Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Steve Carell Redefined His Career By Surprising Everyone in 'Foxcatcher' Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Watch: Ellar Coltrane on the 'Brutal' Experience of Watching 'Boyhood' After Living It Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Mortem Tyldum Explains Why Alan Turing Was the Right Subject For His First English-Language Film Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Why Richard Linklater’s ‘Boyhood’ is a Great, Unexpected Awards Season Frontrunner Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 
Watch: Patricia Arquette on Stripping Away Ego to Get to the Heart of 'Boyhood' 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived 'Whiplash' Breakout Miles Teller Has Officially Arrived Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Michael Keaton Dug Deep to Deliver the Best Performance of His Career in 'Birdman' Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Mark Ruffalo Explains Why Dave Schultz Was One of the Most Complex Characters He's Ever Played Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Keira Knightley on 'The Imitation Game' and Why Awards Matter Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Katherine Waterston On the Good and Bad of Working With Paul Thomas Anderson Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Emma Stone Proved She Can Do It All in 2014 Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Jon Stewart is Off to a Strong Start with Directorial Debut 'Rosewater' Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Awards Spotlight: Don't Be Surprised When J.K. Simmons Takes Home Oscar Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Jessica Chastain Proved She's a Total Chameleon in 2014 Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Laura Poitras on 'CITIZENFOUR,' The Most Dangerous Work She's Ever Done Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Jake Gyllenhaal On Doing Very Bad Things in 'Nightcrawler' Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Channing Tatum Explains Why It Took Him Eight Years to Have the ‘Balls’ for ‘Foxcatcher’ Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Ethan Hawke Didn't Know That Richard Linklater Would Bring 'Boyhood' Home So Well Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie Jack O'Connell Explains What It’s Like to Work For Angelina Jolie 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey 'Red Army' Director Gabe Polsky Reveals the Story of Soviet Hockey How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season How Felicity Jones is Getting Noticed This Awards Season Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' Edward Norton Goes Full-Blown For Alejandro González Iñárritu in 'Birdman' How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking How Eddie Redmayne Transformed His Body and Mind to Become Stephen Hawking Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Oscar Isaac Explains How 'A Most Violent Year' Fits With His Other Roles Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh Timothy Spall Almost Went Mad to Play 'Mr. Turner' For Mike Leigh 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film 'Gone Girl' Composer Atticus Ross: How to Write a Score Without Seeing the Film How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake How to Play James Brown, By Chadwick Boseman: Study the Man, Listen to Drake Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Chris Rock on Why Making 'Top Five' Was a No-Brainer Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Steve James and Chaz Ebert Tackled 'Life Itself' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' Bennett Miller Explains Why He Had to Make 'Foxcatcher' How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Do You Roll Six Movies Into One? 'Wild Tales' Director Damian Szifron Explains How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' How Rosario Dawson Stole the Show From Chris Rock in 'Top Five' Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alan Hicks: From Drummer-Surfer to Oscar-Shortlist Filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Alejandro González Iñárritu: 'Birdman' Could Have Been 'so wrong' Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable Amir Bar-Lev Likes to Make People a Little Uncomfortable

Does the "Thor" Ending Hurt or Help Your Anticipation of "The Avengers"?

By Christopher Campbell | Spout May 9, 2011 at 5:43AM

The "Avengers" film franchise may not really be the equivalent of a Ponzi scheme, as A.O. Scott considers it, because the primary audience for "Thor" is also the primary audience for "Captain America" and "The Avengers" and so on anyway. They don't need the chain-linking of plot through each installment as reason to see the next. If anything many fans are more annoyed with the overlaying schematics of these movies, and it would even be a deterrent if this audience wasn't so completist in their consumption of comic and blockbuster culture.
7

The "Avengers" film franchise may not really be the equivalent of a Ponzi scheme, as A.O. Scott considers it, because the primary audience for "Thor" is also the primary audience for "Captain America" and "The Avengers" and so on anyway. They don't need the chain-linking of plot through each installment as reason to see the next. If anything many fans are more annoyed with the overlaying schematics of these movies, and it would even be a deterrent if this audience wasn't so completist in their consumption of comic and blockbuster culture.

As the most recent and most co-dependently dissatisfying of "Avengers" episodes yet, "Thor" should be the greatest harbinger of doom for next summer's culminating tentpole. The main offense is the film's ending. Not just its frustrating (and figuratively "ugly," according The Playlist's Kevin Jagernauth) post-credits sequence, but the climax of the film itself. Devin Faraci of Badass Digest points out how the story concludes incorrectly:

Leaving Thor in Asgard at the end of the movie represents a return to the status quo from the beginning of the movie, which is always the worst place for a story to go. While Thor has seemingly learned humility (or so we’re told – there’s very little action in the film to truly show this), he’s back at his father’s side, the heir to the throne again. Returning Thor to Asgard is only a satisfying ending if he ascends to the throne, but the mythology of the character won’t allow that. So Thor’s back to being a prince, just one with a better attitude. Loki being exposed and exiled isn’t that big of a change, especially as this film isn’t called Loki; everybody walking into the film knew he would go bad since the character is historically a foe of Thor.


I agree "Thor" would have made more sense with the title character returning to or, as Faraci would prefer, stranded on Earth. Not just for how it would work narratively as an independent entity. But because it completely feels like an ending serviced to the scheme of the franchise rather than a logical direction for the story. Faraci acknowledges that "'Thor' exists only as an introduction to the character for "Marvel's The Avengers," but he misses the likely reason for it to end as it does for the purposes of the series. My guess is that Thor only finds a way back to Earth and joins the Avengers team because S.H.I.E.L.D. (and Captain America and Iron Man) requires his help in defeating Loki, who we know -- confirmed by the post-credits teaser -- is the big baddie of the later movie.

To respond to Faraci's statement that "If even a minute of screen time is wasted on getting Thor from Asgard to Earth in "Marvel’s The Avengers" it’s a minute too much," I expect that much of the first act of "The Avengers" will indeed be wasted on devoted to such. I only agree that it's annoying because of "Thor"'s forced conformity to this course.

While I'm on the subject of both the "Thor" ending and my frustration with the whole "Avengers" enterprise, I'd like to branch out to one of the reasons I hate the long process of film production news (and rumor), as well. When i Googled the terms "Thor ending" many results that came up had a variation of the headline "Thor Ending Changed For Avengers," none of which turn out to involve anything relative to what "Thor" actually contains. All based on a story originally posted to IESB.net, which no longer exists, these posts claimed that the film was initially intended to be entirely set on Asgard but that Thor comes to Earth and becomes his alter-ego Donald Blake in the end in order to fit a set up for "The Avengers." They also reported that director Kenneth Branagh had an acting role in the movie.

Follow Spout on Twitter (@Spout) and be a fan on Facebook
Follow Christopher Campbell on Twitter (@thefilmcynic)

This article is related to: Comic Book Movies, Sequels






Check out Indiewire on LockerDome on LockerDome



Awards Season Spotlight

Contender Conversations

Indiewire celebrates the best and brightest from Independent film, Hollywood, and foreign cinema.

More