Man of Steel vs Thor TDW, seen 'em both, what do you folks think ? Compare/contrast
Hey Super-fans, Thor TDW came out down here in NZ yesterday,
and I went to see it. Have to say it's Marvel's best film this year (by quite a bit).
I'm still trying to work out an in depth analysis comparing the
Here's my review of Thor TDW (enormous spoilers)
Spoiler!!! Click to Read!:
first up, this is just IMO, I'm an unashamed DC fan (MOS was my #1
film this year) and before this film wasn't the biggest fan of Thor. However, Marvel really kicked it up a notch with this one, a bazillion times better than Amazing Spiderman, and actually at least as good as Avengers, if not slightly better.
1) Visuals, very, very, very good. Sometimes CGI worlds are obviously so fantastical that they can't be real ( something I notice about the Hobbit, and I was in that as an extra) but recently films like Oblivion, Man of Steel, and now Thor TDW have made completely fantastical environments
look actually believable.
I still don't like the pipe-organ look of Odin's palace, but the scenery looks great, particularly the palace interiors, where some intense fighting takes place.
This is especially so during the final Thor/Malekith fight, when hopping between realms.
2) Character development: Loki. Wow. Hiddleston hit one out of the park. He was superb as Loki, who's twisted, but has such a sharp wit and charm that he's tremendous fun to watch. We see that even the bitter, jealous Loki has someone he cares for.
Probably the best scenes are the cell scenes and his reaction to Frigga's death. Well written, and superbly acted, the film is almost as much Loki's as it is Thor's.
All in all, Thor and Loki's relationship is significantly developed by this film, Hemsworth does some solid work, but the stand-out performer is Hiddleston.
The very final scene of the movie leaves us with a host of questions, and questions we want answered. Ending with that image of a smirking Loki
on the throne, very well played indeed.
3) Frigga: appears in very little of the movie, pretty much to advance the plot, but Rene Russo does a great job with almost nothing.
Her Viking funeral scene was also well done.
4) Odin: The thing about truly great actors is that you forget they are who they are, and just think of them in the role. Hopkins is a short, plain -looking, dumpy man, yet fills the role of All-father brilliantly. IN this film he's very kingly, tough, uncompromising. You believe he's a king amongst the God-like Asgardians. Hemsworth is noticeably awed in his presence.
5) Pacing and Tone: Nice, very nice. The light moments and dark moments are set apart perfectly, so that neither seems out of place.
The only time the pace drags is after the prologue, up to where Jane
finds the Aether.
1) Character development Thor: pretty good, we see a more serious side of Thor. He's continued along the humility path he started down in Thor (first movie). Hemsworth looks the part and while occasionally clunky, his Thor is generally likeable.
2) Character development Selvig, gets some great comic scenes. Skaarsgard does a great job with the material he's given.
3) Character development The warriors three, (Fandrall, Hogun, Volstaag)
Again, they don't get much to work with, but the bits they're in, they're a lot more interesting (not just comic relief, like the first film). Zachary Levi
was good as Fandrall (filling in for the forgettable other guy), and Ray Stevenson is always a laugh.
I'd add Sif, but she's woefully underused.
4) The Action: The fight scenes are pretty good, not as stylized or frantic as Avengers, but still enjoyable. The film has a very high body count (not as high as MOS, but a lot of Asgardians don't make it) as such
you feel there's a real threat.
Also, the assault on Asgard has a somewhat "Star Wars" feel to it, which ordinarily would seem weird in a Thor movie, but works in this one.
A really brilliant action scene is a mixture of audacity, skilfulness and pacing, this film has some good fights, but none that made my jaw drop.
(by contrast, the Hong Kong Kaiju battle-scene in Pacific Rim, made me cheer).
I did like the way that Asgardian "magic" had a more technological feel to it, as I said, sort of a Star Wars feel - but original Star Wars (so very cool ).
5) The other Villains: Christopher Eccleston is predictably menacing as Malekith, but isn't given enough to work with, as probably 2/3 of his lines are in Elvish. He certainly looks scary and radiates evil, and I suppose he has to be a contrast to the joyful nastiness of Loki, but I think he could have had more dialogue to establish his motivations - he's just relentlessly
evil, and that's about it. A good performance but not a lot to work with.
Probably his only really engaging interaction with the other actors was the scene in which he and Kurse confront Frigga.
On that note, Kurse is pretty nasty, but after his transformation doesn't really do much acting, just growling really.
6) Music: hits a high point at Frigga's funeral, and otherwise frames the
story nicely. Possibly could emphasize the main character's motif a bit more, and have stronger overall motifs for the Dark Elves, and certainly
Odin and Loki deserve their own. But, overall, nicely done.
Natalie Portman. She's one of the greatest American Actresses of her generation. In this role, she's just really damsel in distress and doesn't do much with it. Less boring than Padme (from those dreadful Star Wars Prequels), but not a heroine that we really feel much for.
Yes, it's my bias, but she has none of the pluck, or smarts of Amy Adams' Lois lane. Portman does well with what she's given, I suspect its more of a writing issue, but all in all, not her best work.
The romance: a little unengaging, if there was a word for it. Not exactly forced, but it ain't Princess Leia/Han Solo or even Tobey Maguire/Kirsten Dunst (or even the tension of Famke Janssen and Hugh Jackman) if we're going to look at super-hero/fantasy genre romance.
Admittedly, the very end post credits scene where Thor does come back to Jane is a good moment, but all in all they're not going to be one of the
great on-screen couples. Having said all that, it works within the context of the film, you believe these people could love each other, but you aren't dying to see how/if things work out for them.
Kat Dennings, only because she's exactly the same in everything she does. Sarcastic, midly annoying and relentlessly playing the cute card.
She has the acting range of a cereal box - I suppose she does what she needs to do in this film, but the plot would have sailed along without her.
The post credits scene with the Collector. WTF ? I know that Marvel
has to set up other films, but Del Toro was simply awful - the Collector
in the comics, is an elder of the universe, a being of great and mysterious power. Del Toro's character was more like a hairstylist who runs a pawn-shop part time. It was utter crap.
IN CONCLUSION: For some comparison, I gave MOS a 9/10 but again
I'm an unashamed Superman fan. Pacific Rim gets an 8.5/10, as an
incredibly satisfying robot smashfest (not going to win any best actor
Oscars, but who cares ?) . For more comparisons, The first Matrix movie 9/10, The Dark Knight 9/10, Inception 9/10, the Avengers 8/10, X-Men first class 7.5/10, Lord of the Rings: return of the King 9/10.
basically, a 8/10 for me is a movie you walk out of feeling that you got
every cent of your money's worth, truly satisfying. a 9/10 is a movie that you don't want to end, and has moments you want to jump to your feet and yell "**** YEAH !" (haven't seen a 10/10 yet)
Okay, so on to Thor, 8/10. A very solid and enjoyable movie
That's saying a lot, as I'm not a Thor fan.
Before this film I didn't really care that much about Thor, and back in the 80's I actually read the old Walt Simonson stories that were the basis of this film. Those were pretty engaging (and visually mesmerising, because of Simonson's art), but otherwise I've always found Thor a bit boring....until now. I'm not quite a Thor-fan yet, but if the next Thor
film is as good as this one, then I might be.
I really enjoyed TDW. If you're a Thor fan, you'll simply love it, if you
liked Avengers or Marvel in general you're going to get your money's worth. A much greater scale than the first Thor, and much more enjoyable.
Trust me Marvel-maniacs, if you liked Thor (2011) and the Avengers,
you're going to love this movie. Like I said I'm not really a fan, and I thought it was Marvel's best outing in a long time (I enjoyed it more than
In TDW the stakes are higher, the visuals are stunning, the scheme is grander and best of all LOKI......Loki makes the film, stealing every scene he's in. Hiddleston was born to play the role, he's so much fun to watch.
If you liked Loki in the previous films, you're going to love what he gets up to in TDW, we see a much more complete character, rather than just the
jealous brother - Cain to Thor's Abel.
Okay, enough. So Thor (2011) was fun, (loved the Destroyer, and ****, they needed him in this movie !), but this one is a big step up.
Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.
And then There's MOS. Like I said in the TDW review above, 9/10, mostly because I felt a personal connection to Superman, as a beloved character from my childhood - but also because he was a much more "human" character than Thor.
MOS is a darker film than TDW, and much more personal, it's about a man's quest to find himself.
So here's my comparisons, which include acting, visuals, romance and action.
Henry Cavill vs Chris Hemsworth = Slight edge to Cavill, Hemsworth is enjoyable as Thor, and looks the part. Cavill's Clark Kent is much more troubled, had a lot less dialogue to work with, and thus has to rely on expressions more, all up Clark is a slightly better written character
with a more relatable story (despite his great powers, he struggles with
issues that every person struggles with, in terms of coming to terms
with his place in the world).
Odin vs Jor El (Anthony Hopkins vs Rusell Crowe) = tie, two of the absolute cinema greats, both as the wise father role, possibly slight edge to Jor-El for kicking more ass (without superpowers, on Krypton)
Frigga vs Martha Kent (Rene Russo vs Diane Lane) = edge to Ma Kent. Russo does a great job, with a small (but highly significant ) role, but Ma Kent does a lot more, she's the rock of Clark's world, and helps us connect to his character.
Malekith v General Zod= hmmmm.... both are pretty apocalyptic characters with the single-minded destruction of the current world (and the restoration of their own world). Zod has a bit more dialogue to work with, and is a little easier to relate to, in terms of his obsession.
Eccleston does a great job with very little dialogue, and under a lot of make-up -the fact that he does so much with so little is a testament to his talents.
So edge to Zod, but mostly because Malekith has much less dialogue to work through.
NOTE: General Zod v Loki = not even close. Loki by a mile, Hiddleston is the stand-out performer in TDW, he's a better developed and more enjoyable character to watch.
Jane Foster vs Lois Lane ( Nat Portman v Amy Adams)= when I first encountered Adams (in previous films) didn't really like her as an actress, whereas Portman was a great talent from her very first film. The Fighter, changed my mind about Adams, and while she and Portman both have damsel in distress roles, Adams is lot pluckier and more interesting. Usually I can't stand Lois Lane, but Adams made her an enjoyable character. Portman's Foster is good, but nothing special. Edge = Lois Lane / Adams !
romance= Thor and Jane, Clark and Lois. personally, I didn't feel like Hemsworth and Portman had much on-screen chemistry, whereas Cavill and Adams did. There's a lot less said between Clark and Lois, but what's said is more believable. Edge = Lois and Clark.
Krypton vs Asgard = Asgard has a real Star wars feel to it, (read the above review), and the sequences there are visually impressive. But Asgard is all sunshine, whereas Krypton is a dying world.
Both are equally compelling, and believable....something I never felt about the Star Wars prequels (those environments always looked a bit too fantastical). In fact, the visuals in Thor are as good as MOS, so tie.
Action= hmmmmm....tricky. The final show-down, in terms of scale is bigger in MOS (in respect of stuff being destroyed on Earth), however Thor TDW threatens the 9 realms.... However, the destruction in MOS
is just unparalleled, both from the Gravity beam and from the final Zod vs Supes punch-up.
The fight scenes in Thor TDW are good, but a bit chaotic, whereas MOS
is again, a bit clearer in terms of what's going on, but much more destructive.
Despite what many have said, I loved the Smallville fight scene, best superbeing on superbeing fight scene to date.
Overall grades: Don't get me wrong, Thor TDW is an enjoyable watch
and the best thing Marvel's done this Year (waaayyy better than Amazing Spider Man) and Hiddleston is superb. I have never been a Thor fan, but after this film I've grown to like the character and his world a lot more.
MOS, slightly better performances (except of course Hiddleston, he could carry a Loki movie after this), and that I felt a greater connection to the character and his personal struggles (and of course, I am biased as having been a Superman fan since childhood). While Thor TDW was a very good movie, MOS was a great one. 9/10
Enough from me, weigh in chaps, what do y'all think ?