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Face-Off: Iron Man vs. Thor

3 years agoby: Paul Huffman
Last weeks Face Off was another close battle. Avengers took the win over Dark Knight Rises with a score of 16-15 thanks to you our readers. One wonders if the outcome would have been as close as it was had I waited until the new DKR trailer hit. We'll never know.

This week we're keeping the massive Avengers hype alive with a battle between what I find the two best build up films we've gotten so far in Iron Man vs. Thor. A great intro for both of these heroes filled with a great blend of action and humor. One featured a glorious comeback from an extremely gifted actor, one was pulled off by an unknown at the time. So which was the better movie? Well let's see.
Story
Tony Stark is now the CEO of a weapons manufacturing company created by his father, Stark Industries. On a business trip to Afghanistan during war time, Stark is ambushed and taken hostage by a terrorist group called Ten Rings. When a fellow prisoner saves his life by building an electromagnet into his chest, the two team up to build a super armored suit to aid in their escape. Well we all know, the sh*it worked, heroic activity ensues.
Thor is just your typical god who dreams of one day taking over the family...erm, business(?) from his father one day. But when sonny boy lets his arrogance get the best of him, putting said father in a sh*tty situation, he is banished to the worst possible place imaginable to learn a life lesson in humility: Earth. Redemption, romance, and betrayal to come.
Action
When the first version of the suit is finished and Stark escapes from imprisonment in holy sh*t fashion, we know the bad ass fun we're in for. From there Iron Man kicks his ass into gear and shows up back in Afghanistan to raise some hell and gets himself into an aerial chase with his own people for his efforts, I must say I geeked out. The final battle also did not disappoint.
Thor wasted little time showing us what he was best at. Damn if he didn't show up to that desolate planet with his posse and do everything under the sun but shove that hammer directly up Laufey's ass. He was no slouch without powers either, dude could throw down with the best of him with just his physique to back him up. Also, this films final battle I was a little more invested in because of the villain we had to work with. I'll get to that in about three seconds.
Villain
I love Jeff Bridges just as much as the next guy, but Obadiah Shane did not hit the right notes with me as a villain. Bridges' performances aside, the man did not have much depth to work with. Not his fault, and the villain did serve his purpose in the form of being a formidable enough villain in the long run.
I found myself rooting for Loki. Is that wrong of me? The dude didn't have his bout with arrogance like his brother did until the end when he lost his marbles. Let's take a look at what happened prior to the climax of the film. He asks himself why he's lower in his fathers favor than Thor, until he finds out his father isn't his father? The hell man? That hit home, I felt for the jealous bastard. Put that sense of deception in with a sense of mischief, we know where that goes. Let's just say there's a reason he made it into the crossover film.
Humor
Tony Stark is a wise ass, who is portrayed in this film by the great Robert Downey Jr. who coincidentally on his best day can be a wise ass. His interactions with Pepper Potts and his best buddy Rhodey made for a light tone that just worked. Given this films subject matter, what with the terrorism and the angle with the manufacturing of weapons, the tone of the film could have gone a very different way. Favreau hit it out of the park with the feel of the film we ended up getting.
We got a different kind of humor in Thor, if our hero had his way he would have been all business the whole time. Instead we get to enjoy how out of his element he is on our wonderful blue and green orb. Walking into a pet store seeking a horse and shattering coffee cops in diners isn't exactly the norm in our neck of the woods. I found myself not minding the slower second act at all due to the entertainment I got out of seeing Thor adapt to his new environment. That's a win in my eyes.
Cast
Robert Downey, Jr. Jeff Bridges. Terrence Howard. Gwyneth Paltrow. And the voice of Paul Bettany.

This film is famous for being the stepping stone for Downey Jr.'s comeback after years of obscurity. Talk about bursting back onto the scene in a big way. He had amazing chemistry with everyone else involved in the film. Paltrow is perfect for Potts, who worked great opposite RDJ. Bridges did a good job with what he was given. Terrence Howard did okay with his turn as Rhodes, I did not however have the slightest sense of loss when he was replaced by Don Cheadle for the sequel.
Chris Hemsworth. Anthony Hopkins. Natalie Portman. Stellan Skarsgard. Tom Hiddleston. Kat Dennings.

Chris Hemsworth was new to the game as a leading man when he took on the mantle of Thor, he had a lot to prove. He didn't disappoint. I bought him as an actor and more importantly in this role immediately. Tom Hiddleston was a scene stealer as Loki, he gave us a menacing and often emotional performance. Good stuff. The rest of the cast did a decent job in their roles, with the only semi-negative thing I have to say being Jane Foster was no Pepper Potts. Kudos for the awesome Jeremy Renner cameo as Hawkeye as well.
Iron Man
Iron Man started it all, in a big way. It has the advantage of the first glimpse of what was to come with Nick Fury's first appearance. The success of that film was for good reason, and that success spawned what we're getting in a couple days. Full of action, full of humor, full of bad ass. Will this be less of a close race than what we've been getting the last couple weeks? Let us find out.

If you have an idea that you'd like to see in a future FACE OFF column, feel free to shoot an email to me at paulhuffman@joblo.com with your ideas and some ideas for the critique to base your ideas off. Thank you and in the meantime...

Which movie are you anticipating the most?
POST YOUR CHOICE BELOW!
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1:33AM on 05/03/2012

Iron Man, or as we can say...

Robert Downey Jr: Born Again. BAM! Thor got hammered.
Robert Downey Jr: Born Again. BAM! Thor got hammered.
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2:35AM on 05/03/2012

iron man

iron man
iron man
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-8
2:46AM on 05/03/2012
As a whole movie I prefer Iron Man to Thor but as a character I much prefer Thor to Tony Stark. Hemsworth is gregarious and likable whereas Downey is starting to remind me of a high school drama student who gets off on being an extrovert.
As a whole movie I prefer Iron Man to Thor but as a character I much prefer Thor to Tony Stark. Hemsworth is gregarious and likable whereas Downey is starting to remind me of a high school drama student who gets off on being an extrovert.
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+0
2:52AM on 05/03/2012
As a whole movie I prefer Iron Man to Thor but as a character I much prefer Thor to Tony Stark. Hemsworth is gregarious and likable whereas Downey is starting to remind me of a high school drama student who gets off on being an extrovert.
As a whole movie I prefer Iron Man to Thor but as a character I much prefer Thor to Tony Stark. Hemsworth is gregarious and likable whereas Downey is starting to remind me of a high school drama student who gets off on being an extrovert.
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-7
5:13AM on 05/03/2012
Captain America > Thor > Iron Man > The Incredible Hulk > Iron Man 2. Oh, and Avengers is the very best, of course.
Captain America > Thor > Iron Man > The Incredible Hulk > Iron Man 2. Oh, and Avengers is the very best, of course.
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6:08AM on 05/03/2012
Capt America was boring compared to all the other marvel films
Capt America was boring compared to all the other marvel films
6:11AM on 05/03/2012
The quality of actor makes a big difference. RDJ is A+ material and he owns the Tony Stark character. Iron is such a fun and engagin movie. Thor is a quality film as well and Loki is a fabulous villian but the supporting cast always seemed a bit lacking. Portman was sorely underused.
The quality of actor makes a big difference. RDJ is A+ material and he owns the Tony Stark character. Iron is such a fun and engagin movie. Thor is a quality film as well and Loki is a fabulous villian but the supporting cast always seemed a bit lacking. Portman was sorely underused.
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-21
6:33AM on 05/03/2012

Dumb Faceoff

Ironman is obviously much better in all categories. Thor is clearly the worst recent Marvel film, where Ironman is by far the best. Will ses Avengers tonight.
Ironman is obviously much better in all categories. Thor is clearly the worst recent Marvel film, where Ironman is by far the best. Will ses Avengers tonight.
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10:22AM on 05/06/2012
Thor was much better than Iron Man 2.
Thor was much better than Iron Man 2.
-4
6:45AM on 05/03/2012

Ironman

Loki was one one my biggest complaints about Thor, he did all his whining on screen and all his evil deeds off screen. I know they were setting the stage for him in The Avengers but his motivation was muddled and only really served Thor's story line.
Loki was one one my biggest complaints about Thor, he did all his whining on screen and all his evil deeds off screen. I know they were setting the stage for him in The Avengers but his motivation was muddled and only really served Thor's story line.
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7:28AM on 05/03/2012
This is a tough one. I enjoy Iron Man though I think people can relate to Thor better as he deals with his quarrels with his father and then got banished to Earth. Thor just truly wants to go back where he belongs and shows he's worthy of Mjolnir. I'd go with Thor.
This is a tough one. I enjoy Iron Man though I think people can relate to Thor better as he deals with his quarrels with his father and then got banished to Earth. Thor just truly wants to go back where he belongs and shows he's worthy of Mjolnir. I'd go with Thor.
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8:33AM on 05/03/2012
Iron Man is a great movie but im abit biased to Thor becuse thats actually my name (im a Swede) but also because it was the hardest character to pull off and they knocked it out of the park. The Avengers of course is better than all of them.
Iron Man is a great movie but im abit biased to Thor becuse thats actually my name (im a Swede) but also because it was the hardest character to pull off and they knocked it out of the park. The Avengers of course is better than all of them.
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8:58AM on 05/03/2012

Iron Man

Iron Man was a great film, the story was tight, the characters tight, the chemistry with RDJ and Gwyneth was excellent. Thor was a lot of fun, great villain, overall a good effort, but the chemistry was a little off.
Iron Man was a great film, the story was tight, the characters tight, the chemistry with RDJ and Gwyneth was excellent. Thor was a lot of fun, great villain, overall a good effort, but the chemistry was a little off.
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9:44AM on 05/03/2012
When I think of RDJ/Stark, I think of arrogance and angst. When I think of Hemsworth/Thor, I think of his optimism, courage, and mainly that smile he gave to the camera at the Diner.

Thor > Iron Man. Sorry RDJ.
When I think of RDJ/Stark, I think of arrogance and angst. When I think of Hemsworth/Thor, I think of his optimism, courage, and mainly that smile he gave to the camera at the Diner.

Thor > Iron Man. Sorry RDJ.
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9:47AM on 05/03/2012
I thought it was Avengers, then Iron Man, then Captain America, then Iron Man 2, then Thor, then Hulk.
I thought it was Avengers, then Iron Man, then Captain America, then Iron Man 2, then Thor, then Hulk.
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10:18AM on 05/03/2012

Hmm

I thought CA was more fun than Thor, Thor was really the odd movie out and had the most bland and overused script. Take out the title Thor and you have a god that falls to earth and starts to have feelings for a human. Mix an extremely boring Destroyer fight and you get mediocre at best. I wont list the others as most people agree its Avengers on top. I just really think Thor could have done much better.
I thought CA was more fun than Thor, Thor was really the odd movie out and had the most bland and overused script. Take out the title Thor and you have a god that falls to earth and starts to have feelings for a human. Mix an extremely boring Destroyer fight and you get mediocre at best. I wont list the others as most people agree its Avengers on top. I just really think Thor could have done much better.
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+2
11:36AM on 05/03/2012

Gotta go

with Ironman
with Ironman
Your Reply:



11:55AM on 05/03/2012

No contest

Iron Man is the better film by miles. It had the better hero, villian and storyline. Hemsworth was terrible and he really dropped the ball, er hammer on this one. I wanted to slap Kat Dennings, and not the good kind of slap either.
Iron Man is the better film by miles. It had the better hero, villian and storyline. Hemsworth was terrible and he really dropped the ball, er hammer on this one. I wanted to slap Kat Dennings, and not the good kind of slap either.
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12:50PM on 05/03/2012
I recently rewatched Thor, wondering if perhaps I had too high an opinion of it the first time I watched it.

Nope, ruled just as much the second time around. Seamless blend of Spielberg-ian Sci Fi with Sword & Sorcery Questing awesomeness. Gorgeous visuals, great characters, witty dialog, superb villainry from Tom Hiddleston and a pitch perfect performance by Hemsworth.

Iron Man gets the win because it set the bar all these other Avengers films had to match. But Thor is great. Though
I recently rewatched Thor, wondering if perhaps I had too high an opinion of it the first time I watched it.

Nope, ruled just as much the second time around. Seamless blend of Spielberg-ian Sci Fi with Sword & Sorcery Questing awesomeness. Gorgeous visuals, great characters, witty dialog, superb villainry from Tom Hiddleston and a pitch perfect performance by Hemsworth.

Iron Man gets the win because it set the bar all these other Avengers films had to match. But Thor is great. Though I'll say I think Captain America is my favorite.
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+2
12:52PM on 05/03/2012
Very tough choice, as I love both movies. I guess I'd go with Iron Man, but only by a hair.
Very tough choice, as I love both movies. I guess I'd go with Iron Man, but only by a hair.
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-2
1:03PM on 05/03/2012
I'm gonna go with Thor.
I'm gonna go with Thor.
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6:06PM on 05/03/2012
While I don't agree, I'm actually stoked that the movie HAS supporters. That means we'll get more... ;)
While I don't agree, I'm actually stoked that the movie HAS supporters. That means we'll get more... ;)
1:14PM on 05/03/2012
Love both movies and both are great, but Iron Man gets my vote in being the better film. That and the fact that it is the best solo Avengers film we have had (so far).
Love both movies and both are great, but Iron Man gets my vote in being the better film. That and the fact that it is the best solo Avengers film we have had (so far).
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1:41PM on 05/03/2012
Me going on a rant: Thor is a mediocre superhero flick with one of the most generic, forgettable villains in superhero cinema. The action is incomprehensible and filled with CGI and the heart is not there. The love story between Thor and Jane was forced and would never happen within the 24 hours they met each other. The fact that there is a comparison made between Thor and Iron Man is an insult to Iron Man because that is easily one of the best superhero flicks ever released. The love for Thor
Me going on a rant: Thor is a mediocre superhero flick with one of the most generic, forgettable villains in superhero cinema. The action is incomprehensible and filled with CGI and the heart is not there. The love story between Thor and Jane was forced and would never happen within the 24 hours they met each other. The fact that there is a comparison made between Thor and Iron Man is an insult to Iron Man because that is easily one of the best superhero flicks ever released. The love for Thor floors me. Additionally, I found myself laughing unintentionally at the damn cheesy lines that were being said by the actors with a straight face on Asgard. Overall, the film seemed like a set up to The Avengers than an actual stand alone film. End rant.
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6:05PM on 05/03/2012
I must agree with you regarding the romance subplot...subpar at best. However, I really liked the movie for all the scenes in Asgard. Once it came to Earth it really seemed to get bogged down. Anyway you slice it, nowhere near as good as Iron Man, but I wouldn't call it mediocre.
I must agree with you regarding the romance subplot...subpar at best. However, I really liked the movie for all the scenes in Asgard. Once it came to Earth it really seemed to get bogged down. Anyway you slice it, nowhere near as good as Iron Man, but I wouldn't call it mediocre.
2:01PM on 05/03/2012

cast is a tie?

Is it just me or is it crazy to call the cast a tie? Iron Man has 10 Oscar nominations amongst their cast list while Thor only has 6 (Hopkins being the only thing keeping it from being a total blow out since he has 4). 4 different actors have been nominated for Oscars on Iron Man's cast list while only 2 have been on Thor's. It's also not even close when comparing the leads. Chris Hemsworth is entertaining enough and has made some good movie choices as far as roles are concerned, but he is
Is it just me or is it crazy to call the cast a tie? Iron Man has 10 Oscar nominations amongst their cast list while Thor only has 6 (Hopkins being the only thing keeping it from being a total blow out since he has 4). 4 different actors have been nominated for Oscars on Iron Man's cast list while only 2 have been on Thor's. It's also not even close when comparing the leads. Chris Hemsworth is entertaining enough and has made some good movie choices as far as roles are concerned, but he is no Robert Downy Jr. What RDJ did with Stark was perfect and way exceeded anyone's expectations of that character. Hemsworth's Thor was fine and well acted but nothing brilliant.

The only thing worth respecting on Thor's side is that their cast has a larger World Wide Box Office total than the cast of Iron Man. That might even things out a bit but then I remembered that over 6 billion dollars of their WW gross was from the Pirates of the Caribbean and Star Wars franchises (neither of which were due in large part to Stellan Skarsgard or Natalie Portman in their roles). Take away the large box office from their supporting rolls in those movies and that advantage goes away.

I like both movies and wouldn't disagree with anyone's preference in this case (I personally liked Iron Man better), but I don't think it's that close to call a tie when considering both cast lists.
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+2
5:51PM on 05/03/2012

The Dude as antagonist

You can't beat that.

(I like them both).
You can't beat that.

(I like them both).
Your Reply:



6:07PM on 05/03/2012

No contest

Iron Man all the way. I didn't even realize how big a fan of RDJ I was until I watched him as Stark.
Iron Man all the way. I didn't even realize how big a fan of RDJ I was until I watched him as Stark.
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8:58PM on 05/04/2012
"Thor" was good, solid fun, but "Iron Man" is fantastic!
"Thor" was good, solid fun, but "Iron Man" is fantastic!
Your Reply:



5:16PM on 05/05/2012

You're unworthy!

Anthony Hopkins as Odin was awesome, the scene when he takes away Thors powers is the best scene in the movie, and better than anything from Iron Man.
Anthony Hopkins as Odin was awesome, the scene when he takes away Thors powers is the best scene in the movie, and better than anything from Iron Man.
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