Thor: The Dark World (aka Avoiding The Trick Or Treat Menace)
I am not a Halloween person. I love the idea of costume parties and that kind of thing, but the activity that puts me off the whole thing is the ghastly door to door beg fest that is Trick Or Treat.
It actually makes me nervous. I suffer from anxiety, and that knock on the door genuinely stresses me out. It’s not about being anti social or miserable, I just think it’s plain wrong. It’s teaching kids that it is okay to knock on the door of a stranger and ask for something for nothing.
A few years back (before the anxiety, which was not caused by Trick Or Treating by the way!) four out of the five Trick Or Treaters were teens that had not even made the effort to dress up. Bored teenagers, some who looked drug or booze addled, most with stinking cigarettes hanging from their dirty mouths. I gave them something more out of fear of reprisals than because they deserved it. What I really wanted to do was to tell them to fuck off, but of course that would have been foolish. Of all the visitors I had that night, the only ones that deserved anything were the little kids that came round, dressed up, with their parents. But that led me to be annoyed with the parents for teaching them this was all okay! The last few years I have managed to be away from home for Trick Or Treat night. This year I forgot it was on and hid in the kitchen as the dogs barked their heads off at the sounds of the first annoying beggars. Right after that I closed all my curtains and went out.
So what did I do? I went to see Thor 2 of course (or The Dark World as we are meant to call it). I had plans to see the film this evening anyway, I just left the house earlier in order to avoid the Trick Or Treaters. If I am honest, before this week I had only seen one other film in the Marvel Avengers series, the first Iron Man. I had not especially hated it, but I had not really liked it either. When the other films came out, I don’t think I twigged that they were all leading up to something bigger (I did not see the Nick Fury post credits scene in Iron Man until this week!) and never got around to watching them.
A friend suggested Thor last week, so I have spent the time in between watching as many of the films in the series as I could. And I have been rather impressed by this universe that Marvel have created. From the subtle (Stark Industries products in non Iron Man films) through to the obvious, Marvel have managed to weave a massive and interesting tapestry that even a massive cynic such as myself cannot fail to be impressed by. Up until these movies I have never really liked the super hero genre (don’t get me wrong, I loved some of the Christopher Reeve Superman movies as a kid but they really have not dated well). Whilst a lot of what happens still kind of falls into the realm of science fiction or fantasy, there is a pseudo scientific base behind it. I would argue that Iron Man is not really a super hero, and neither is Captain America. They are people that have been enhanced by technology – the same as Hulk, although he feels more like a super hero than the others. This might have something to do with the fact that he gets all massive and green, but until I watched these movies I thought all superheroes had powers that could not really be explained (I’m sorry, I just about buy an alien from Krypton being strong, but all of his other powers are just a load of bollocks). The characters in these films are Heroes in my mind rather than superheroes, which makes them far more real and engaging.
Even Thor, who is the closest to what my mind determines as a Superhero, can be explained through technology. The film I watched tonight was perhaps the best in the series that I have seen (I just have Iron Man 3 and Avengers left to watch now). It mixed characters that I have started to like with amazing effects (Malekith’s attack on Asgard was brilliantly realized) and some nice comic moments as well. Christopher Ecclestone was really good as the Dark Elf Lord (I usually can’t stand the bloke, he is an up himself luvvie and his attitude towards Doctor Who stinks) and there are some clever moments throughout the film which will definitely stand out more on a second watch.
So, a week ago I had no real interest in this universe. Having watched the majority of the films now, I have to conclude that Marvel Studios understand the art form that is cinema better than anyone else producing movies at the moment, the shared universe is a stroke of genius. Thanks to the teaser scene at the end of tonight’s film (well, one of them, I did enjoy watching the cinema empty after the first so that only five people and the staff that had come in to clean the place saw the second!) I am looking forward to the next movie in the series – the Captain America sequel – as much as the one I saw tonight, even though I thought the first Captain America was the weakest in the series so far!
Thor: The Dark World has cemented my appreciation of this series and turned me into a fan, it was the first one that I had seen in the cinema but from now on I will make sure I see them all there.