Four of my buddies and I have had a solid pact to attend the superhero movies together the past couple of years. I missed opening night with them on this one so today was a redux with those who were able to join in the fun. And wow was Thor: The Dark World ten times beyond my expectations.
As Hendrix and I stood outside the grand cathedral awaiting the arrival of a couple other of our friends (and our pre-purchased online tickets) he offered a thought. One of the many reasons why I love this guy and our close friendship is his often thought-provoking, different perspective on some of the simplest things we take for granted.
He said, “Ya know Mike, I kind of miss standing in line for tickets sometimes.”
That comment caused me pause and had me drift off in thought as to the effective experience it once was to do just that. You knew the importance of getting early to a new hit movie as there would be a long line. The anticipation of finally arriving at the window to proudly announce to the person behind the glass, “I would like one ticket to….please.” Then, the golden Wonka ticket is slid back towards you. Even as an adult you grasp it with delight from your inner kid to enter the grand event and find your seat for two hours. Absolutely perfect, my friend.
Thor: The Dark World is a follow-up sequel to the smash hit Thor in 2011 intertwined with The Avengers last year. As the lights were dimmed to darkness in the theater, the previews complete and the main event about to unfold. I reached into my jacket pocket to grab my paper bag covered flask of Jim Beam whiskey. I looked around like a sneaky, guilty bum in a room half full of Saturday matinée children and took my traditional two shots.
The rest is always all tossed out because the perfect movie buzz has been achieved. Attending an action adventure film with me is an event in and of itself for those sitting next to me. Hendrix
is often cursed with always chooses to be my wingman because he gets a kick out of my reactions. I’m fully engulfed…spiritually, emotionally and physically…on all levels as my brain becomes entirely fixated on the event.
Phoenix is sitting next to me right now yawning, “Is this headed somewhere?”
Me, “Ok, ok, ok…”
We are introduced early on with Odin’s dad, Bor, fighting the evil Dark Elf Malekith and some even more unsavory gangstas, the Kursed. The one thing about superhero movies is that someone always has something bizarre going on with their eyes. True to the cryptic name the Kursed have dark eyes portending bad things. More on that in a few. The bad guys are defeated at great cost except a few escape into frozen exile unbeknownst to anyone. There is always a center power to behold or fear in these movies and this time it is the Aether. If your dentist ever offers it to you I highly recommend you stick with the nitrous oxide. While it holds great power it can destroy the universe and well, that would be a bad thing.
We are transported to present day London on our little planet Earth. I get it, last time was New York and now…London. Or more specifically Greewich is going to be the center of the universe soon? I thought that was on Interstate 5 between Sacramento and Redding in California, USA. I digress. Anyhoo, Watch out Tokyo or Moscow next time!
So, we have Darcy and the celebrity love of my life, Jane (Natalie Portman), investigating a…
Phoenix, “What about Scarlett Johansson and Taylor Swift?”
Me, “Thank you, Mr Throw Me Under The Bus…AGAIN…”
Him, wagging his tail, “Oh, no problem!”
Anyhoo, they are investigating an anomaly which brings about one of numerous scenes in the movie with foreshadowing. Objects seem disappear into a portal until finally Jane is zapped off into another world and gets infected with the Aether. I knew she should get vaccinated before going on trips to other worlds! She comes back and as London’s finest attempt to apprehend her she unintentionally blows every soul around her 40 feet back. Picture a woman with a bad case of PMS, only a 100 fold. No offense at all of you ladies as ironically it’s with all due caution and respect! But, check out Jane’s dark eyes! Been there, done that. And soooo sexy those dark eyes just fyi.
The man of the hour arrives. I literally fist pump (one of many times during the two hours). Gawd, he is one gorgeous looking (any guy wishes admittedly or secretly to look like that) man with a bitching hammer. It’s Thor. His and Jane’s eyes meet after being apart for two years. I get goosebumps.
Thor knows she is infected and whisks her off in his arms on a trans galaxy ride back to Asgard. When they land Jane is beaming from ear to ear and her eyes are glazed over. She needs a cigarette but doesn’t smoke. This place is gorgeous. Picture Lake Geneva a few thousand years from now with the most perfectly architected tall futuristic buildings. Being her usual spunky self she clumsily is introduced to both his dad and mom, Frigga, who is still friggagoodlooking. Thor and Jane share a kiss overlooking the lake which I found very iconic. As in circa two lovers, one with an unpleasant outcome and a certain princess by the name of Leia. I could have taken him just so you know. Darth Vadar has nothing over my ball cap/slipper stealing Golden Retriever.
Phoenix, “Ahem…focus….the post dude….”
Me, “Right! Thanks…I’m on it buddy…”
When Jane was infected by the Aether she has awoken the bad guys. They come to Asgard in invisible ships and virtually level the place. During the battle Frigga is killed. I was furiously wiping away the torrent of tears gushing out of my eyes. Odin and Thor seem more stoic than torn up emotionally. Those kings have tough skin I guess. I want to know where was the Destroyer during all of this? Did Thor permanently destroy him back on Earth two years ago or was he protecting the Casket?
It’s time to enter whom for me is the star of the film. The dastardly, evil adopted son, Loki. He’s been imprisoned forever for his horrible acts on Earth from The Avengers. Prior to Frigga’s death, she and Loki meet in his cell. They are both capable of cloaking and transformation to that of other beings. File that away. Anyhoo, where did she get that ability? A gut wrenching moment that hit home to me in real life when Loki says he rejects Odin as his dad and Frigga says, “Am I not your mother, either?” Loki reaches for her hands seeming to apologize and Frigga’s hands and the rest of her completely dissipates. Loki appears devastated. No, I never rejected my dad but my mom and I had our difficulties. So, it was a very visually powerful, descriptive moment.
Thor needs Loki’s help and they team up. This is getting better by the second as the momentum of the film generates more energy upon itself scene after scene. Loki plays some of his comical transformation tricks turning himself into Captain America (Marvel cue up for the next film) to turning Thor into Sif. It was absolutely frickin’ hysterical. Yet the endgame will be can Thor trust Loki. The latter offers tepid assurance and I’m hopeful but suspect.
Thor, Loki and Jane go against Odin’s wishes and commit treason. They go through a secret portal only Loki knows to battle the bad guys. The goal is two-fold. Rid Jane of the Aether and destroy Malekith. Once there though, my worst fears come to fruition and Loki shanks Thor and hacks off his right arm rendering him useless to call his faithful hammer. I gasp, cringe and squirm. I’m stunned beyond belief. That evil bastard!
But wait!! It’s a clever Loki trick of cloak and deception to fool the bad guys and Thor is just fine! For a couple of minutes. I’m white-knuckling it. Then this Algrim dude (he’s really, really bad ass and seemingly can not be defeated) is about to kill Thor. Loki saves the day and spears Algrim and I give a victorious, “Yes!”…with a fist pump only to see Algrim grab Loki and impale him with the spear as it’s still embedded. Loki dies in Thor’s arms. I’m highly suspect and feel no emotion.
Jane is saved and she and Thor find another portal and arrive back on Earth. A final, epic battle conclusion is about to unfold. There is a Convergence of the Nine Realms occurring at this very moment. Iron Man, Captain America and The Hulk didn’t receive this memo? Not to detract from it being a Thor film but it’s fair to ask, right? And the brilliant scientist, Erik Selvig, holds the answers to the universe and having a solution to the problem (along with Jane’s help)? Well, high-five for us as humans but sheesh.
Btw…Jane and Erik Selvig have an awesome reunion. He’s had a god lingering in his noggin’ since New York and that’s a millinem worse than a migraine. He thinks best with his pants off (oh breathe, his undies are still on) and hugs Jane. I have an overwhelming case of dirty old man envy at that moment.
Present moment emotion (anybody’s including mine) can often neglect a more common sense reflection in hindsight. But, this will be the funniest, most tense, acrobatic, wild conclusion to any action/adventure film I’ve ever seen. That includes The Avengers. All of the portals open up and Thor, the hammer and bad guys, Darcy making out with her intern, all go phasing in and out.
What is a total get me pumped, jacked up with adrenalin feeling is whenever Thor calls for the hammer (Mjolnir). The both of them are phasing in and out of continuous realms just barely missing each other. Like I said it’s as tense yet funny as heck! Finally the bad guys are permanently destroyed. The Aether is put away “safely” in the hands of The Collector (cue up Guardians of the Galaxy) forever. With Thor back on Asgard he informs his father that he wishes to protect the universe but not be king. His heart lies elsewhere. That is a real man.
The credits finish and I wait in silence. I know it’s coming. Jane is sitting at the breakfast table apprehensively wondering if she’s lost her love again since he returned to Asgard. There’s just painful silence. Then a brief sound of thunder far off in the distance. Just typing this the same emotion is overcoming me. Then I hear lightning. A rush of emotion fills my soul and entire body. I hear a thunderous landing outside her door. My eyes well up and I get goosebumps everywhere.
Thor has returned. He and Jane embrace and kiss.
I’m once again wiping away the tears with the sleeve of my shirt.
As we’re walking out to our vehicles Hendrix remarked, “You squirm in your seat like a little girl!”
Me, exhilarated and walking on a cloud, “I know, isn’t it great?”
Him, “Yes it is, Mikey…”
If you like action/adventure and a beautiful love story go see Thor: The Dark World.
This post is dedicated to my beautiful friend, Beth, who inadvertently gave me a swift kick in the ass to get back to being the creative, descriptive writer I’ve always been capable of. Please check out her blog here at Writer B is Me! Thank you, Beth!
Have you seen Thor and, if so, did you like it?