I saw Thor this weekend and was rather surprised when I didn't find myself with two or three blog posts worth of material provoked by the film, as was getting to be the pattern of late. I thought it was okay, though the picture quality was visually dark. I'm not sure if that was an issue with the film itself, or the fault of the theatre's projection.
As Marvel movies go, I thought it was better than Iron Man 2, but not nearly as good as the first Iron Man. I'll give them credit for reducing the biggest fault of Iron Man 2 - the continuity porn. (Non-geeks - I'm not talking about actual pornography. That's what comic geeks use to refer to gratuitous references and cameos relating to other characters and stories that really have nothing to do with the main plot.) Iron Man 2 strained to make the Nick Fury and Black Widow storyline relevant to the main plot, and the cameo of the Captain America shield was incredibly clunky.
Fortunately, Thor only had two continuity porn moments. The first was the Hawkeye cameo, which was so poorly integrated and completely apropos of nothing that I'd almost be willing to wager it was scripted by an inept Marvel editor just before he declared a four-part arc be stretched out to eight-parts.
The second was the post-credits scene, featuring Nick Fury providing some set-up for The Avengers. Honestly, I'm not wild about the greater Marvel agenda of setting up this sort of cross-continuity. It works in the comics, but if Thor and Iron Man take place in the same continuities, that means that it would be entirely plausible to see Tony Stark take on the Norse gods from Thor in a future film.
Unpopular geek opinion, but I think this is kind of stupid. I like cross-continuity in my comics, but I do see the merit in one writer's position that it means "The best writer at the company is handcuffed by the worst writer." I think DC's taken the right approach so far by keeping their properties separate. The Nolan Batman movies are awesome because Nolan is allowed to run wild and create an entire world for Batman. I'd hate for some exec at DC to water that down just so Batman can gallivant with the Justice League in a future film. Can you honestly picture Superman or Green Lantern flying in to the Gotham City of The Dark Knight?
And that's how I feel about the Marvel slate. Sure, it seems like a cool experiment in the build-up, but let's see how those individual franchises continue after the grand crossover in The Avengers.
How do you feel? Are you on board with these crossovers or do you prefer your franchises remain "pure?"