December 12, 2010

IF I HAD A HAMMER...


... I'd hammer in the morning, I'd hammer in the evening, I'd hammer all the time. So, now there is Thor teaser trailer out there, and strangely enough, I would like to watch that movie. Even though Asgard shows quite clearly that Kirby design just don't work all that well when they are real. Kirby was a master of stylistic simplicity that works well on a printed page, or at least used to work well in most of the 1960s and some of the early 1970s, but even in comics, he has been largely left behind, and I for one believe that is for a good reason.

Just like Iron Man (the first one, we shall not even speak about the second) was a nice, but very simplistic 1960s Marvel type story without much plot and an amazing performance by Robert Downey Jr., this new Marvel production shows me one thing again.

Comic movies are a disservice to comics, and by that I mean the medium, not the corporate bottom line. The plots are simple, have to be simple, because it needs to establish world and characters in pretty much the same vein that comics themselves established them in their American heyday, the characters are those that you can sum up in 15 words or less (oh, look who is talking. I am and have been guilty of the same thing, and I am woefully aware of that) and the story structure runs from one main action set piece to the next, most of which I think are already in this teaser, with the whole giant robot/monster/destroying thing rampaging through yet another small Southwestern town as its big finale.

And you know that to be true.

ACT ONE: Thor lands on Earth, gets found by Queen Amidala, who apparently has a thing for rugged men with blonde hair and issues (well, at least this one has a beard and has no light saber, so I would assume that one the Jedi scale he is already on the early Obi-Wan stage. Beards, kids. Beards make it all better!) Obviously, they find out that the hammer has somehow been cast down to Earth as well and been found by SHIELD, you know, that organisation that is somehow like Homeland Security but with a better win-loss ratio)

ACT TWO: Thor needs his hammer back, so that sets up a daring break-in, he is getting caught, a daring break-out, rah rah rah, while meanwhile Anthony Hopkins wonders in Asgard what has happened to his career, and whether he should have pulled a Sean Connery and simply retired. No, wait. That wasn't it. In Asgard, Odin gets hammered by Loki, who wants to be Godfather instead of Godfather (see, kids, there was a reason that God only had one son, and he had that guy crucified, too. Kids... tsk tsk..)

ACT THREE: Thor, humbled and in full sync with his humanity (which means some chaste PG13 kiss with Queen Amidala, preferably right before the end battle, is alarmed by some of his friends from Asgard that not all is well in high heaven (when is it ever), while Loki goes all mental and decides to commit bloody brother murder by sending down that thingie. Of coure, this all happens in a small town that has a secret SHIELD facility there, so Thor, manned up by SHIELD and his love, has to save our planet from...

... easy, isn't it? To write a Marvel story? All this you can already tell from the teaser. So you already know what you are in for, and then it becomes a matter of visuals. Do they look exciting? Well, Chris Helmsworth does. And if he can act better than Dolph Lundgren, then at least it won't be another He-Man, no, wait, it is another He-Man, except that this time it isn't based on a toyline. But the story is very much the same. The brief moments of Anthony Hopkins made me feel sorry for him, I am sad to say. And Natalie Portman is...

.. I don't know what she is, but whether she is super-awesome in Black Swan or not, I never, not in a single of her performances, got the feeling she is a real person. That is not fair, and I know that. But emotions are rarely fair, and this is an emotional response.

And still...strangely enough, despite all of this, I'd like to watch that movie.

Just not in the theater. Or in 3D. Or for 16 bucks.

I'll watch it. Some day. When it's on television. On a rainy or snowy Sunday afternoon. It appears to be that kind of a movie. And you know what kind I am talking about. When you are at home, and you feel lazy, and you cuddle up with your girlfriend on the couch, and you have a good time and not want to move. And your girlfriend is a geek like you. And you laugh at all the wrong parts, together, because you both know what you are watching is inherently silly, and yet, that is why you are watching it in the first place, with her.

Because that is the kind of movie that shows how much you and her are alike.

Know what I mean?

Sure you do.