I know I promised a script review of Halo but, as far as I am aware, the script I have has been tossed in the can by the studio. As a substitute, thanks to YaMBa, I have a review for Mark Protosevich’s Thor. The one that Shakespearean connoisseur Kenneth Branagh is currently signed up to direct for and Alexander Skarsgård is rumored as a potential candidate for the lead role. Check inside to see if Hollywood will do the famous Marvel character justice!
The script opens with the creation of worlds and gods, with narration that would make Galadriel from The Lord of the Rings trilogy blush. Soon we are introduced to Odin, the God of Wisdom, a warrior-king sitting at his throne in the world of Asgard. He takes a mighty blow and creates man and all other creatures on the world of Midgard (Earth). Then, Odin gets busy with his wife, Frigg, and we presented with the fruit of his loins, Thor. A grown up Thor, as his father realizes also, is an arrogant di*k who would rather rule those with fear rather than earn respect and admiration.
Loki, Thor’s sorcerer younger brother, is level headed and a better negotiator than his brother. The (not-so) truth of their relation is revealed shortly enough, in a battle with frost giants, that Loki is in fact (unbeknownst to him) a poser in Odin’s kingdom. He is actually the son of the frost giant (Jotun) king Ymir, according to (what would be) Loki’s blood sister. Loki is told this after he is separated from the battle for a short time and, upon returning to the Asgard kingdom, does not disclose the information to anyone (including his brother).
Loki meets with a priestess who, despite her initial apprehension, uses a dark power to unveil the events of the past for the prince to see. As he sees the past before him, Yamir was killed by Odin and the frost giant’s infant stolen from the ice cavern. Odin, unable to kill the child, delivers to baby to Frigg to raise as part of his family. Frigg casts a spell using runes to ensure that father could not harm son, son could not harm father, and brother could not harm brother.
Loki also learns, through this rune stone channeling, of a prophecy by a group of seers: One son will destroy Odin, and the other will save him. It turns out that Odin is currently meeting with seers, and Loki has a front row seat. The audience is not privy to further information about the prophecy at this time in the story, but Loki is certainly told more from the priestess. Loki, beginning to succumb to his evil nature, spreads distrust for Thor amongst the palace.
The Gnome King arrive at the kingdom, brandishing the gift of Mjolnir, the indestructible HAMMER forged from a mighty stone! Able to control the skies and make your enemies tremble, the hammer has a big (and deserving) origin story of its own. Thor is presented with the weapon during the celebration, however, the power is so great he is unable to control it. Thor accidentally kills a trusted friend of Odin with the hammer, causing the god to strip away his son’s godly powers and banish him to (Earth).
Thor comes upon a Viking village, who mistake him as a “Berserker” (hmmm…Wolverine must have tromped through her before) and decide to beat him, cut his hair, and bound him. Bjarne, the village landowner and leader, offers Thor the chance to be his bit*h, whether he wants to or not.
Much like the story of Soldier (except not sh*tty), Thor gains the trust of a Viking family he stays with, and he also defends the village from savages.
The people of Earth are delivered a message from the realm of the gods that he who is worthy can wield the hammer and become the God of Thunder. Thor is able to take part in a quest, involving Vikings, savages, and that arsehole Bjarne, to test themselves for possession of Mjolnir (not an easy task). At the same time, Loki rains hell down on Thor and (Earth) as he tries to return to Asgard, mummified winged armies and plague. Thor even has a bit of a Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back Luke moment, where he has to confront his demons and the possibility of what he could become. All the while, Loki has planned in invasion on Asgard by the Jotuns to seek revenge for the death of Ymir.
I have very little negative to say about this script. It’s a great fantasy epic, essentially what I would call “Thor’s Odyssey”. Thor starts off the film as an arrogant douche, and ends up as a worthy, true savior for man. Only when he has learned humility and an understanding of what kind of man he should be, is Thor able to control the hammer (and not the other way around). There are a lot of creatures for Thor to slay: a serpent, sirens that morph into evil trees, hell stags, and the Jotuns. We are certainly do for another epic fantasy film, not something that is mildly entertaining like Beowulf. Hopefully Marvel can get its @$$ in gear and strike while the iron is hot, preferably before the remake of Jason and the Argonauts goes into production. It doesn’t really fall into the “superhero film” label as defined by recent entries in the past decade, its more comparable to the Conan movie people have been hoping for.
I have a few nitpicks about the script. The Gnome King controls mice and small (Earth) creatures during the course of the movie, even using them to “whisper” into the ears of men and women about the myth of the hammer. That is a bit of an eye-roll for me, even in a fantasy film such as this. MAJOR CLIMAX SPOILERS (highlight to read) **** Also, Thor and Loki (because of the spell) never fight each other, there is not even a loophole in this. It’s too cliché for the villain to be twiddling his thumbs devilishly at the end of the film planning his next fiendish plot. So essentially, the audience will be told in the first 30 minutes that these two guys cannot f*ck each other up under any circumstances. How very disappointing. *** END MAJOR SPOILERS
One final thought, some part of me would have liked to have seen Thor transported to a more current day Earth. Of course, this is a first draft, and something things will definitely change as the movie gets closer to prep. The end of movie could certainly include a scene of Thor returning to Earth present day once again to protect mankind. SHIELD and a one-eyed Samuel L. Jackson have to be introduced somehow. Maybe its better that this Thor spends most of the film during the time of the Vikings…if he were thrown in circa 2009 New York…we could have a play of events similar to Enchanted meets Masters of the Universe.
So until lightning strikes and this production gains speed, keep your fingers crossed for the God of Thunder!