Hulk vs. Thor
Hulk vs. Thor 2009
As you may or may not know, before Marvel Studios went on to make the first Iron Man film and start its path towards complete box office domination, they cut a deal with Lions Gate Films to make a large handful of animated films based on several different characters. This was a mini double feature produced towards the end of their run and the last ones that I have yet to review, though I do remember watching them around the time that they came out. It’s a title that makes sense on a surface level, one of the biggest things that any comic book fan comes around to at one point or another is the question “who would win in a fight?” and then proceeds to pit two characters up against each other in an imaginary battle. It’s also something that tends to happen every now and then within the comics themselves, so it makes sense that they would pit the Hulk up against two of the most powerful and popular Marvel heroes to see who would win. Today I’m taking a look at the fight between Hulk and Thor. Unfortunately, it’s not the battle royale that one might have expected, instead it’s a bit of a let down similar to the last big pay-per-view boxing event.
The general premise is that Loki teleports Banner from Midgard to Asgard in order to use the Hulk to kill Thor while the Allfather is in his Odinsleep, which is apparently a big deal since it’s named after him. Loki also has Enchantress with him and she is able to split the Hulk and Bruce Banner into two separate entities. Not only that, but she is able to give Loki complete control over the Hulk in a very virtual reality sort of way. The rest of it plays out more or less how one might expect it to. Hulk/Loki fights Thor, Hulk escapes control and goes on a rampage, Loki kills Bruce, Thor and Loki have to team up to retrieve Bruce from hell, Thor & Loki fight Hulk, Bruce joins with Hulk and gets sent back to Midgard. Okay, maybe not exactly how one might expect it to go, but there’s plenty of fighting with an overall plot to try and tie things together.
One of the first big issues with this film is that it was obviously made before the 2011 Thor film. That film helped set the bar for how both Thor and Loki should be portrayed with their somewhat Shakespearean dialogue combined in an odd way with a modern sensibility. Here, it’s much more sword and sorcery which feels quite bland by comparison. Loki comes off with the worst of it since he has essentially a one track mind throughout the entire run time of the movie: to kill Thor. There’s no sense of trickery or deceit aside from using the Hulk as a puppet, it’s pretty much a straightforward brute force plan that doesn’t seem much in line with the way Loki will be portrayed a mere two years later.
With a film title of “Hulk vs Thor” one might expect the fight(s) to be the highlight. Unfortunately the fights aren’t all that impressive even for an animated film. It generally boils down to a whole bunch of punching and flying across the screen with occasional lightning. There were a few confusing moments that relied on the viewer having a bit more intimate knowledge with either the Thor comic universe or Norse mythology, like when the goddess of the underworld Hela comes to take Thor, but changes into Enchantress who revives him with a kiss. At that point in the film Hela had not been introduced, and it seemed like it could have been some weird alternate personality of Enchantress’s. Even the entire concept of Odinsleep could have been explained bettter. As it was, it just seemed like an excuse to keep Odin out of the picture. Even the moments with Bruce in his afterlife dream with Betty Ross and a dream kid together seemed quite a bit out of the blue. There were just too many things packed into this forty-some minute movie that didn’t leave room for a satisfactory titular fight between Hulk and Thor, I will find out shortly if the fight with Wolverine holds up any better. Until next time, this has been Bubbawheat for Flights, Tights, and Movie Nights.