Discussion in 'Community' started by Jedi_Master_Conor, Aug 9, 2007.
art by jen-and-kris
I thought Absorbing Man was what Nick Nolte's character turned into in the first Hulk movie? Or was that whole film a bad dream?
Yes and am I the only one who liked both Hulk movies?
Malekith was the definition of underdeveloped. He had a very vague motivation revealed in Odin's voiceover at the beginning of the film -- he wants to make everything go away -- and then we never learn anything about him again for the entire rest of the film. He doesn't clarify his motivation particularly well -- is he a giant baby throwing a tantrum just because he doesn't like change and still can't get over it millennia later? Does the universe offend him on a religious or philosophical level? Does a non-primordial-darkness plane of existence do something to actively impede his way of life? We don't know. He doesn't get a monologue to explain himself, or a really good big scene. He barely interacts with the protagonists at all. He appears in the bare minimum of scenes to provide exposition for his plotline, in which he provides a bare minimum of exposition and goes about putting his plan into motion with no real self-expression.
He's a villain with zero motivation, zero personality, and zero connection with any of the protagonists. He's like some kind of exercise in anti-screenwriting. They try to paper that over by having him kill the hero's mother, except that doesn't do anything to give Malekith any interest in the heroes at all (he spends the entire film completely ignoring them except when he has to swat them away when they happen to get directly in the way of his plans). And while it pisses Thor off and super-pisses Loki off, it has absolutely no impact on Thor throughout the film -- he's not revenge-crazed, and spends the finale attempting in a businesslike manner to stop Malekith because he's going to destroy the universe; nothing personal ever enters into that final conflict -- and it only has enough impact on Loki to fire him up temporarily, as in the middle of their plot against him, Loki simply abandons fighting Malekith, whose ass he is supposedly motivated to kick, in order to wander off and attempt to take over Asgard again.
It's insanely lazy writing, with only the barest outline of a generic villain and a resort to women-in-refrigerators syndrome in order to paper over its weakness -- and even that is abandoned twenty minutes later. Malekith could be interesting as the simple, impersonal force of destruction Thor must stop -- but that would require better writing and a more sustained focus on giving him some kind of characteristics or personality that would make him interesting, more than a blank white prosthetic face for Thor to punch, a performance that would make him at all memorable, a script that would give him any kind of material to be memorable with. As-is, he is by far the weakest villain in the entire MCU so far.
Malekith's voice was so goofy throughout the movie. It was like Anthony Hopkins shoved a microphone down Eccelstone's throat in between takes.
Honestly, I'm not sure what the point of even having Eccleston there was. His voice was computer-processed into unrecognizability, he had no ability to act physically under those heavy prosthetics, and he wasn't given any material to act with anyway. They might as well have put a stuntman in there and had bargain-basement VA talent record the dialogue for processing.
Yeah, I love Christopher Eccleston and I had no idea that's who Malekith was until the credits.
That said, I didn't mind how thin he was as a character . . . I'm not sure why. But it didn't bother me nearly as much as Guy Pearce's villain in Iron Man 3. I mean, he had some motivation at least, but he really got on my nerves. Malekith really didn't bother me at all.
Realistically, a lot of these villains have been pretty terrible. That guy with the talking parrot from Iron Man 2? . . .Whatever that thing was from Hulk? The Red Skull, despite being iconic, didn't quite come alive in Captain America. Even the best of these films, the Avengers, had villains whom we never even got a name or motivation for. They just regenerated endlessly out of a portal while the various Avengers beat them up. Unfortunately, many of these films have worked much better as character showcases than they have as actual stories.
I think they should sing. They're Disney villains now, after all. Imagine how much better this film would be if Eccelston and his buddy there broke out into a song and dance routine right before attacking Asgard.
Let's get down to business
To defeat Asgard
We have lasers and grenades
So it won't be hard
First of all, there was no fridging in this film, full stop. Even beyond passing the Bechdel Test (a truly horrible measuring stick in and of itself), the film was very good at conveying multiple different kinds of strong women (yes, even Jane).
Second, re: Malekith himself -- supposedly this is why the director got fired; there's apparently 20m of Malekith backstory on the cutting room floor which he wanted in to flesh that out and Marvel had cut to get the film down in time. Maybe we'll see it on a DVD at some point. But yes, horribly underdeveloped where he is right now...
Eccelston is always left on the cutting room floor sadly.
I didn't really mind the lack of Malekith development. He was just the reason to get the other characters together or into conflict. That said, they could have made him more interesting, but anything too much would have distracted from the more interesting aspects of the film. (I can't believe it was less than 2 hours long ... didn't think they made movies that short nowadays).
I see what you mean about Loki just abandoning his revenge mid-plot, though. But it's not really clear as to the timing (and was he really injured? Or was it all an illusion?). And he did kill the one guy, perhaps he felt revenge was dealt.
ETA: About women in the film - I know people have complained (perhaps not on this thread) that Jane didn't do much here, but I love the fact that she's a scientist (and helps save the day at the end). But one thing I really liked about the film (and the first one) is that there's a scene with a shirtless guy for the sole reason of there being a shirtless guy. And there's no equivalent scene of a half-naked lady for the sole purpose of it. The women we do see are warriors, queens, scientists ... or political science interns, ha ha. As a woman I've seen so many films with Manly Explosions and Dudes Fighting Manly-like and half-naked female sex objects draped around them. It's nice to see a film with Explosions and Danger and Men with Emotions and Cool Weapons and Men as Things to Drool Over and Women Who Rock.
Although I really don't think women should slap men if they're mad at them. (Well, I agree with Jane slapping Loki. He had it coming.) I hate that this is used for comedic effect between couples on tv and movies so much.
Even granting that it contained strong women, what exactly do you call killing off the main character's mother in an attempt to motivate him and Loki (and then promptly ignoring her death as soon as the movie had anything else to think about)? That's what putting a woman in a refrigerator is: killing a female character as a cheap plot device. usually a motivating tragedy, in a male hero's story. How could this possibly not qualify?
A film can be good, or have positive female characters, and still fridge a woman. You can even make the case that the death of a supporting character who happens to be female doesn't have to be an inherently bad thing. But it's still what it is. And given the overall laziness of the script, I'm not really inclined to cut it much slack as anything other than another thoughtless resort to the trope.
Agree to disagree I guess? Because I thought it in no way altered the main character's (Thor) motivations, only the secondary antagonist's (Loki). I think it had intensely huge ramifications on the rest of the plot and was not forgotten (leading to much of Odin's reactions), I don't think Frigga gave up without a fight and was therefore not "fridged" and I thought the funeral scene basically was one of the highest points the movie ever reached.
Thor was going to basically go do what he proposed anyways because he was in love with Jane, Frigga or no Frigga. Her death only gave Loki motivation to help him.
EDIT: I wrote Freya a lot instead of Frigga...
As much as I hate musicals as the abominations they are...that is one catchy theme.
I'm sort of on the line on this and tending to side with DP. If we're going to harp on lousy females, helpless Natalie and her annoying-as-**** neurotic friend are the ones to attack, not the Frigs. Frigga was actually cool and I'm pretty sure most people watching the movie watching the movie didn't expect her to turn into a sudden badass, not just because she fought with the baddies but because she played a classic Odysseus stunt fooling them. What's better than a brawny hero? A clever one. And that's what Frigga was.
Ok yeah she died so Loki would help Thor for once. But that's just it -- this is not your average "woman in a refrigerator" stunt. First, the guy was a villain, not a hero. Second, I saw it more as the Kenobi-death scenario. She was his mentor, not lady friend he had the hots for.
Agreed. Frigga was (forgive the pun) friggin' awesome and badass. I wouldn't classify her as "woman in a refrigerator" trope.
I'm pissed off that we missed the 5:00 show last night and had to waste more money on the evening showing. I didn't hate the movie, but for no other reason than the fact that my fiancee is a Thor nut, I can't see buying the Blu-Ray. I left the theater feeling ripped off...not eviscerated, but...well, you know.
What is that an acronym for...?
I agree, the chitauri never showed any reason for attacking, or even why they had dealings with Loki. Marvel creates heroes and characters with depth, but seems to discard when it comes to films...
The original version of Loke did not have any real depth he was evil because he was evil. The movies gave him much more motivation than that - Thor: inferiority complex + daddy issues; Avengers: continues from Thor + madness from having seen to much; Thor Dark World: all the former issues and he seems to be a bit more sane
It's a real shame that Rene Russo is only given more screen time so that the audience feels it more when the inevitable happens. Jane Foster as a character seems to lose some of her motivation and drive the minute Thor shows up, but it's debatable.
Thor should date someone who doesn't faint so much. Just sayin'.