Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Thor 2: Stuff Happens! Don’t Question It!

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You know, I’m going to be honest. When you open your movie with a voiceover about evil “Dark Elves” you’ve already got quite a bit of a battle to get me to take your story seriously.

And this is kind of my ground state for all of the MCU, I struggle with taking it seriously, and am not entirely sure I’m supposed to in the first place. Because it seems to be the essential silliness of this whole exercise that I actually enjoy the most.

I did enjoy Thor 2, quite a bit. Because I turned off my brain. I can never, ever call turning off your brain a good thing, but I think that if I tried to makes sense of the “science,” and relationships, and everyone’s “plans” I might actually go insane.

Stuff happens in this movie… let’s go through it.

So after we hear the tale of the *chortles* Dark Elves we return to the, still stunningly beautiful, Asgard to see Loki being frog marched into Odin’s throne room. His mom is super disappointed in him, but Loki is literally all “What’s the big deal, dad?”

Odin rolls his eye and sentences him to LIFE.

Then we see Thor and his Super Friends mixing it up on some other planet. They’re so badass that they don’t need helmets, I guess? And they’re still so full of personality that they recast one and I didn’t notice until someone pointed it out.

They fight, and win, and then they feast. There, I just saved you about ten minutes. At the feasting, we find out that Thor is still moping because he misses Natalie Portman Jane. In turn, we find out that Jane has done two things in the past two years: got a doctorate, and spend all her time in her pyjamas moping about that guy she met over a long weekend and snogged once. And now she is inexplicably in London and on an inexplicably random date with a Funny Nerdy British Man™. (Seriously, we kind of find out why she’s in London, but we never find out why she randomly decides to go on a date… It’s weird.)

Natalie Portman is so relatable, you guys.

Darcy is there too. Apparently she was super popular, so they decided to dial her up to eleven. She, Jane, and another random Funny Nerdy British Man™ who Darcy managed to find, I don’t know, in a public toilet in Croydon or someplace, detect some science with a Science Detector™ and go to an abandoned factory with random wormholes in it.

Then Jane blunders into it and ends up with an Ancient Evil™ inside her. (SO relatable!)

This is the point where Thor’s stalking pays off. He shows up just as she’s getting in trouble with the police. And she starts this super funny running gag about slapping people twice in a row!

After that, he takes her to Asgard where she starts acting very oddly. I think either we’re supposed to think that the Ancient Evil™ is making her squirrelly, or Natalie Portman saw the Oscar on her mantelpiece that morning, realized she had to go in to film Thor 2, and just got drunk.

Also acting strangely is Odin, who is suddenly an unrelenting asshole. But it’s okay, Jane can stay because she sometimes makes people blow-up when she touches them. Plus, she’s dying, though this this not be relevant unless they need her to be a literal prop. Don’t worry.

Then we go back to the Evil Dark Elves who, like all bad guys in space, use edged weapons because that makes all the sense. One of them turns into a lava person. I wonder if this Lava Guy is related to the Lava Guys in IM3.

After, Loki is hanging out and his mom and seeding the existence of holograms for us. Thrilling.

Meanwhile, Jane gets a cool new Asgardian outfit and goes for a stroll through the city with her BF. It’s still pretty. She gets to meet his mom. Freya’s suddenly everywhere. But, oh noes, it looks like there is trouble down in the prison. Lava Guy is there! Loki gets many humorous reaction shots!

Thor notices that something is up, so he gets his mom to look after Jane. Mom gets a sword and Jane gets a glare from the Token Female Super Friend! One of these things will be addressed again in this film.

In any case, the battle is kind of cool and has a ridiculous body count. Like, all the Asgardian guards die like flies, but the named people are more or less indestructible. Whatever. We find out about the dark side of Asgardian society: there’s a force field around the palace that will protect them, and fuck the rest of the city. But Lava Guy is on the case! No more shield for anyone! And they have pretty cool black hole grenades.

Then Head Dark Elf shows up by crashing his ship right into the palace. Just like the Kazon in Star Trek: Voyager.

Thor’s mom has taken it upon herself to protect Jane, and boy is she capable. I guess all Asgardian women know how to fight with swords and can kick ass, which was why Sif doing so was worthy of comment in the last movie. It makes all the consistency.

Anyway, Evil Elf is mad that Mom used a hologram, calls her a witch, then stabs her. While Jane, like, hides behind a pillar somewhere. (It happens a lot in action sequences, she just kind of disappears.) I would love to be a woman in this movie.

Thor is quite upset at the death of Mom. So is everyone else. They are so upset that they can’t think up a good theme for the funeral, so they just go with Disney’s Tangled.

It’s hard to blame them, though, because it’s very pretty.

This is also the point where I think Odin just goes nuts. He’s sad, I guess. But when Thor points out that they sort of have no defences, he starts going on about how he’ll throw all the bodies of all his people at the enemy and he doesn’t care how many of them die. Which we all know is Movie Code™ for a king who has lost it. And also, he’s taken Jane prisoner. I think. Like, she’s in a normal room, just with guards. Which considering the Ancient Evil™ thing, is maybe not stupid.

Thor decides it’s Time To Take Matters Into His Own Hands™. He gathers the guardian guy and all his Super Friends, and they do this thing where they have a conversation about the plan as a framing device showing the plan taking place. So you see the plan AND hear them talking about it at the same time! It’s very… I give it a C-.

During the course of this plan, they break Jane out of not!Jail, and Loki out of real!Jail because they need his help to break out of the larger jail that now is Asgard since Odin became an asshole.

Loki is emo because his mom died. I guess that’s reasonable. He and Thor manage to get some of their famous Bro Drama™ in. And it’s compelling, damn it!

So as they’re flying around trying to get to the secret passage to the “Dark World,” (hey, that’s the title!) Jane decides that this is the perfect time to become useless for the next act. Like, she literally goes catatonic or something. She’s a prop.

It’s okay, the bros have a plan once they get to this “Dark World” and lure the Evil Dark Elves there. And it involved Loki stabbing Thor. Oh no! I wonder if he’s dead! But, oh no! That was all part of the plan! The bros fight! But, oh no, the plan doesn’t work! Jane kind of floats in the air as the Ancient Evil™ is sucked out of her and she is… left completly unharmed. Huh.

And Evil Elf gets his hands on said Ancient Evil,™ oops.

Also, Loki dies. And Thor just leaves his body on a random planet. I’m sure that won’t bite him in the ass.

Now the slightly more animate Jane and Thor are stuck here. But don’t worry, coincidence of coincidence, there a cave with a wormhole in it that leads to a building that happens to have Jane’s car parked outside of it. Yup, that happened. But Funny Nerdy British Man™ got to show up again?

And yes, for this whole time there has been this whole subplot with Erik the Science Guy and Darcy and the other Funny Nerdy British Man™ where they commit fraud to get him out of jail and he doesn’t wear pants. It’s relevant.

Those guys meet back up with Thor and Jane and they all figure out that the Evil Elves are going to destroy the universe when Harmonic Convergence happens and that this will go down in Greenwich because Erik connected some random points on a map of Britain.

That is neither an oversimplification, nor an exaggeration, by the way.

So they go to Greenwich and they build a Science Machine™ that lets Jane make magic wormholes appear where ever she wants them too. With science.

The Evil Elves attack and they trash London. (For a change.) The insurance rates in New York were just getting too ridiculous, I guess. They trash landmarks while people take pictures on their smart phones. Thor hits things with his hammer. Darcy and Funny Nerdy British Man™ make out. Jane runs around with her Science Machine™ trying to make up for her pervious uselessness. I discover that Charing Cross is three stops away from Greenwich on the underground, which is officially the most useful thing I’ve learned in this movie. Or possibly in all of the MCU.

I’m sorry, I kind of suck at recapping action. The good guys win, okay? Harmonic Convergence happens but the universe it not destroyed. Are you surprised? Thor and Jane make out.

Everyone is happy.

Except Jane isn’t happy because her hunky guy who she’s now spend two weekends with is no longer within snogging distance. Thor isn’t happy either. When his dad calls him in to, like, offer to abdicate, I think, so Thor can be king, he says “no” because he wants to go to Earth to be with his girlfriend. And presumably the Avengers.

Odin is basically all, “okay.” But with more words.

As soon as Thor is gone Odin turns into Loki.

Ha. Remember when Loki, the dude rather famous for tricks (you might even call his a “trickster god”) and deception “died ” and the Thor didn’t bother to go back for his body or anything?


What can I possible say about this movie? It was two hours of my life that I didn’t hate. Chris Hemsworth had his shirt off at one point, which I will never not be okay with. But I think I may be getting MCU fatigue. These movies are starting to blur into each other. I sit down to write about them and all I ever seem to say is, “it was okay, Loki and his many issues were by far the most interesting part. I hate Tony Stark.” Stuff always happens, and how it happens doesn’t seem to be especially important.

I apologize to anyone who expected a serious meta. But I watched this thing and all I could think was: “snarky recap.” Those are my thing, right? I suppose I could have discussed the feminist implications of Suddenly Relevant Moms who are immediately killed or something, but what is that compared to Natalie Portman detecting Science™?

She’s just so relatable!


Next Tuesday: We will have even more fun, I promise you.

Then on Thursday: Kylie assures me that my faith in Marvel will be restored with Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

All images courtesy of Marvel Studios

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