Thor: The Dark World: The Norse God Returns
By Sean Molloy
Informer Media Group
I might be in the severe minority when it comes to the Thor films, but I just have fun with them. I love the fact that Marvel has a character of Norse mythology supplanted on Earth and is put in the more awkward, hilarious situations. I find the entire set up fantastic. Not to say that the newest movie in the Marvel cinematic universe is perfect but it’s a damn fun time.
Like most of the Marvel films the plot is simple and straightforward. The dark elves that once existed before our universe have returned and are hell bent on destruction on an “entirety” kind of level using a kind of dark matter that they call the Aether. Enter Asgard, Mjolnir and our beloved God of thunder, Thor. Natalie Portman returns as the main love interest and frankly its good to have her back rather than just seeing spy pictures as shown in The Avengers.
Thor: The Dark World does a great job of thrusting the audience right into the action. And by doing so, shows what a brilliant choice getting Alan Taylor to direct the movie was. The man delivers fantastic actions sequences that clearly have influence from Taylor’s experience on Game of Thrones. Gone are the days of Branagh’s “realistic” fights, enter the realm (pun intended) gritty, violent sequences that are some of the most impressive seen in a superhero movie so far. Being less chaotic and more focused on the characters themselves really improve the overall feeling. The Dark World also completely nails the humor I mentioned in the introduction. Jokes are spot on as long as they don’t involve Kat Dennings who returns as lab assistant Darcy. It’s a character that really has no use and her dialogue can be flat out painful. The script is tight and small physical movements of characters get a complete belly laugh, in particular one scene that just has Thor hanging up his hammer on a coat rack and standing nervously afterwards. It’s a sense of charm that some of the other Marvel moves can miss from time to time.
And now Loki, yes the audience favorite is back for more mischief in this one. However, Hiddleston is so good as Loki that it’s jarring to see when he is not seen or heard from. The movie just sizzles when he and Thor are on screen together teaming up to defeat this new threat. With a run time of just under two hours I cant help but think that the writers could have a few extra minutes of pure Loki time in to the movie. It’s what the moviegoer wants, give it to us.
Thor’s biggest issue however is the lack of drama and that is simply filled with characters that are too paper thin. There’s a new lab assistant, and a sub plot of awkward dating for Portman, that is completely introduced in the first 20 minutes as a device to get Thor and Jane out of a jam later on. And poor Chris O’Dowd, this guy is too funny as the potential new boyfriend to be given two minutes of screen time.
The good far outweigh the bad in Thor: The Dark World, Asgard is finally rendered as an entire society rather than a simple soundstage. The effects are outstanding throughout and are used to their fullest extent. Don’t go into the theater expect everything you could want out of a superhero movie, as you might be disappointed that nothing is really mind blowing, it’s just a fun two hour romp around. For me, there isn’t anything wrong with that.