Why Hulk is a Big Weenie and Loki Isn’t

Loki, God of Mischief, once had a very bad day with the Hulk (“Puny God”), way back in the MCU’s 1st Avengers film. This is when our favorite anti-villain was the Big Bad. He’s come a long way since then.  We saw, even as late as Thor: Ragnarok, that he’s still terrified of the Hulk, but seemingly more nervous about being melted by the Grandmaster. So when the Grandmaster told him to sit and watch his Gladiatorial Games, he sat, even though all the color drained from his skin and he fidgeted unconsciously. Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe knew where his discomfort arose, and smiled inside, remembering Tony Stark’s one-up line to Loki’s Chitauri Army boasting (“We have a Hulk”).

It’s not everyday a god gets beaten to a pulp. In Ragnarok, we see he didn’t forget it.

So it came as a nice call back when Loki joined up with his brother Thor and the Revengers, gloating to Thanos, “We have a Hulk.” It’s a great moment that should have paid off in Thanos getting smushed into gravy. Except it didn’t work that way.

SPOILERS AHEAD FOR AVENGERS INFINITY WAR

Loki had one small moment to feel excited about being on the same side as his brother, but it didn’t last long. Thanos smashed up the Hulk himself, with no weapons sans fists and attitude. Thanos clearly was never in danger, and as the Maw said, “Let him have his fun.” Loki paid for that mistake a few moments and one miscalculation later (“No more regenerations.”) Sadly, I suspect this is one death that’s going to stick, whatever else happens with the Snap-apocalypse.

Loki does stand up to Thanos, gets over his fear of the Hulk, and dies a hero’s death (he’d be headed to Valhalla if there were any sober, working Valkyrie left). Loki, you are already missed.

So what’s the deal with the Hulk? Once he gets the snot kicked out of him on the Asguardian ship, he’s flung to Earth, and spends the rest of the movie in hiding. Hulk won’t come out, no matter how much Bruce Banner begs, pleads, demands, or hits himself trying to get angry. The Green Guy had enough of Thanos and his ilk and is…what…afraid? Why is he afraid now? He’s been smacked around before, as recently as on Asguard in the Ragnarok. But that was against some kind of immortal giant. Thanos is his own size. I think it comes as a huge shock to Hulk that he could be flung around like a rag doll, the way he’s used to doing the flinging. So, yeah, he’s afraid.

Which is an interesting point. Loki, like his brother Thor, was thousands of years old.  He was mature enough to legitimately grow out of his Hulk fear. But Hulk is basically a toddler. Put together all Hulk’s time on the mortal plane and it equals not much. Maybe two years on Sakaar, plus a little time here and there on Earth, when Banner wasn’t trying to keep him bottled up.

He’s a child. A big green whiny baby. It’s not even his fault.

This isn’t to denigrate Hulk’s Avenger status. But it seems he needs to have his sulk and work through it. After all, it wasn’t until his time on Sakaar that he really learned how to talk, or play nice with others. And he probably HATES Banner, who will be the reason for Hulk’s death one day (due to old age), and who only lets him out when there’s someone to be smashed.

In essence, Loki got to have a mature arc at the end of his millennial life. He got over his Hulk fear and sacrificed himself for the good team. Hulk is still just too young to understand much of anything — plus, rage makes it hard to think straight. He might need to take some time on Earth (the place he said everyone “hates him”) as himself and do a walkabout, smell some flowers, have a picnic with Black Widow…basically, Banner needs to let the Hulk out of his cage. The two need to come to terms with their shared life.

Once this happens, Banner can leave the Hulkbuster suit behind and let his rage monster do his thing. I don’t see any other solution. And while I feel bad for the Hulk to be so afraid, I feel worse for Loki and for ourselves.

RIP, Adopted Odinson, God of Mischief.

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Make a Hulkbuster Lego set, or show off your own Loki attire:

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Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Content Director, and Managing Officer. RunPee Jilly likes sci fi movies, fantasy films, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder.

MCU Movie Rewatch – Thor 2: The Dark World

I was surprised at how easy Thor 2 was to re-watch. I remember it as “the boring installment.” It’s still not exciting on the level of the top tier of movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Avengers, Civil War, Black Panther and Thor’s own 3 – Ragnarok). Making myself even more clear, The Dark World is still a bottom-tier MCU movie…it’s just not as excruciating as I recall it being. It’s really pretty (with a sort of Lord of the Rings “lite” essence), there’s a a lot more plot and humor than I remembered, and the story hangs together pretty well.

So it’s worth watching for more than just pretty guys in capes! And if you are doing a re-watch to get ready for the Infinity Wars (part 1) coming up April 27th, 2018, The Dark World is kind of unmissable. Want to know where the Infinity Gems are? This one’s crucial. Making a guess that we’ll see The Collector again? Again, you have to catch this one. You’ll learn more about the Aether (the singular, non-solid Infinity Gem) than any other “stone” in the series.

Another thing that stood in hindsight: at this point in the MCU the directors clearly haven’t figured out just how FUNNY Chris Hemsworth is. All the humor goes to Loki and Darcy in The Dark World. Which is a pity — we get to see Hemsworth’s wonderful comedic timing in the ensemble pieces, one-shot webisodes, and Thor: Ragnarok. I wish they could go back in time (Dr. Strange could help out) and tweak Thor 1 and 2 for more comedic beats and a lighter tone.

Loki stands out here, as he does in any scene that he promptly steals. Eric Selvig put in a lovely turn (he got some of the funny as well), and this seems to be the last we see of Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster, or Darcy (or her intern).

I’ve heard Portman didn’t like working on Marvel films, so writing her out is probably for the best, and this frees up Thor to date Lady Sif, or Valkyrie, or perhaps Captain Marvel herself. Hey, why not even The Grandmaster, with whom, last we heard, is now bunking with Thor’s old housemate, Darryl.

What’s the takeaway for The Dark World? The Dark Elves aren’t important to the grand sweep of the Infinity Stone Saga. Jane and Darcy don’t matter. Erik still has a place on the science team (and here we find out he thinks better without his pants on). Loki both can and can’t be trusted. Thor Odinson has extremely dysfunctional family issues. And the Aether is (safely?) in the storerooms of The Collector. That’s it.

Skip this film if you’re in a hurry and you’ll be fine with that bit of info, unless you’re fascinated by the Infinity Stones/intrigued by the unusual form the Aether takes (which looks like a red “Obscurial”, a la Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them).

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Content Director, and Managing Officer. RunPee Jilly likes sci fi movies, fantasy films, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder.

Movie Review: Thor 3 – Ragnorak (Jilly’s POV)

Thor 3, AKA Ragnarok, was incredibly engaging and hard to tear my eyes from. It’s now in my top tier of MCU movies, beaten only by the first Guardians of the Galaxy. Hemsworth’s slightly dim but mighty character is a joy, from his 4th wall-breaking open, to the mid-credit end, and the man’s got surprisingly perfect comedic timing. Who knew? Turns out Hemsworth really can carry a movie on his muscular back, with more than raw beauty to show for it.

I wasn’t expecting too much going in, but admittedly the bar was so low with Thor 1 and 2 (especially 2). The director used Thor wisely in his 3rd, and presumably final, solo film. Although it’s essentially a buddy movie about Hulk, too. Just like Captain America 3: Civil War is basically an Avengers ensemble movie, right? It works.

Along these lines, I have a few alternate titles for Thor: Ragnarok that I think would work even better (unless you are a huge Norse Mythology fan). List whichever you prefer in the comments section:

  • Thor: God of Hammers
  • Thor: Gladiator Edition
  • Thor: The Funny One
  • Revengers (like the Avengers, with added dysfunction)
  • Hulk 2
  • Thor and Hulk: Road Trip to the Devil’s Anus

What’s unusual about this film are the villains. They aren’t bland meanies, like most superhero supervillans; they’re actually okay.  Damning with faint praise, I know. Cate Blanchett does a decent job with what she’s given (I sense there were more scenes left on the editing floor). The Ragnarok fire demon was fine – he wasn’t intended to be more than a burning lava monster, from cold open to the unusual climax. And Golblum isn’t even a “bad” guy — he’s just an amiable meglomaniac with a harem and God Complex. He reminded me of The Collector. I hope we see them both again.

I do feel bad for Hela…there could have been a lot more depth to her arc. I guess she needed to get in line for scene time after Loki and Odin and Heimdall (who, thankfully, had something to do this time around). I’d be super happy with a Heimdall movie, for reals. The man was wasted, although the teaser suggests more to come. Saying anything more would enter spoiler territory, so let’s just move along.

Finally, Loki was appropriately used, and is more understandable — this director “got” what the God Of Mischief is about. Loki is like the “Scorpion” in the parable with the fox (Google it) — it’s true to his nature to sting. Yet he does try (when it suits hims, natch) to be a hero. He wants to be better, and if you recall from the first Thor movie, both brothers had some moral growing to do. With Thanos mad at him, we can guess which side he’ll lean on now. Loki has always been a scene stealer, as well as a PITA to boot, but here I’m fully onboard with his character. He can be a positive force, if he’s just accepted and understood — that’s become super clear, finally, in Ragnarok.

I’m really stingy with my A grades, and the last time I gave out a full A+ was the 2017 space cruise ship flick Passengers. Strangely enough, my favorite MCU film is still the original Guardians of the Galaxy. The blue and purple villains were underwhelming though, and I can only give GoTG a A- grade in good conscience. (I’ll link to that article when I write it.)

But, we’re still talking about Thor here, and Thor 3 manages to pull a win from their previously low Marvel tier buttocks.

And yes, I rank Marvel movies by tier: Great, Good, Okay, and Fetid…and Thor’s been scraping the bottom in his stand-alones,  til now. I credit the director — who also played the delightful Rockman — for understanding what Thor should be used for, along with Hemsworth for embracing his slightly slow but funny godhood (“Because that is what heroes do!”), Ruffalo for being freaking awesome in his dual roles, and for the writers giving us something happy in these dark times…YES. Thank you for the color, the fun, and for Goldblum. He’s the perfect weirdo to be the Grandmaster, and I hear he smartly improvised most of his lines, playing himself, as usual. Go Goldblum, go.

And now I’ve got The Immigrant Song, by Led Zepplin, stuck in m head. It’s a good choice, so that’s okay by me. The reprise was certainly welcome, and the audience clapped at it. I was a happy movie goer that day, and saw it this three more times in the cinema later. Watch it in the theater, and watch it again on DVD.

Movie Grade: A+

Want more? Read Dan’s review of Thor: Ragnarok

And our Thor 2 – The Dark World Rewatch Review

Or the Complete Compilation of Thor 3’s Deleted, Bonus, and Blooper Scenes

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Content Director, and Managing Officer. RunPee Jilly likes sci fi movies, fantasy films, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder.