Quick(ish) review because I wanted to get my thoughts on this out before I forget them, so I’m using the WordPress app for this post.
Synopsis: Hela, goddess of death, returns to Asgard and desires to take over more than just the Nine Realms. Thor and Loki – and a couple of other friends – have to work together to take her down and save Asgard.
- I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Tom Hiddleston’s Loki again. I hadn’t realized how much I missed the character. Just how Tom Hiddleston is able to imbue Loki with so much of his personal charisma I don’t know… But the filmmakers are well aware that he is one of the biggest draws of the Thor movies and so they’ve given him a fair bit to do here. Can’t complain about that. His banter with Thor works very well,and so do the quieter, solemn moments (e.g. the little shake of the head indicating to Thor that Odin’s seemingly distant mind is not his doing, or at the end when there’s a nice little brotherly moment between Loki and Thor).
- I also liked the character arc they gave Loki in this movie. It could have gone so wrong, or they could have had it be a carbon copy of the previous movie, but neither of those things happened. We end up with a Loki that is reconciled with his brother (at least for the moment), and it came about in a logical manner.
- The pacing was good – very good, compared to Thor: The Dark World. Things moved at a very brisk pace. I can’t recall a single draggy moment offhand (though I may find them if I rewatch this movie a couple of times).
- It is a very humorous film on the whole. Lots of fun lines from different characters. Loki’s quips are a given (Mr Hiddleston has great comic timing), Jeff Goldblum has an amusing turn as the Grand Master of Sakaar, Thor gets in a few good ones, and so do Bruce Banner and Hela and Dr. Strange. Funniest of all may have been seeing Anthony Hopkins acting as the disguised Loki (he has to play Odin as though it is Loki pretending to be Odin; kind of like that bit with Captain America in Dark World). Loki’s infuriated grumble about “falling for thirty minutes” and Dr. Strange’s easy dispatch of him were pretty hilarious too.
- The callbacks to earlier movies were greatly amusing. The way Thor repeated Natasha Romanoff’s line to try to calm the Hulk (“The sun’s getting real low…”), the mention of the nickname Tony Stark gave him (“Point Break”), Loki’s utter horror at realizing that the Hulk is also on Sakaar… There were other callbacks slipped in here and there too. All great fun for fans!
- Cate Blanchett seemed to be really enjoying herself in the villainess role. I think she did spectacularly. It was also interesting that at times she sounded quite like Loki in the way she said things. (The imperious command to “kneel” being one such example.) Probably done on purpose to show their connection in how they’ve both grown up under Odin’s tutelage and how they both are/were villains?
- The scene between Odin, Thor, and Loki was very well done. I was more focused on how Loki received anything Odin said because there’s so much tension in that relationship that hasn’t been looked into as deeply as the relationship between Loki and Thor. It was nice that Odin still acknowledged Loki as a son and still cared about him. (Tom Hiddleston’s facial expressions said so much there.) The mention of how Frigga would have been proud of Loki’s skill at magic…Man, it goes straight to the heart.
- Have to say that I’m not a fan of that 80s-esque music. It does somewhat fit the tone of the movie but I still don’t much like it.
- If there is one major criticism I can think of right now, it is that it veers a little too closely to Guardians of the Galaxy in visual and audio style, and in narrative tone. No longer unique. I do wish some way had been found for it to retain its semi-Shakespearean feel but to also have the same level of fun that it does right now.
The So-so and Other Remarks
- I wish I felt more interest in Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie character… The character was all right but I don’t feel as interested in her as I was in Sif or Jane Foster.
- Where was Lady Sif?? The Warriors Three were there (and Hela killed them all most unceremoniously. I don’t think they even had five minutes of screen time between the three of them).
- While the brief exchange between Stephen Strange and Loki was hilarious, I was also a little disappointed that it went by so quickly. Surely Loki is every bit as good at magic as Strange is? Ah well. I’m no expert in Marvel comic lore.
- Thor looks better with long hair. Hahahahah
- The glowing eyes they give Thor when he uses his powers are a little bit weird.
- Visual effects work was excellent overall except in that scene where Thor and Loki speak to Odin. I don’t know if it was shot on location somewhere or if it was green screen or a combination of location footage with some composited background but it looked oddly fake to me.
- The Hulk seemed a little out of character here but it didn’t bother me at all since the Hulk is the Avenger I like the least (have never bothered to watch any of the Hulk movies).
- I wonder if Loki snuck the Tesseract out. That moment when he paused to look at it felt like it might be significant.
I would be very willing to watch it again, which is why I rate it that highly. (I do, of course, have a strong bias here. Hah)