By now I’m sure you’ve seen the pirated Thor footage from Comic Con. We won’t be running that footage on CHUD – we’re old fashioned and think stolen material doesn’t belong on our site – but I can tell you what I thought of it when I watched it last weekend.
The thing that you’re not getting from the leaked footage is how awful the 3D was. Like the terrible post-conversion of Clash of the Titans, the perspective was all over the place – at one point Heimdall’s face looked to be about six feet inside his helmet. There’s a moment where Thor is looking at himself in a mirror and the mirror has depth, which just makes no fucking sense. The conversion was miserable, which is about what I expect from the finished movie. Please Paramount and Marvel, show this film to the press in 2D as well as 3D.
And the content itself… I have been skeptical about Thor for a while and this footage did nothing to allay that concern. I’m guessing that the entire plot was given away in the footage, and it seems small. Here’s a summary of what I think happens (gleaned only from the footage/basic knowledge of the comic book mythos, so technically this is not a spoiler):
Thor is kind of a big arrogant dick in Asgard. He ends up starting a war with the Frost Giants, probably because of some trick Loki pulled on him. Odin is furious and casts Thor out of Asgard, removing most of his powers. Much of the movie now follows Thor on Earth in a generic looking desert setting as he hangs around with Jane Foster and friends, having some cute fish out of water moments and blowing the minds of some scientists. Then he learns that SHIELD has his hammer, and he decides to get it back. Meanwhile in Asgard Loki is still scheming, possibly poisoning Odin. Chaos ensues in Asgard and Loki ascends to the throne. Back on Earth, Thor breaks into the SHIELD base with the hammer but discovers that he can no longer wield it, as he is unworthy. He is captured by SHIELD. Loki decides that Thor remains too big a threat to live, so he sends the Destroyer to Earth to take care of him. Thor must now figure out how to regain his worthiness so that he can wield Mjolnir, save his new friends, return to Asgard and get Odin back on the throne. The end.
That sounds like a syndicated TV pilot. Not even a wildly expensive one at that. And to be honest, the footage sort of looks like one too. The Asgard stuff looks cheap and tacky and stagebound, while the Earth stuff looks generic and forgettable. There were some interesting action shots of Thor breaking into the SHIELD facility, but his fighting style felt weird to me – I just doubt the God of Thunder has used a dropkick that often in his battles. It’s all so small. People keep talking about the Kirby designs finally making it to screen (which they barely did, to be honest), but what about that Kirby scope? Where’s the vastness of the drama? The bad guy is a big robot, just like ones we’ve seen in the Iron Man movies? Perhaps there’s some truly epic Asgardian stuff being hidden from us… or perhaps that glimpse of the snows of Jotunheim means that all of the off-Earth stuff was shot indoors and looks like it was shot indoors. Part of what makes The Lord of the Rings work is that locations were used – Middle Earth was a place, not a set.
I desperately want to be wrong about Thor, but the continued use of Batman TV-show-esque canted angles and the copper plated look of Asgard mixed with the unmemorable look of Earth and the tight smallness of the story make me very worried that this is the first Marvel film that I will actively dislike. Cheap, small, silly… this isn’t what I wanted out of Marvel Studios expanding their superhero scope.