To the degree that there's anything truly risky about the making of a movie in the most currently-popular genre in the world, by the most well-regarded production company in said genre, in a summer set to be dominated by said genre, that was teased at the climax of one of the most widely-watched films of 2010 ... Thor represents the biggest risk yet taken by the fledgling Marvel Studios as part of their unprecedented multi-film Avengers project.
While The Hulk is a character everybody knows, Captain America is rather self-explanatory and Iron Man is (now) a household name at least to moviegoers, The Mighty Thor is the big question mark - a potentially deadly (in boxoffice terms, anyway) combination of a character that most people are completely unaware of, with easily the most absurdly strange backstory of any comic book superhero yet filmed. Forget one-off "reality but" tweaks like Gamma Radiation or mechanized-armor - Thor starts from the epic-sized premise that the gods, trolls, frost giants and other creatures of ancient Norse mythology really existed and that one of them - hammer-wielding thunder god Thor - has returned to Earth to act as a superhero. And then things get weird.
With such an out-there concept to sell - especially to a mainstream audience showing signs of fatigue with mind-bending geek epics - it's unsurprising that Thor's trailer is already making the rounds. It's a concept trailer - a broad sketch of the premise, establishing glimpses of the cast and heavy displays of action and effects to familiarize audiences with the film's power metal album cover visual aesthetic. It's purty.
But what's that, you say? You'd like to know what's actually going on there? Well, here's some play-by-play:
00:07 Thunder and lightning. Probably gonna see a lot of that.
00:10 Mobile military installation. Someone's being interrogated. "Oh gawd, is this another terrorism movie?"
00:15 - 00:25 Very large, very blonde man (presumably the guy in the chair) beating the crap out of doctors and some type of soldiers. According to whoever's asking the questions, this is impressive.
00:26 "Hey, isn't he from Iron Man?" That's Clark Gregg - hardworking character actor and director of the underrated Choke - as Agent Coulson, S.H.I.E.L.D. operative and luckiest guy in the Marvel Movieverse. After impressing in what amounted to a minor part in Iron Man, he's now found himself cast in every subsequent Avengers-related film. He was last seen discovering a weird hammer-like object in a crater in the New Mexico des- hey, wait a sec ...
00:32 Leaping double-kick. Bad. Ass. If the trailer is doing its job, now you want to know who this is as much as the secret agent guy does.
00:40 Yup. That's Thor, alright. Aussie actor Chris Hemsworth has the part. They've gone with the beard/Jesus-hair look - good choice, I'd say. The musical chord here says "whoever this is, he's a big deal."