I went into Endgame with pretty mixed expectations and overall I enjoyed it, enough that I feel I'm back in the fandom (which hasn't really been the case since Civil War). There's a lot to say about the various parts of the movie and all the parts I liked but I find my mind stuck on the story line that disappointed me the most. So, in the hopes of exorcising these thoughts and moving on to what I love instead, here are my feels about Thor.
I'm actually going to start before Endgame and go back to Thor's solo movies. I enjoyed them all in various ways, but Thor's movies have always been towards the bottom of my favourite solo films from the original Avengers. The thing is, the first two Thor movies had that high fantasy element to it that I just wasn't feeling very much? I remember leaving Thor 1 and telling my friend "for the first time, probably ever, I feel that movie should have had *less* aliens." The parts on earth with Jane and Darcy were great and funny and fun, and I enjoyed the idea of this spoiled, loud, jock learning to become a noble, loud, jock. I may not have loved the contents of the first two Thor movies as much as other MCU movies, but I did love Thor: the noble warrior.
Then Thor Ragnarok happened and while I probably enjoyed my time in the theatre more than I did with the first two Thor movies, I didn't really leave it happy. I know a lot of people love Ragnarok and think it's the best. If all the Thor movies had been like that it'd be fine, buut they weren't. The previous Thor movies, and Thor himself, had been funny, but it was always more of a fish-out-water kind of humour. Where because Thor was this noble warrior showing up in places where that's not expected it was situationally funny. But then Ragnarok happened and it opens on him giving a more traditionally funny monologue and suddenly he's more jokey jock who can kick ass than the noble warrior I was used to. It felt like Thor got a personality implant and he didn't really feel like my noble warrior anymore.
I actually felt that Infinity War did a good job of letting Thor be the newer Ragnarok!Thor and funny, while still respecting who he was in all the other movies Thor was in. Thor and the Guardians carried the majority of the humour in that movie but Thor was also being a noble warrior fighting for his people. I left that movie really looking forward to his story line in Endgame because with Stormbreaker and the dedication he took to get it, I felt Thor was really at the next level at the end of that movie. I wanted to see how that would continue on in Endgame.
Which... it obviously didn't (past the time jump forward). Thisissirius has a thread on twitter about how Mjolnir was originally written as a nod to Excalibur and that is something I deeply feel too. I wanted Thor to be Arthur, to have continued in his character growth and become the king Asguard needed. And I don't think that idea had to be put aside for Thor to have the breakdown that they shorthanded in the movie via booze and a fat suit. Like, I don't think anyone mistook Steve or Natasha for being well adjusted, even without taking on such extreme characteristics. They could have had New Asguard be a ridiculous fortress that Thor kept building stronger and stronger because he wasn't going to let anything else hurt his people on his watch or something. Really anything that amplified the issues Thor was dealing with, without stripping him of his nobility, which I feel Endgame did (and they could have had different excuses why Thor couldn't wield the gauntlet, like knowing he'd try to undo too much to save more of Asguard, or building on the way he killed Thanos in the beginning, he might have been too ruthless/far reaching to their enemies).
A fat suit? Really? That's the level of humour they stooped to? I really don't want to go to the movies to have my body turned into the main punchline of a story arc, I get enough of that in the real world, thanks. I know some people felt a bit better about the story line because Thor didn't ~magically~ get thin once he got his act together but I feel like not giving into one tired stereotype, when they leaned so heavily on others, is setting the bar too low. I can't enjoy it and I couldn't even ignore it when they kept focusing on it. At the end when Thor is handing over the monarchy of Asguard to Valkyrie and they're shaking hands, instead of centering their handshake on screen, they centred Thor's belly. What even.
And we got alcoholic Thor before, like, Tony (I know they've implied it) or Carol? Not that I really trust them to handle a proper alcoholic story line in a movie.
I guess I'm just really sad that they spent a lot of time setting us up for a noble Thor, we got so close to it, and we ended up with... this instead (I have 0 faith in *Guardians* resolving Thor's issues well). *sigh*