Thor: The Dark World

Director: Alan Taylor
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman
Year: 2013

AP: Come for the God of Thunder, stay for the God of Mischief.
HA: Watch it thor the laughs and stay thor the two after-credit scenes.


REVIEW – AP:

Thor: The Dark World picks up from where The Avengers (2012) left off.
Firstly, we are introduced (in a somewhat clunky way), to the plight of the Dark Elves, led by Malekith (The Ninth Doctor / Christopher Eccleston) via Odin’s (Anthony Hopkins) glorious narrative voice.
Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is banished to a cell because of his actions in New York, with no visitors aside from his adoptive mother Frigga (Rene Russo), who uses her own illusions and magic abilities to do so (in the film adaptation, Frigga was the one responsible for teaching Loki magic).
Furthermore, because of the Bifrost being destroyed (back in Thor, 2011), wars have erupted throughout all the Nine Realms, of which Thor (Chris Hemsworth) must end to restore peace.

Let’s cut right to the chase, this movie isn’t going to please everyone.
I believe it will be panned among critics, but enjoyed by most fans.
The plotline is a very thin, messy and a bit too out there, a little too ambitious – The Dark Elves are aiming to send the universe back to one of darkness, and they’re using the Aether (a fluid, ever-changing force, dark matter) to do it.
Conveniently enough, each of the Nine Realms line up perfectly every 5000 years in what is called The Convergence, which provides the best opportunity for Malekith and the Dark Elves to unleash the Aether. As The Convergence approaches, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) discovers the Aether, only to have it enter her system and ultimately end up in Asgard in the hopes of getting it out.
Once Asgard is attacked, Thor must ask Loki for help in getting out of the city undetected.

There are varying gaping holes, a lack of continuity, spotty logic and in some places it seems like the sub-plotline was either dropped completely or not given enough on-screen time to develop (The rivalry Jane Foster and Lady Sif, anyone? The close, maternal bond between Frigga and Loki?).

The beginning is too rushed, there is not enough shown to make audiences feel that the Dark Elves are a significant threat, not just to Earth or Asgard, but to the entire universe. They look striking, but they’re ultimately a bland and generic villainous group, Eccleston was reduced to speaking threats in a made-up language for majority of the film. They didn’t have that threatening, rival quality that the antagonists of previous Marvel films had. The fact that there is a prominent villainous figure, and fan favourite, in the form of Loki Laufeyson doesn’t help this.
Tom Hiddleston shines in what is probably his best Loki role yet, stealing each and every scene that he is in.
Loki’s loyalty and motives are constantly being brought into question and he’s responding to it with the best wit, cunning and mischievous attitude that we have seen yet.  If there isn’t a standalone Loki movie in the works at Marvel, there really ought to be. That’s a lot of potential revenue.

Yes, Chris Hemsworth is great as our God of Thunder, and Kat Dennings provides refreshing comic relief as Darcy, as does Stellan Skarsgård as Erik Selvig, but Tom Hiddleston steals the show completely.

So, all in all, is the movie worth it? Yes.

Why? Because this movie is actually hilarious and it is great fun. The sibling rivalry, witty lines, surprise cameos (particularly one that we didn’t see coming that ended up having us in stitches) and the refreshing comic relief make it a very enjoyable film.
Yes, it has flaws, as all films do, but it still remains a great superhero flick. It’s a reminder that there is nobody better than Marvel at kicking out these blockbusters at the moment.
Visually, it’s stunning and intricate and beautiful. The final action scene is inventive and often genuinely hilarious, with small comedic elements thrown into it. It’s well worth seeing.  And in traditional Marvel fashion, be prepared for not just one, but two post-credits scenes, the first in particular should get you excited for a certain release next year.
This movie is one for the fans, but not for the critics.

 

FURTHER COMMENTS:

HA: So, I liked it, I mean, I think it would be hard for either of us to ever not like a Marvel film.

AP: I agree. Marvel seem to have really perfected their formula for comic book films, particularly in this second phase.

HA: We’re big Marvel and DC fans, so I think we’re a bit bias to be honest, but, speaking honestly, this movie surprised me in quite a few ways.

AP: How so?

HA: Firstly how funny it was – TWICE as funny as the last Thor movie. It cracked me up heaps.

AP: God it really was. So many funny and witty lines and scenes.

HA: Loki is fantastic. He balances Thor out.

AP: But also steals all of the attention and limelight.

HA: Definitely, not just with his humour though. He’s more complex than the other characters in the movie.

AP: You’re, the audience, constantly questioning his motives and his loyalty. It’s fantastic. Tom Hiddleston was just born to be Loki, he pushes himself to deliver more and more in that role.

HA: Well I think the fans agree and empathise with him to an extent, in that he was lied to and abandoned. But I think that is one issue I do have with this second Thor film. Loki is a very complex character but everything else felt kind of shallow. It was hilarious and I loved that, but I felt there could have been opportunity for some more depth.

AP: In regards to the movie as a whole? I agree completely.

HA: Like initially, I disagreed with you about the rivalry between Jane Foster and Lady Sif.

AP: I hated how you could see that storyline starting to form, and then it just disappeared completely!

HA: I was concerned it would become a typical love triangle, but if they maybe had cut back on some of the irrelevant fight scenes and random London scenes, something with a bit more depth could have been built.

AP: I agree. It lacked depth in a lot of areas, but it is still a very enjoyable, easy-to-watch, entertaining movie.

HA: We know that there was some issues with the writing of this script…

AP: Yeah, there was a lot of news about that script changing all the time and even how Joss Whedon had to step in at one point and help out. So, that mess is somewhat evident in the film, but on the whole, it is a fun movie to watch.

HA: Definitely! I, personally, would love to go and see it again soon. It was really great fun to watch.

 

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