Both of us are gigantic Marvel Cinematic Universe fans. We don’t love each movie individually per say (cough *Iron Man 3* cough), but as a whole, we love the series and what is being done with it. Even though the most recent release, the aforementioned Iron Man 3, was pretty disappointing to the two of us, we are excited to watch and review the newly released sequel to Thor. Directed by Alan Taylor, and starring Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston and Natalie Portman, it is rated PG-13 for sequences of intense action and some suggestive content.
Thor: The Dark World is the next sequence in The Avengers saga, following Iron Man 3. In the film, Thor (Hemsworth), the hot headed Norse god of thunder, is faced with his most difficult challenge yet, battling an ancient villain unknown to his homeland of Asgard. A very powerful villain who no one can take down, not even Thor’s father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins)
Thor eventually embarks on a journey that will reunite him with his love from Earth, Jane Foster (Portman), and require him to cooperate with his worst of enemies– his brother Loki (Hiddleston)– in order to save himself and his people from a terrible fate.
8 out of 10
I remember my extreme disappointment after seeing Iron Man 3. My jaw literally dropped after seeing the Mandarin destroyed by Shane Black, ask Zach. The movie was just stupid. And coming off The Avengers, my expectations were sky high, unfortunately. And seeing the trailers… I cry just thinking about it. Trailers literally kill a movie, but that’s a story for another day. So my expectations were not too high going into the Thor movie, so when I saw it, I was pleasantly surprised.
It didn’t go without flaws. Natalie Portman was horrific, for one thing. All her choices and dialogue seem forced and ingenuine. She makes the Jane Foster-Thor relationship seem uninteresting… and it is, but not because of Chris Hemsworth. She is a great actress, don’t get me wrong, but she doesn’t have a place in sci-fi. It’s unfortunate she was such a huge art of the film. Stick to drama, Natalie. Some of the humor with Darcy (Kat Dennings) also seemed a bit forced, but for the most part she was very funny.
The film also seemed somewhat unoriginal to me. I saw everything coming (except the very, very last scene). It seemed like a completely mix of Star Trek and Lord of the Rings, and while it did turn out fine, it would have been nice to see something new. This movie is really the only movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that explores space and other dimensions, and I would have liked to see something completely different.
Despite the criticism I have for it, it really is just a fun ride. Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston have phenomenal chemistry, and I love their relationship. Loki has became as prominent as Thor in terms of familiarity with the audience, partially because Hiddleston is so good. He plays it with the cockiness and the slick attitude that Loki has, while still providing him with a sense of humanity. The two of them together are always fantastic, and this film proves no different.
The film is also very funny– the gag with Loki transforming in Captain America was hilarious– and the dialogue, with a few exceptions, was pretty good. Darcy was very funny, even though it could be a bit much at times. And though there was seemingly a lot of comedic dialogue, they still found a way to balance it with fantastic action, which looked great to watch, as always. That’s something you can always rely on Marvel for: a movie that looks good to watch.
And speaking about Captain America, the most important thing about this movie is the role it plays in the universe as a whole. It was able to reference it, keep its continuity going, and also add to it. In a universe such as huge as this, it’s crucial that every single film contributes to the series as a whole, while also being its own. Thor: The Dark World accomplished both of these.
When people ask me if I like this film, I say sure, why not. It has it’s flaws but it’s not meant to be an Oscar Award winning picture. It’s meant to be a two hour action-filled adrenaline rush, and it is.
However, if you’re a Natalie Portman fan… Hold off on this one.
7 out of 10
(I love going off topic so forgive me if I get little positive words in here but, believe me, I liked this movie)
Everybody loves an anti-hero.
Yeah, The Dark Knight pretty much cemented that five years ago. We, the public, love us some flawed, morally ambiguous characters who are wild cards in their given situations. Why? Because they’re unpredictable.
Which brings us to the Thor movies’ (Maybe even the Marvel world’s) greatest asset: Loki. I remember being thoroughly impressed with the Loki plotline in the original Thor, mostly because of how much Tom Hiddleston has to play out about the character. Almost every viewer can sympathize with him. He’s a safe villain with just the right amount of distorted heroics in him to keep us all engaged even when our lead actors fail us.
When Phase One finished up, my main worry is the Marvel movies would start spinning their wheels. The Avengers was just such a colossal, earth-shattering movie for the genre that it seemed like a perfect way to end the whole thing. That there was no more to be said. So was I right?
I was. Kind of. The past two films (The other being Iron Man 3) have a lot of repetitive moments and go through the same cycles as before. Thor and Jane go through more of the same here and one can tell that the writers tried extremely hard to encapsulate everything that made Avengers so great; humor being the most apparent. At times, things feel forced and we pretty much just want to get to Avengers 2 here if this is all going to be inconsequential.
But, above all odds, the Marvel Universe has failed to collapse under its own weight. Its still got a hell of a lot pulling for it. And one of those forces is our aforementioned favorite Loki. While he is ridiculously underused in this, the scenes he is in pretty much saved the movie for me. While every other character is caught in the motions, he seriously develops. I think that the writers really underestimated how interesting Hiddleston could play out the convenience alliance angle.
Hemsworth is also very good. But both of these actors are best when they are playing off eachother. They can (And should) really open up the old wounds in their relationship that actually move the plot forward. When they argue, it’s far more entertaining than anything an SFX producer could conjure up.
My advice to Marvel would be to acknowledge the past events, have characters face them, then move on from them and keep letting the world turn. Until then, Thor; The Dark World was a pretty dang good start.
Rotten Tomatoes: 65%