Thor: The Dark World (2013) … Exclusive Review

Some Spoilers

loki5Thor: The Dark World is entertaining and presents characters that have a likeable familiarity in their quest to bring us memorable moments.  I have no complaints about the plot itself, although it is not unique in the least, but it is grand enough to fit in quite nicely with the faux-fantasy world presented in the movie.

Malakith, a supervillain thought locked away, returns to wreck evil and unlock a mysterious weapon to destroy the Universe.  And that’s it.  He doesn’t have any more depth than that.  And really, I was okay with that.  I don’t need a Rob Zombie thesis on how he was not born evil, but was made evil through the corruption of society.

Thor is a great character and Chris Hemsworth plays him like an honorable champ.  He keeps his promises, puts others before himself, and makes sacrifices for the greater good.  Perhaps he should run for President.  In any case, he returns to Earth to sweep up Jane Foster into his arms, not once, but twice.  That’s about all the motivation Jane needs to call him the love of her life apparently.  CNN’s ew.com review of the movie said Natalie Portman played Jane “…like a petulant schoolgirl…”*.  Ouch dude.  She is an okay character and I didn’t have a problem with her, though she’s shoehorned into the plot because the power Malekith is seeking hides inside her.  I thought it was a clever way to include her actually.  She doesn’t whine or carry on like the stereotypical woman in movies needing to be saved, but I admit she has just slightly more depth than Malekith.

Loki is the one who really does have depth.  Tom Hiddleston really makes us believe Loki is the god of mischief and deception.  I would have watched a whole movie of Thor & Loki teaming up like brothers, Thor & Loki fighting, and Thor & Loki bantering.  Loki is certainly not just a villain in the movie and teams up with Thor briefly to show us what a brotherly duo really could accomplish.  You can see that Loki is just waiting to pounce and unleash his anger upon whomever, that his evil is hiding just under the surface.  Not for a moment did I think Loki was dead in this movie.  Never!  But the movie doesn’t play it for surprises, because it drops hints, as if smiling at us for Loki’s cleverness.

Supporting characters need help, but they are welcome entertainment.  While Jane visits Asgard, Sif gives her a look that only a woman with daggers can give.  Holy cow, is Sif jealous?  My prediction for the third installment is that we will see Sif versus Jane square-off in a no-holds barred slapfight.  Nah, maybe not, but an inclusion of Jane into Thor’s “group” could bring about an awkwardness that might give us some good scenes or dialogue.

I think I heard somewhere that a good action movie follows a template.  This template has been proved by… really smart movie-making people or something.  The template wisely tells us that a good action movie like Thor 2 should have a fight scene at the beginning, fight scene in the middle, and a big concluding fight at the end.  Star Wars does this.  The original Thor (2011) does this.  The Avengers (2012) does this, so maybe it’s just a Marvel thing.  Anyway, the action follows this formula and improves upon the first movie.  I did like the Destroyer in Thor (2011) though, but there’s enough villains in Thor 2 to satisfy me.  I don’t think the move is Avengers (2012) level, but it is entertaining enough for me.  And not too long to make me reconsider.

Really I think they sorta go overboard with the jokes.  A few I was alright with, such as at the beginning, and the inclusion of a new Earth character that Jane’s friend Darcy calls “the intern”.  Played by Kat Dennings, Darcy really annoyed some people on the internet and I’ve read a few scathing reviews of how she is used in the movie.  Darcy had a few funny moments in Thor (2011), but in the sequel, she does have more time to try to be comedic.  I’m alright with it because I would rather have what we got than a dry, Lord of the Rings wanna-be interpretation of the fantasy world of Thor, with ten times more exposition, ten times more dialogue, and ten times more gravitas.   I shook my head a few times though, such as when Thor hung his mighty hammer on a coatrack hook.  What?

Overall, Thor: The Dark World presents itself as a sequel to The Avengers (2012) and gives us entertainment. It believes we like the characters and gives us what we want: Thor hitting crap with his hammer and being a superhero.  Although it reaches in some places, it doesn’t take itself too seriously and achieves success by bringing the audience more quality than the original.

8/10

* http://www.cnn.com/2013/11/08/showbiz/movies/thor-the-dark-world-review/index.html

More Spoilers

The double ending is pretty cool.  I don’t like the actor playing The Collector, but who cares.  He is obviously just a vehicle behind Thanos, the real threat for Avengers 2.  He is collecting Infinity Gems and is going to bring us an intergalactic threat like that seen in 1991’s comic book series Infinity Gauntlet.  What do you think of this?  Will there be more in the other Marvel movies?

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