The second movie for Marvel Phase 2 finally released. With Iron Man 3 being entertaining, but disappointing in certain aspects, my hope for Thor: The Dark World was that it wouldn’t be as disappointing. Luckily, I found it to be better than Iron Man 3, but Marvel’s recent films still have room for improvement.
Thor: The Dark World begins with the back story of Thor’s grandfather fighting the Dark Elves. During this sequence, we are introduced to Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), the leader of the Dark Elves. He is searching for a substance known as “The Aether” so that he can plunge the world into darkness.
We then jump back to present-day and find that Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is bringing order to the Nine Realms, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is imprisoned on Asgard following the events of The Avengers, and Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) is still on Earth wondering where Thor has been for two years. The rare alignment of the Nine Realms (the Convergence) approaches – creating portals to other worlds. Jane is sucked into one of the portals and infected by “The Aether”. Malekith is awakened and Thor must protect Jane, Asgard, and Earth – even if he has to rely on help from his traitorous brother Loki.
The standout performance of the film comes from Tom Hiddleston, even though his screen time isn’t that long. Hiddleston works so well as Thor’s villainous brother and when he’s on the screen he’s mesmerizing to watch. The banter between Thor and Loki is entertaining to watch and even funny at times. Loki’s sarcastic wit had me laughing several times. It’s worth noting that this film has a lighter tone than Thor’s previous outing. One thing that Marvel needs to work on in its films is the overuse of comedy. Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World might be Marvel’s funniest movies to date. The thing I loved about The Avengers was that it was the perfect blend of comedy, action, and drama. The MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) films need to balance all three of those elements for their films and I think the Phase 2 films are having a hard time doing that.
There is a noticeable improvement in the action sequences due to director Alan Taylor. His work on Game of Thrones helped him craft some wonderful action scenes for this film – especially one with Thor and Malekith falling through portals as they fight. It’s also one of the most visually beautiful Marvel films. The beautiful and vibrant imagery of Asgard looks even better than it did in the original Thor.
The villain, while less disappointing than Iron Man 3’s, is still underdeveloped. We don’t spend enough time with Malekith to know his motivations besides the fact that he’s evil for evils sake. There is certainly lost potential there.
While I did have some qualms with the overuse of comedy and the underdeveloped villain, I can still say that Thor: The Dark World is still an extremely fun film. The action scenes were well done, the comedy was genuinely funny, and the drama and interplay between Loki and Thor was enjoyable. Hopefully, the two Marvel films next year (Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy) find a better balance between comedy, action, and drama. But even if they don’t, there is no doubt that the films will still be enjoyable.
- I wouldn’t have minded more Loki in the film. Some scenes could have been replaced with more scenes of him.
- The mid-credits scene may be hinting at Avengers 3 as it mentions the Infinity Stones, which will lead to the Infinity Gauntlet. If it’s not, then I would be surprised. The second film has to do with Ultron and not Thanos. So as of right now, I think the scene hints at the story of Avengers 3. Although that’s exciting, the mid-credits scene did look a bit rushed. However, it’s still much better than the post-credits scene from Iron Man 3.