Thor: The Dark World

By Chip Tamplin

Published on Saturday, November 9, 2013

We last saw mighty Thor teamed up with the rest of The Avengers as they battled his brother Loki and his army of Chitauri in New York City last year. With the bifröst finally fixed (it was destroyed in Thor 1), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) along with his Asgardian companions Sif (Jaimie Alexander), Hogun (Tadanobu Asano), Volstagg (Ray Stevenson) and Fandral (Zachari Levi replaced Joshua Dallas) are attempting to quell the uprisings throughout the nine realms. Meanwhile, on Earth, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) is still trying to figure out what happened to Thor. Along with her intern Darcy (Kat Dennings), they stumble upon a warehouse in London where the laws of physics don’t apply. Jane, separated from the group, accidentally stumbles on the Aether, a dangerous and powerful weapon, where it takes control of her. This subsequently awakens an ancient enemy – Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) and his Dark Elf army.

Thor, after speaking with Heimdall (Idris Elba), returns to Earth to protect her. Realizing that something is very wrong, Thor returns with Jane to Asgard in the hopes that they’d be able to cure whatever ails her. This sets off a horrible series of events that thrusts Asgard into a state of chaos. Thor, partnered with Jane, must find a way to stop Malekith and his army and, naturally, must turn to his scheming brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) for help.

After the events of Thor 1 and The Avengers, it’s clear that this isn’t the same fish-out-of-water Thor we saw in those movies. Thor is not as stubborn or blatantly blinded by hubris, but rather a more matured and commanding of the situation at hand. In comparison, Loki is the same scheming and menacing figure he was in Thor 1 and The Avengers, while also adding some forms of retribution and added depth to an already outstanding character. While some have complained about Loki not appearing in more of the film than he did, I felt that it was the perfect amount. While he may not have been in the whole movie, his quick wit made for some of the best moments of the movie.

Many of the themes from Thor 1 carried over into The Dark World, including my favorite – the constant power struggle between Odin, Thor and Loki and their perceptions of it. Some of the best moments of Thor 1 for me involved this and was happy to see it not only built upon but the fact that it felt fresh, too.

Thor: The Dark World does exactly what a sequel should: dig deeper into the universe while also building excitement for future movies. Thor: The Dark World does feel over-saturated with major characters that aren’t given adequate screen time – a problem Thor 1 also suffered from. While most of the movie felt well balanced, some characters felt very underdeveloped and under-utilized, namely Malekith and his followers. Aside from the intro establishing minor backstory, I felt there was so much more we could’ve learned about them to make them seem more menacing than they did.

I went into Thor 1 with low expectations and loved it. My expectations were drastically higher for Thor: The Dark World and I can safely say that not only were my expectations met, but they were exceeded. I’d put Thor: The Dark World as my third favorite Marvel movie to date (behind The Avengers and Iron Man 1). While certain characters do feel underdeveloped, the films great blend of action and humor make it very accessible for old and new fans alike.

Also, it should go without saying that you have to stay through both the mid and post-credits, but with ¾ of my theater emptying out, I apparently have to remind everyone. If you’ve already seen the movie and feel confused by what you saw in the lead up for The Avengers: Age of Ultron and future Marvel movies, Screen Rant has a great article explaining the mid-credit cut scene.

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The Good

+ Great blend of action and humor.

+ Tom Hiddleston, as usual, stole the show.

+ The return of Dr Erik Selvig.

+ Mid-credits scene - one of the best to date.

+ Stan Lee's cameo + another amazing cameo that I won't ruin.


The Bad

- Malekith and The Dark Elf army felt very underdeveloped.

- Thor/Jane love story - while improved - is still insufferable.

Verdict9

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