Thor

By Ta-Nehisi Coates
From ye olde inbox:

You're working too hard, thinking too much. Which is great, but maybe we need to balance in some lighter thread topics? Haha. 

 Why has there not been a Parks and Rec thread?!? Tell me you saw the return of Jean Ralphio, with his extra-syllable failed raps? Been a pleasure being part of the board more in the past few months. Keep up the great work.

What dissecting the particular hermeneutic of the planter class in slave South isn't fun? Don't enjoy natural selection and its correlation with positive theories of enslavement? Not finding the Nietzschian explorations of global conflict in the era of non-state actors entertaining? 

You guys are pathetic. But ok, let's do it--I liked Thor.

I did not find it transcendent (Batman Begins did it on that count.) I thought Asgard looked rather plastic, and the love story was, as always, tacked on. But here is the thing: They kept the train on the tracks. The narrative felt smooth enough that I could just sit back and take in the fight scenes, the effects and laugh at the jokes. 

This sounds like meager praise. Except it's exactly what I ask out of a summer blockbuster, and it's exactly what I often find missing. It's shocking how often the train is derailed by distracting characters (robots with gold teeth) preposterous dialouge ("Hold me, Ani. Hold me like you did on the shore of the lake on Naboo") or the off-screen murder of major character (Cyclops?)

Seriously, this is my case against Michael Bay. It's not the explosions. It's not the special effects. It's not the lack of seriousness. It's that he can't keep the train on the tracks.  It's that, as a director, he's a humorless clutz who can't get out of the way. 

There's nothing wrong with Independence Day. There's everything wrong with Armageddon.

The best I can say of Thor is that I was entertained. I think that's worth something.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2011/05/thor/238942/