Thor: The Dark World directed by Alan Taylor (2013) was a solid movie that provides surefire entertainment to anyone wishing to delve further into the Marvel Cinematic Universe or is just out for some fun. As a movie, it is a vast improvement over the previous film which struggled to find its tone and keep an audience’s attention at times. While there are still some major issues, this film makes a stride forward and keeps its audience engaged. The plot is straight forward and cohesive which allowed for us to check in on many of the characters. If you are looking for an enjoyable movie filled with fun and destruction, Thor: The Dark World should deliver satisfactorily.
For anyone watching the movie in theatres, I’d recommend that you stay for both of the tags. Yes, that means stayig beyond just the animated credits and through the long credits reel to the true end. It includes a nice moment you won’t regret staying for.
Beware, spoilers await.
Thor doesn’t wait to get things started as we see Lady Sif, Fandral, Volstagg, and Hogun fighting to make peace on Vanaheim of the nine realms. After thor quickly distpatches a rock giant of sorts he grants Hogun permission to stay on his home world and enjoy it while there is still peace. The rest of the gang goes back for a celebration. It becomes clear that Thor is still hoping to go back to Jane Foster. All his fighting feels for naught without her by his side. He doesn’t explicitly say this, but Hemsworth does a great job of conveying this.
Luckily for Thor, he is reunited with his love, but after she’s been infected by the Aether a force of darkness with power similar to the tesseract. There wouldn’t have been much of a movie if that was the only problem. Instead, the leader of the dark elves, Malekith wishes to take the Aether to plunge the nine realms back into darkness. He’s willing to attack all of Asgard to do this.
Throughout the movie we are treated to scene after scene that gave us the opportunity to really discover and explore our characters. Sure, some slipped to the way side like Lady Sif and the Warriors Three. I still hardly know anything about them in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We did get to see a great scene of Frigga protecting Jane from Malekith during the attack on Asgard. We learn that she has an aptitude that Loki learned from. It is with her tricks that Frigga protects jane from Malekith finding her by projecting a hologram of Jane. We also see why she was worthy of being Queen of Asgard as she fought Malekith with valor and even halted him. If the Kursed hadn’t interfered, I believe she could have taken him out. Instead, she gave her life to save Jane. It was moving to see her send off through Valhalla.
Before Frigga’s passing we are treated to a scene between her and her son, Loki, where we learn she was the one teaching him tricks. When Thor confronts Loki, after their mother’s death, seeing the true way Loki was feeling was moving. All the funiture in his cell destroyed, his clothes and hair in total disarray, as he slumped on the floor defeated. There should not be a doubt in anyone’s mind that Loki truly cared for his mother. The complexity of Loki and how fleshed out a character he has become is phenomenal. As such, I doubt there are few villains, Marvel Universe or not that can live up to that standard. He has desires and no qualms about reaching them. He will use who he needs, but will also stand by the sides of those he feels deserves the honor. Loki loved his mother. And I believe that Loki truly loves his brother, though they struggle because their ideas of morality differ. At the end of the day he does care for his brother even if he pokes and prods him to a point of mistrust. Odin is another matter. His disappearance at the end of the film replaced by Loki leaves one wondering what has happend to him. While it bothered me not knowing, after it was hinted at, before confirming Odin’s replacement, it leaves the door open to more Loki. No one can hate on that.
As a character Thor suffered from a lack of personal growth. His journey was interesting, but was one of protection and learning to accept what you appreciate. He went from longing for Jane and wanting to protect Midgard, to accepting that he needs to do it. If for no one else but himself. Then again, when you lost your mother, believe you’ve lost your brother, and the love of your life nearly died, your priorities change.
Despite the movie being a vast imporvement over the first and the plot being solid, there were things that were not all so wonderful. The first is Malekith. When you have to share a screen with such a tremendous villain like Loki (even if he isn’t the true villain in this) it is hard to shine. Malekith was by the books. His goals were ancient and he didn’t have any real reason other than wanting to rule an entire universe. He didn’t seem particularly motivated or fleshed out enough to care. He was a threat, but nothing more.
The other major issue was that despite the excitement of the movie, there were parts that still dragged. Certain moments didn’t hit home like you could tell they were intended to. There were funny moments, but most of them weren’t from the intentionally hilarious moments. Stellan Skarsgard was amazing once again as Erik Selvig, bringing in humor that the movie needed. Darcy on the other hand, kept trying and I could see the humor, but something in the timing was off in most, but not all, of her moments. Throughout the movie we lose pace for a moment, again when the action lags on earth. My theory is when you have a place as breathtaking as Asgard it is hard to pull back to earth to show the mundane there. It just simply can not rival the marvel of Asgard unless things are being destroyed. By the way, the use of the interdimensional holes was a nice touch. Those poor pilots must have been very confused flying over Vanaheim.
Overall, as I mentioned before, Thor: The Dark World is a enjoyable movie that will entertain, but it is far from perfect. it just just the right touch to keep me excited about the Marvel Universe.
Oh and seeing Benicio del Toro as the Collector in the first tag was a nice bit of ominous fun and a way to begin introducing the general public to Guardians of the Galaxy. As for the second tag, who can resist chasing birds, clearly the frost beast can’t. Though the London officials might want to look into getting that frost beast removed.