want to discover on your own.
I really see his major head-explodey moment there as the reason Loki just goes off the rails and crosses from being a crafty trouble-maker to an actual bad guy. I’ve read a bit of summary from the comics now, but the way it was really presented in the movie was:
a) Odin really does seem earnest that he loves both Thor and Loki equally.
b) Loki seems just as genuinely convinced that Odin can’t possibly love him that much. And there’s a certain logic too it even if you just look at the movie and nothing else… considering how everyone in Asgard seems to feel about the frost giants, it’s probably hard to imagine daddy genuinely loving you at all if you’re actually one of them.
c) Thor is the default good son, even though he starts off as kind of a douchebag.
d) And Loki is actually right when he points out that Douchebag!Thor would be a horrible king that Asgard needed “saving” from. Though at that point, you can’t quite be sure if he says that because he really means it, because he’s trying to convince himself that he’s got a noble reason for doing what he’s doing, or if he’s once again just really trying to fuck with people.
So of course it’s all wonderfully angsty, and that rolls into a lot of anger and that weird sort of love/hate that only siblings can manage to have for each other in these sorts of stories. The final epic fight that Loki has with Thor was definitely Loki trying to prove something to someone, but there are just so many ways that it could be read. If nothing else, I really wonder about Loki deciding to destroy the frost giants, as if that sort of over the top gesture would somehow make him not one of them by showing that damnit, he hated frost giants more than any other Asgardian possibly could.
Now, from the comic summaries I’ve read, it sounds like Thor really was the golden boy that daddy loved best, and that even if no one necessarily knew what Loki was, he also lacked the sheer physical presence in the form of enormous muscles that residents of Asgard seem to prize. But to be honest, I actually prefer the movie take from the standpoint of character complexity; it’s more interesting if dad really does love his sons equally, I think.
I am definitely, definitely, DEFINITELY looking forward to seeing Loki in the Avengers movie. If nothing else, I cannot wait to see what Joss Whedon does with him in the script, since Joss is the absolute king of the the complex and interesting evil-but-not-really-just-needs-a-hug villain. And from the little stinger that comes after the credits on Thor, Loki seems set to be prominent in the next film. Though considering that Thor also left the title character stranded in Asgard, I’ll be interested to see how the Avengers actually all manage to get together to begin with.
Wonderful stuff. Makes me wish I still wrote fanfic, to be honest.
Off the topic of my new fan obsession, Heimdall was amazing as well. Even without taking in to account that casting Idris Elba pissed off the white supremacists to no end (WIN!) he did a really good performance as an immensely intimidating and exceptionally patient god. I loved it.