I just got back from seeing Thor at the theater for the first time. You've already read all sorts of reviews and such, so I won't bore you with that, but I did have some thoughts circling around the movie.
If you're a regular reader of my blog, you'll know that I'm not a big fan of movies. I generally wait until they've long left the theaters and I'll sometimes pull out the ones that seem to have more lasting cultural impact to watch at home. I think the last time I actually sat down in a movie theater was 2007. But I went to see Thor because, simply, I had a free ticket and a two-hour block of time that wasn't already allocated for one of a dozen other things.
I was bemused by the previews: Green Lantern, Cowboys and Aliens and Captain America. I could feel my teenage self flip out to see trailers for three comic-derived movies before seeing another comic-derived movie. Today, though, I mostly kind of shrugged. I mean, the movies all looked pretty good and I expect they'll all do at least reasonably well, but they all look like ones that I'd be perfectly fine with watching on the small screen at home.
Interestingly, though, after first thinking that, I realized that I have passes to see three other movies for free this summer. Maybe the new X-Men, GL and Cap? Debating that still.
See, part of my attitude here is that these types of movies tend to revolve around the strength of the characters. And that's not to say there aren't some really good characters here, but they're given fairly pedestrian story arcs. Many of the key story beats in Thor seemed entirely predictable in terms of pacing, style and execution. I did rather enjoy the performances of Tom Hiddleston, Josh Dallas and "Uncle Walt" but much of the rest of the movie seemed... well, not bad certainly but not very engaging either. Like it was done as a prequel for the Avengers movie, so Joss Whedon wouldn't have to explain this guy with the cape and the hammer. I will say Thor was written better than I anticipated, but I had low expectations.
Here's the odd thing, too. I'm watching this movie, seeing how Marvel Studios is rolling these different properties together -- to my knowledge, the first time this has really been done this deliberately in movies. Like any old school Marvel fan, I know where this is going. I'm catching the Easter Eggs that are getting thrown in, and the sometimes oblique references. And it's largely featuring IPs that I don't have any great affinity towards (being an FF fan primarily) but I have to admit to some interest in seeing the Marvel Universe evolve on-screen.
And so I'm left debating whether or not I should see if I can be a part of it. As in, actually be IN the Avengers movie. (See Michael Sangiacomo's notice here. Might be kind of a fun footnote to be yet another character crossing over from the comic book version of the MU to the movie version. Not to mention it being really cool for co-workers to get a surprise by seeing me in a comic book movie when they're not expecting it. I'm debating if it'd be worth the effort for a big 'maybe'. (It's a cattle call, after all. Zero guarantee I'd be selected, and zero guarantee that, even if I am selected, I'd wind up being seen in the final cut.)
As I sit here and think about it, though, why would I do that? I'm fairly certain I'd be traveling the two weekends beforehand, so I'm sure I'll have plenty to catch up on around the house. I'd have to take time off work. It'd be in a medium I don't particularly care for, and in a movie that I'm not especially anticipating. Maybe their hype machine is having an impact after all.
Maybe I should just make a SHIELD Agent Kleefeld action figure instead, and return to reading comic books.