Thor: The Dark World

  • Directed by Alan Taylor
  • October 22, 2013 (Leicester Square) / November 8, 2013 (US)

Dark Elves seek to destroy The Nine Realms and the entire universe.

Thor: The Dark World feels a bit like a comic book one-shot that while entertaining is ultimately unnecessary to this series’ larger narrative. I’m not calling it bad as a film but it’s just one more adventure and not something that contributes too much to an arc for the Thor films. You do not necessarily need a plan for your films but A should lead to B and to C and so forth but not so much here. In other words this could have been the first film in the series as easily as its predecessor

One word of praise though that I have is that it is a Marvel movie unto itself. This is not filled with numerous cameos and guest appearances by Marvel characters from other films. The only one we get in the film is Captain America (Chris Evans) and that’s in a scene where Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is using his power of illusion to yank Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) chain. So it is not a character staying the whole time or just engaging in a small walk on part.

Christopher Eccleston is the villainous Malekith who is the ruler of the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim. He has plans of essentially universal Armageddon though the cost of Thor and pals failing to stop him never feels as high it should. You just never quite feel things hang in the balance. They are trying to stop a bad guy from doing bad things but it never feels as if the bad guy is going to destroy the universe.

Malekith’s motivation and plan are casually tossed in once or twice along the way but nothing is done much to make him a worthy adversary. Malekith is evil to be evil-or that is the impression that is left. He was woefully undeveloped.

Thor is conflicted this time around over Loki. It’s clear he cares about his brother, but I think he would consider kill Loki if he weren’t heir to the Asgardian throne. Here he is much more responsible and intelligent and acting as someone who could be king.

Loki though steals the show. While starting out as a villain, in Thor: The Dark World he becomes an emotionally wounded bit of an antihero. Hiddleston made the transition rather seamless to the point you really do not think about the lives the character took because of his actions in The Avengers nor of anything he did in the first film of this series.

Frigga (Rene Russo) gets to shine here and it’s a real shame that her character was killed off. However her death and the effects carry an emotional impact. Russo’s scenes with Hiddleston show how her character still loves her adopted son despite it all.

Natalie Portman returns as Jane Foster and the only reason she really matters to the story is that the Aether, which the Dark Elves need for their plan, has gone into her body for reasons that I am not sure of. Is anybody really? What makes her a better and more sustainable container than what it was previously in? What did I miss? Given the poor construction of the villain it is little wonder this makes little sense.

Foster is eye candy placed in the story to moon over the dreamy Thor. Dump Erik and keep Darcy if you must but Jane has almost nothing to do and her actions that do minimally move the story could have been handed off to any number of characters.

Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) is more important to events though he goes from an intelligent character to crazy comic relief. He is basically a joke to point out how silly the whole situation of the film is. Ultimately though he could have been dumped.

Darcy (Kat Dennings) is still largely comic relief. Not a bad character but she steals the scenes she is in but we already got Erik for jokes so why do we need her? And they gave HER an intern. More deadweight!

My point is Thor needed just ONE human sidekick and not three (four if you count the intern). They slowed stuff up more than moved things along. Drop one. Drop three. Keep the supporting cast to only those necessary. Thor’s fellow Asgardians were necessary but all those humans not so much.

I do like the battle across the multiple realms that occurs. It is part a review of the movie as well as the last film. It’s a nice little bit that plays with the concept of the story for just fun. The ending though sets up a really good comic book style next film. Loki has somehow managed to get Odin (Anthony Hopkins) off the throne and replace him with himself disguised with an illusion. How did that happen? That is something that feels straight from the comics. 

Thor: The Dark World is a good sequel that focuses largely on the title character with a little more importance given to the supporting characters than in the last one. Flaws aside, it is an entertaining movie and worth a watch.

Published by warrenwatchedamovie

Just a movie lover trying spread the love.

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