Thor: Dark World theatrical review 4/5 Stars
I treated myself to a night out tonight and went and saw Thor The Dark World, or Thor 2 if you will. The first Thor movie was my favourite of the Marvel movies so far (and will likely remain that way until they make a Doctor Strange movie), now Thor 2 comes in at a definite second.
The story this time out concerns the return of the evil Dark Elves, led by Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) who are set on returning the universe and all the nine realms to the darkness that existed before there was light. The nine realms are aligning in a cosmic convergence and the barriers between the worlds are weakened which leads to the return of the Dark Elves’ weapon the Aether. On Earth, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) is told of strange gravitational energies by her intern Darcy (Kat Dennings) who takes her to a place in London where a truck can float and objects are transported through dimensions. It’s not just objects that can pass through these rifts though, Jane herself is pulled through one and finds herself trapped with the Aether, hidden away thousands of years ago by Bor, Odin’s father. The Aether takes Foster as a living host, which awakens the sleeping Dark Elves who attack Asgard in search of the Aether after Thor (Chris Hemsworth) finds and rescues Jane and brings her to his home. After fending off the first attack of the Dark Elves, Odin (Anthony Hopkins) is distraught after Malekith attacks his wife Frigga (Rene Russo) and chooses to wait for them to return rather than follow them or to take the Aether away from Asgard and fight them in an unpopulated area. Thor seeks out help from his brother Loki (Tim Hiddleston) to save Jane from the Aether, save Asgard from the Dark Elves’ next attack, and avenge Malekith’s attack on their mother. Melekith absorbs the Aether from Jane Foster and heads to Earth to launch his attack on all reality, where his only opposition is Thor and his human friends Jane, Darcy and Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) who may have a weapon to use against the gravitational anomalies that could stop Malekith once and for all.
Whew, that was hard to type up without spoilers. I really enjoyed the film, which thankfully I got to see in theatres and got to see in 2D. There were several moments in the film that I could guess were shot specially for 3D, but they don’t really add to the experience for me. Sure these things look nice, but the overall look of the film I think suffers. The “super 3D” parts look great, but the more mundane scenes always appear too dark. Thor 2 was a lot of fun, just like the first movie. It was definitely a science-fiction/fantasy film and not really a mythological take of the Norse god. There were lots of lasers and spaceships, which if memory serves me lines up fairly close with the Thor comics Marvel did in the ’80’s with Walt Simonson’s run. There were nice nods with the Warriors Three (Zachary Levi as Fandral, Ray Stevenson as Volstagg, and Tadanobu Asano as Hogun) which brought a fair bit of levity to the tale. Jaimie Alexander as Sif was great if not a bit underused, but really everyone had great chemistry with Tim Hiddleston. As much of a fan of Hemsworth’s Thor that I am, Loki may have stolen a bit of his thunder. Pun intended. Thor was great for the action and I really enjoyed the battles and struggles, but Loki was just a great “tweener” character; not really a villain this time around, but also not exactly a good guy. His character may have been in-between, but his performance was top notch.
Of course there was an excellent Stan Lee cameo in Thor 2, but also we were treated to a light hearted Chris Evans/Captain America cameo just to remind us that Captain America: Winter Soldier is coming soon. I think they missed out on a potential cameo appearance though. After the first battle with the Dark Elves in Asgard, there is an Asgardian funeral scene where the dead warriors are set to drive at sea in boats that are then set aflame. Great scene, but why didn’t they include a few Valkyries to escort the honoured dead to Valhalla? It would have been a nice nod to the fans to see Brunnhilde and possibly setup future films or appearances. Marvel is going all out these days with Agents of SHIELD on television and apparently four planned series on Netflix that are supposed to culminate in a Defenders mini-series, so why not introduce some characters on the big screen, who were key members of Marvel’s famous “non-team”?
We were also treated to some “after the credits” scenes, as with Avengers there were two scenes, a serious one part way through the credits and a second, more humourous one at the very end as a treat to the fans who really stick it out. I’ve always sat through the credits to every movie I watch; though it’s easier at home when you can just fast forward, which may be something the theatre operators may want to consider doing. Speed it up, get to the scene we want to see and get us out of there, then the staff can set to cleaning up for the next showing a few minutes earlier, because we’re not really reading them or interested that Richard Glass was the contact lens optician. Though how ironic is that given his last name? Ah well, in case you missed them I’ll list the scenes below, as usual for my spoilers, highlight to read:
Sif and Volstagg meet The Collector (Benicio Del Toro) and they hand him a container that holds the Aether. He asks why they don’t just keep it in their own vault, and they tell him that the Tesseract is already there in Asgard and having two Infinity Stones so close to each other would be dangerous. When they leave, The Collector states, “One down, five to go.” Knowing that we saw Thanos in the Avengers after credit scene and now the Collector, somewhere down the line we’ll be getting an Infinity War story.
Jane is sitting at the table by herself when it starts to thunder. She goes outside to find Thor. She runs to him and they kiss passionately. Meanwhile, the Jotunheim beast that came through the rifts earlier is running by the factory chasing birds.
Posted on 13-11-22, in 4 Star, Comic Book Movies, Movie Reviews and tagged 4 star, after the credits, Anthony Hopkins, cameos, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Christopher Eccleston, Idris Elba, Jaimie Alexander, Kat Dennings, movie, Natalie Portman, Ray Stevenson, Rene Russo, review, Stan Lee, Stellan Skarsgård, Tadanobu Asano, Thor, Thor 2, Thor: The Dark World, Tom Hiddleston, Zachary Levi. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.