I have a confession to make. I really really enjoyed the first Thor movie. I enjoyed it far more than everyone else I know.
It gets a lot of negative attention compared to the other Phase 1 Marvel films, and personally I disagree. I enjoyed it probably the third most out of all of the films, after The Avengers and Iron Man. It had comedy, it had action, it had Norse mythology, and well, it had Thor. Like a lot of people my age, I first heard about the God of Thunder from watching Adventures in Babysitting, which lead to discovering the Marvel version. I think that film was received as well only because he wasn’t as well known as the rest of the Phase 1 heroes.
So, Thor: The Dark World has an upward battle to climb.
“But we will make that climb, together, brother!” – Loki, in a very specific genre of Thor fanfiction.
This film takes place just as Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is proving why he deserves the “Mighty” adjective, by bringing peace again to The Nine Realms after the Bifröst was destroyed in the first film. He has been very busy, and could not return to Earth except for exceptional circumstances for that reason.
Unfortunately the Convergence is about to occur, where the nine realms line up perfectly. It happens every 5000 years, and causes all of the realms to be a bit wonky, creating portals to each other and messing with gravity/physics. It has also awakened an old threat, King Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) of the Dark Elves, who tried to destroy the universe at the last Convergence. He used an ancient magic source called the Aether, which has been hidden for thousands of years. But guess who found it? Oh that meddling Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and her team (Kat Dennings, Jonathan Howard)!
At the same time, monarchy based drama in Asgard is occurring, as Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and Frigga (Rene Russo) are planning on making Thor the next king, given the recent actions of Loki (Tom Hiddleston). But Thor’s love for a mortal is worrisome, and a cause for concern that he might be focusing too much of his attention on just one realm.
It isn’t too bad for Thor I guess. He just has to save his very fragile love from the powers of the Aether, watch out for Loki while he is imprisoned in Asgard, deal with potential enemies on all sides, and try to stop an ancient race from destroying the universe. Probably just another Wednesday for him.
Thor: The Dark World features a whole lot of other actors, including the returns of Sif (Jaime Alexander), Heimdall (Idris Elba), Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) and The Warriors Three (Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano). Well, Asano really wasn’t in this movie much, and Levi replaced Josh Dallas, but hey, Stevenson is still there! Also introducing Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as the second in command to Malekith.
Also, the Dark Elves in general reminded me of really strange Putties.
One thing I learned from watching Thor: The Dark World is that Chris Hemsworth definitely helped cement himself as the only man who can play the God of Thunder. Over the summer, huge contract negotiations were taking place between Hemsworth and Marvel, the latter who claimed that they don’t need him in The Avengers 2:Age of Ultron, they could just hire someone else, and refused to budge. Well, eventually they budged, thanks to the help of Robert Downey Jr., so presumably both sides reached a worthwhile agreement.
Thor: The Dark World more or less gave me everything I wanted in a sequel movie, expanding on a lot of areas that the first film established. It still has the same level of comedy, so we aren’t just dealing with a serious space fantasy drama. The chemistry between Hemsworth, Portman, and Hiddleston is electric, allowing the story to flow just a little bit better. The film also takes place a lot more off Earth compared to the first film, allowing the use of new landscapes and helping separate the franchise from the rest of the Avengers movies.
The does come with a downside, however. With a lot of the film set off world, we are given many more scenes that are heavily CGI’d in order to create the scene, which gets tiresome after awhile. I’d like more of it to be grounded in areas that aren’t created by green screens.
My biggest issue from the film actually has to do with the editing. I found the scene transitions really distracting, as on more than one occasion it felt like we were cut far too quickly to another scene, almost cutting off lines by the characters. We weren’t always allowed the appropriate time to even acknowledge what was just said, before having to focus our attention elsewhere. It made the pace of the film seem a bit off to me, and not what I would expect from a film at this scale.
Most likely Thor: The Dark World won’t get anywhere as close to touching the amount of money that Iron Man 3 brought in. I hope that doesn’t detract Marvel Studios from eventually bringing us more Thor outside of The Avengers.
This film had an excellent amount of drama, action, and comedy to help create a fantastic theater experience, but has some technical aspects that distract me from giving it that perfect rating overall.
3 out of 4.