November 13, 2013

Women in Thor: The Dark World (Spoilers)

Thor: The Dark World opened last weekend and though I've only seen it once, I think I like it more than Thor. The overall design of the production was gorgeous, and I loved that it felt more like a space fantasy than a superhero action film. While I'll post a full review later this week at another site, I did want to carve out space here to discuss the badass women featured in the film. A couple of them are physically badass, one is funny and loyal, and one is ridiculously smart. Flaws and all, it was a joy to see a range of women depicted in the film - they were not all cut from the same "strong female character" cardboard.

Beware spoilers for Thor: The Dark World after the first image.

Frigga. I'm starting with her because she got to me on a few levels. We could connect with her as a mother, a loving wife, and a warrior/protector. I admired her in all cases, and Rene Russo couldn't have been more awesome (okay, not true, I noticed her breathing after she was stabbed). She didn't hesitate to accept Jane and to put her life on the line for her kingdom. She possesses an insane amount of bravery.

Darcy. Kat Dennings rocks as Jane's funny assistant. She's more than comedic relief though; she's a loyal friend who pushes Jane into action and risks her own neck for the mission. And at the end of the movie, she's the one sweeping intern boy off his feet for a kiss, not the other way around. I like that take charge attitude.

Sif. Man, this character did not get enough to do. Jaimie Alexander is great in the role as the warrior, and I selfishly wish she would have had more scenes. The story didn't focus much on her and the Warriors Three though, and they didn't have a ton of screen time. She kicked ass in what we did see of her, and I like that we got a glimpse of her softer side. Her implied jealousy of Jane worked okay but was possibly a hair overplayed. Not by much though.

Jane Foster. I've seen several people express disappointment in Jane and her depression over Thor being gone. I've even seen comparisons to Bella Swan. To that I say, ease the frak up. Most of us have experienced heartbreak and longing for someone hasn't returned to us - it can be miserable. She's allowed to have feelings for crying out loud; it doesn't automatically make her weak. Also, she wasn't alone in her sadness. Thor wasn't exactly jovial either. The only point I'll give leniency on is that is has been two years. Two years of moping can read as a touch excessive - but again, she wasn't the only one in that boat. If you're going to call her Bella, call Thor Bella as well.

Additionally, for all we know, she could have been doing better until the battle of New York - that probably plastered Thor's face all over media and brought up buckets of sad feelings. Granted, even that was over a year ago.

Now that I've justified her having emotions, let's focus on her brain. She might not be able to jump into battle in the same way as Frigga and Sif, but she was strong enough to not be killed by the Aether and she saved Earth and all the realms with her intelligence. She had help from those around her, especially Selvig, but she ran the show and did so under pressure that those of us who haven't had to save the planet can't imagine.

As far as Natalie Portman's acting? The word meh summarizes my feeling on that subject.

Overall, not such a bad group. I'd call it forward progress. What did you think of the women in Thor?


  1. I JUST got home from seeing it, and I think the only thing I would really like to see differently is a scene with Jane taking agency of the decision to go meet what's-his-creepy-elf-name and use the Aether to trap him. While I know that's the decision she would have made for herself, it felt a bit like Thor was just pulling her along instead of partnering her.

    Other then that minor discomfort, I really liked it - maybe more then the first one. The cameos were hilarious, Frigga was amazing; I laughed, I cried, I stayed till the very, very end. Unlike a lot of people. :)

    I'm not a Loki fangirl, but Tom Hiddleston is brilliant - I can't wait for the next installment!

    1. You make a great point about Jane!
      And I agree about Loki. I like him and Hiddleston, but I wasn't super crazy for him until I saw The Dark World. He's pretty awesome.

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