Well I just finished watching yet another Marvel comic disappointment. And yes, my opinion of this franchise stands. Thor is still a bore. This particular sequel struck me as kind of a mess, narratively speaking. It was like watching 'Green Lantern' all over again. Though at least I can say it was more fun than 'The Wolverine' from earlier this year thanks to a better supporting cast and the occasional humor injected at just the right moment so as to keep me awake between boring battle sequences with some forgettable villain. I just saw the film and I'd be hard pressed to give you a proper synopsis other than the fact that there's a new bad guy and he battles Thor, but ultimately Thor wins. Oops, I forgot to say spoiler alert. Sorry about that. But let's face it, this is a Marvel comic film and there's no variation to their formula. So, I've come up with some new rules:
- Beware of movies that start off with too much exposition told by voiceover narration. I haven't even settled comfortably into my chair when I'm already told some detailed backstory of some creatures in some world in some galaxy that did some thing. And I don't know about you, but I despise being lost after just five minutes. It's not just because I'm slow. It's poor storytelling.
- Beware of films with a ':' in the title. Sure, you can say that the majority of movies with a ':' are sequels for lame franchises, and that's why they suck. But I find it interesting that the Iron Man sequels are numbered without a ':' and they're better than most of the Marvel sequels with the ':' (Of course this isn't always true, so settle down naysayers. It's merely an observation.)
- Enough with the 3D already! It's like watching a movie with your sunglasses on! It takes away from the intended brightness of the film and makes it look depressingly dark. And FYI, my entire life is in 3D, so it's really not a treat. 2D has become the novelty.
- Don't be afraid to have the bad guy win. In every one of these Marvel films there's some supporting character who dies to motivate the other characters to pull together, man up, and heroically take down the villain once and for all. But wouldn't it be something if Thor was actually killed? For real though, not just temporarily. Which leads me to my next point ...
- When a character dies, they should stay dead. Wait, Clark Gregg's agent Coulson is alive?!? Of course he is. They needed him for the TV spinoff 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' Magneto isn't dead?!? Of course not, they need him for another X-Men film. Look, this was lame in 'Star Trek III: The Search for Spock' in 1984. Almost 30 years later, it's still just as lame.
- If the best part of the film is the teaser for the next film during the end credits, you've made a bad movie. We should be geeking out about what we're watching now, not what we'll be watching next year (which will ultimately not live up to the tease itself.)
C'mon Marvel. Shake things up. Change the format. Take some chances. Maybe go a little darker. I recommend studying the masterpiece that is The Dark Knight trilogy. Because eventually your audience is going to wise up and get as tired of your formula as I have been for some time.