Feb 11, 2012

Superhero Double Bill: Thor and Captain America [2011]

After seeing the SuperBowl trailer of Avengers, I got interested in the movie, so I decided to check out the two movies I didn't get to see last year in order to welcome Avengers with open arms and good knowledge of the characters and story.

What I can say about both movies is that they are both entertaining and clearly popcorn movies, without serious story or character development (the closest to that was Loki, but more on him later). It was fun to watch, and I was surprised to notice how easily I relaxed and just enjoyed myself- I also felt like my mind was somehow shrunken and all I could say was Cool, wow or Awesome- call it the Superhero effect!

Overall, I do feel Thor was much better than Captain America, and I am now excited to see The Avengers.

First up to watch was


Directed by Kenneth Branagh (surprisingly, considering his classic and Shakespeare background) and with a script penned by Ashley Miller, Zach Stentz and Don Payne, the story is based on the comic books about Thor, the god of thunder. The powerful, but arrogant Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is cast out of the fantastic realm of Asgard by his father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and sent to live amongst humans on Earth, after acting foolishly. His younger brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) takes advantage of the situation and through lies and devious actions, he becomes the king of Asgard. The story follows not only the growth in character of Thor (in a too-fast paced development of it), but also Loki, who casts aside his insecurities and his jealousy of his brother for the moment and sets out to do greater things.

Maybe it was the fact that I have a soft spot for Brits or maybe because I usually find more interesting the villains of a story, but for me, Loki was superior in every way- his character was stronger and more fascinating, but I think it was Tom Hiddleston who made it stand out. I could really see and understand the changes he was going through, and most importantly, I empathised and still felt the connection with Loki, although he was set out to be a villain. His character was approachable, likeable and although I didn't approve of his actions, especially when it came to his brother, I knew where he was coming from. Also, his powers are very cool- I would have shape-shifting, astral projection, telepathy and teleportation over Thor's magic hammer anytime. I love Hiddleston and I can't wait to see him in Avengers.

Chris Hemsworth definitely had the look and the attitude of Thor, but I wasn't impressed or touched by his performance. I don't think Natalie Portman was right for the job and maybe it was just me, but I felt she over-acted, if that is a word, in most of the scenes. Kat Dennings was great and she brought a much needed fun factor to the movie, and everything Stellan Skarsgard does is good and on the mark, so I was convinced.

As any superhero movie, I had plenty of special effects and fight scenes to sink my teeth in and I wasn't dissapointed. They were visually attractive and dynamic and I was surprised to see how good the directing was, considering Branagh's background, but he did something different, yet very beautiful.

For a popcorn movie, it's one of the best I've seen in a long time and I think you will enjoy it, as well!

Second in line was

Captain America

Directed by Joe Johnston, with a script by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, Captain America: The First Avenger tells the story of Steve Rogers, a man who, after being deemed unfit for military service, volunteers for a top secret research project that turns him into the Captain, a superhero dedicated to defending the USA's ideals.

This one doesn't have too much going for it, but I do have to applaud the casting. Chris Evans is perfect as The First Avenger, and I love Hayley Atwell much more than Natalie Portman, as a character and an actress. Other great supporting roles are filled by people like Stanley Tucci (this man is in almost every big movie in Hollywood every year, but doesn't get half the credit he deserves), Sebastian Stan (as the sidekick), Tommy Lee Jones, Dominic Cooper and, of course, Hugo Weaving, as the main villain, Red Skull.

I'm not saying it is a bad movie or that it isn't entertaining, it's just not as good as the other Marvel movies. Maybe it's the over the top action sequences and fights, maybe it's the clicheeic and predictable script and dialogue, or just the usual combination of superhero elements that the viewer is already getting tired of. Either way, I wasn't that impressed.

I do think that Captain America will get more interesting in Avengers, because of the team dynamic and it's superior director, screenplay and so on, that's why I am willing to give it a shot.

Like I said before, Thor beats Captain America by a mile in a superhero duel, but I can't wait to see all of the Avengers on screen in May- now that's a Superhero/Popcorn movie!

Did you see these two movies? Which one did you enjoy most? Let me know in the comments!


  1. Agreed, I like Thor much more too. Chris Evans was very good as the Cap but Hemsworth and the script of Thor had me chuckling lots!

  2. Great observations! I also liked Thor more than CA. I wish they made separate movie about Black Widow from Iron Man 2.

  3. Glad you watched both of these. I really enjoyed them both myself, but, yes, I think Thor was better as far as characters are concerned. Of course, that's to be expected with Branagh.

  4. Well, I guess I'm going to be the first to go the other way. I liked both films, but preferred Captain America over Thor, mostly because of the negatives you mentioned in your post. Other than Hiddleston it felt like everybody else got only so-so roles and writing in Thor.

    What I liked about Captain America was precisely that he was a hero, unlike most super"hero" movies that have been made in the last few years.

    I am also looking forward to the Avengers movie, not just because we will get to see the characters all together, but also to see what Joss Whedon can do with the material.

  5. @Pete: Yeah, Thor had me chuckling as well, in some points!
    @Sati: I'm not a big Scarlet Johannson fan, or of the Black Widow, but I would give it a shot, why not?
    @T: Brannagh brought a new perspective and much more beautiful visuals and class to it, I was very surprised to see him direct a superhero movie in the first place!
    @Chip: I agree, the Thor writing wasn't that powerful, but it compensated in other parts. As for Captain America, I did like the story of how he got there and the fact that he is a good man to begin with, but other aspects weren't that strong, it felt too heroic to me! Thanks for the comment!

  6. I got to see Captain America, but not Thor (a fact I really need to change before the Avengers come out), but I've heard so much love for Loki! Captain America I found entertaining enough, but it's a good thing the Cap is going to have Thor, Iron Man and the Hulk to back him up in the Avengers, otherwise it could be really uninteresting!
    Great write ups :)

  7. I thought Capt. America was great! So was thor bt i seemed to b catching myself watching CA more! Its probably the fact that he doesnt have a big hammer that shoots lightning or a robotic suite that makes him fly n shoot missles.hes jus a humble and an extraordinary man thatll take on ANY villian in any century lol.plus my favorite part of history was ww2 so that set it off! Better movie because he didnt swing a hammer or jump into a suite all movie long!!