Look, I’m just going to talk to myself about superhero movies for a minute, so don’t you mind one bit. Move along, nothing to see here.
I mean the Thor franchise collectively, since I’d be a massive liar if I claimed I liked Thor the character better than his utterly cracked little brother. But I’ve been thinking and thinking about this, since I was so super excited about Thor: The Dark World coming out last year, and now that The Winter Soldier is upon us I’m kind of…meh. Like I’m going to go see it and enjoy the hell out of it I’m sure, but for me it’s in the category of “when I have time” as opposed GIVE IT TO ME NOW, FUCKERS.
I was just re-reading my complaints about Man of Steel, and in particular the ridiculous way the movie tried to make freaking Superman all dark and angsty, and I realized that it’s. That’s why I love Thor and I really like Iron Man. I even liked the first Captain America way more than I thought I would. With all of those movies, no matter how grim things are temporarily, there’s a very definite angst limit before going back to banter and fun and just getting on with the ridiculous life of a superhero.
Tony Stark is a messed up guy with some issues, but he’s also made of 100% supercharged sass and he never really quits. He’s not a dark character in any sense of the word. Then Thor is like the anti-dark character. He doesn’t have a tragic past. He’s not self-hating. He doesn’t spend all of his time isolating himself or trying to destroy the relationships he has to remind us that he’s fucked up. He is, in fact, shockingly un-fucked-up when you compare him to most other superheroes. The closest he gets to angst is a couple minutes of staring off into the distance while looking super pretty, plainly wishing he could go visit his girlfriend and that his little brother would just stop being such a douche already. And that’s given him a pretty refreshing arc for his character development, because (in my opinion) it’s mostly been about him coming to terms with the fact that the world isn’t a black and white place and learning to deal with it.
And I’m not saying there’s necessarily anything wrong with the traumatic backstory trope but damn, it’s so nice to have a break from it.
Really, the only character that goes for the angsty narrative at all in the entire Thor franchise is Loki, and like >70% of it is his inner bullshit I’m-totally-the-victim-here monolog that he then covers over by being a sassy little dickbag. All the rest of the characters are solidly in the laughing while poking things with a sword category, and I’m totally behind that when it comes to my escapist genre movies.
Which brings us to The Winter Soldier, which I’m sure I will enjoy, because yay Black Widow, and I’ve seen enough clips to know that there is going to be plenty of sass to go around. But Steve is… I wouldn’t in a million years accuse Steve of being a dark character, but he’s generally quite serious, which isn’t really my cup of superheroic tea. Considering the plot for this movie, I’m really wondering just what kind of BAWWWW levels it’ll hit. Guess I’ll find out this weekend, since the current plan is pizza and The Winter Soldier at the Alamo as a reward for unpacking at the new apartment.
Anyway, this is also all part of the reason why I’m a devoted Marvel cinematic universe fan, and I’ve basically given up on DC. Chris Nolan managed to put enough meat in the Dark Knight trilogy that slogging through the grimdark was a rewarding experience, but it probably says a lot that I’ve yet to feel the need to rewatch the third movie, and I can count the number of rewatches of the first two on the fingers of one hand. And then you get to Man of Steel and it’s like reaching for that level of sheer broodiness with absolutely none of the substance and I’m just done.
I’ll just be over here, enthusing about the coming of the RACCOON WITH A MACHINE GUN.