“Thor: The Dark World”- A Review of Marvel’s Latest and Greatest
Thor’s phase two kicks off in truly epic fashion with a sequel that is better than it’s predecessor in every possible way. Director Alan Taylor, who takes the reins from Kenneth Branagh, moves the Mighty Thunderer’s latest tale along at a quick pace, injects it with great humor (this might also be the funniest Marvel Movie to date), while also managing to bring action scenes that felt new and left me quite impressed. Thor: The Dark World is quite possibly the best Marvel movie that doesn’t have Avengers in the title, and is in fact closer to that particular two billion dollar juggernaut than 2011’s Thor. Like the Avengers, Thor: TDW plays out like a live action comic book, and never forgets to have fun while doing it.
Thor: The Dark World begins with a brief, but action packed, Asgardan history lesson. Thor’s grandfather Bor has been forced to protect the nine realms from Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) and his army of Dark Elves. Malekith has a weaponized relic called “the Aether” (which is basicly liquid evil) that has the power to destroy all light in the realms and plunge it into eternal darkness where only the Elves rule. The battle is soon won by the Asgardians and the Aether is hidden away while the remaining Elves slumber, waiting for their time to return and reclaim the darkness. If there is any weakness to the movie it’s found early with the Dark Elves. This opening sequence is really the only back story and character development given to this story’s villains. We are shown just enough to understand they want to destroy the universe, and that they are really evil…and angry. It’s too bad we don’t get to learn more about them, as far as bad guys go, they were pretty cool. Luckily everything else about Thor: TDW is so well done that this small issue doesn’t derail the movie.
Now since this movie is about the God of Thunder and not ancient Asgardian history, we are quickly brought back to the present. We get reacquainted with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), her intern Darcy (Kat Dennings), and Dr. Eric Selvig (Stellam Skarsgard), who also hilariously spends most the film pantless. Jane and Co. have discovered a scientific anomaly in London, which we soon find is a result of the nine realms aligning. Hiding in one of this anomalies is a portal to the long hidden Aether, which Jane accidentally awakens. Meanwhile in Asgard, we pick up immediately following the events of the Avengers. Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is now imprisoned and Thor (Chris Helmsworth) is fighting through out the realms to undo the chaos that Loki has caused. When Malekith and his remaining Dark Elves return to claim the Aether, Thor enlists the help of his brother Loki to stop them. It was reported earlier this year that there were more scenes shot and added with Loki, I now understand why that was done. The Thor and Loki scenes are one of the strongest parts of the movie, almost to the point where the rest of the movie risks being upstaged. Chris Helmsworth and Tom Hiddleston have great chemistry together, and even more I believe Hiddleston is becoming one of the great villain actors of our generation.
Thor: The Dark World works on just about every level. It succeeds with great acting, good humor, and one the most imaginative and truly fantastic action packed endings I’ve ever seen in any of Marvel’s stand alone movies. Needless to say, I loved this movie. From the great Asgardian opening to the ultimate battle for the universe fought on earth, Thor: TDW builds upon the movies that came before it and tells a fun, unrestrained, very cosmic, comic story that spans all nine realms. Thor’s second solo adventure is entertaining movie watching at its finest, and just one more example of why Marvel is king of the comic movie mountain.
I give “Thor: The Dark World” 9/10 reasons that Thor comes with the thunder
I watched this in 3D and surprisingly recommend it. Normally I don’t like the third dimension, but it’s actually pretty good and works well with the movie. There are also 2 post credits scenes, both should not be missed.