The expectations were low for Thor: The Dark World. The trailers weren’t hype-inducing enough and the first Thor had plenty of room for improvement. That’s why it was such a joy to see the final product be pretty good. The first 40 minutes were weak, but Thor: The Dark World certainly picked up after that and made for an overall enjoyable film. Thor has now darkened up Blu-ray and, in traditional Marvel fashion, knocks it out of the park (or at least makes it to third base).
In my Thor 2 review, I praised the superhero spectacle. “The film had a rocky start and had some trouble with its characters but there is great dialogue and a well crafted story here that should satisfy superhero fans,” said a genius who loves his run-on sentences. After watching the film for the second time, I mostly agree with myself. The rocky start is still there (at a whopping 40 minutes long) and some of the characters were handled poorly (*cough* Sif *cough*), but the performances are great and the movie is still very entertaining even with the knowledge of all the surprises that await. Since my reactions are still the same, it’s safe to assume yours might be too. So if you weren’t a fan the first time around, odds are a second viewing won’t convert you.
Visually, Thor 2 looks pretty good on Blu-ray. I wish it was more sharp as some images look pretty soft, but the presentation has great colors and slick action. The sound was pretty fantastic. A pet peeve of mine is having to constantly turn down the volume when a loud action scene hits, only to turn it back up once the dialogue comes back. That never happened with the very consistent sounding Thor 2. The sound effects and great score by Brian Tyler sounded awesome and blended nicely with the dialogue.
The 3D presentation, on the other hand, is underwhelming. There aren’t any cool effects, nor does the film use the depth of field to its advantage. The 3D does live up to the film’s title though as this is a dark presentation. The 3D is unbearably dark at times to the point where I was actually confused what was exactly happening on screen. When the main menu is the coolest 3D effect on the Blu-ray, that’s not a good thing. Stick to the much prettier (and brighter) 2D version.
The Bonus Features on the Thor: The Dark World Blu-ray are:
“Marvel One-Shot: All Hail the King” (13:51) is the latest of Marvel’s fantastic One-Shots. While this one has been overhyped a bit, it’s still pretty good. Ben Kingsley is once again terrific while the rest of the supporting cast also do a commendable job. It’s pretty funny too, getting some serious laughs from me. My favorite One-Shot is still the Agent Carter one from the Iron Man 3 Blu-ray but this one sits nicely at second.
In the Featurettes section you’ll get “A Brother’s Journey: Thor & Loki” (2 parts totaling 31:39), which focuses on Thor and Loki’s brotherly relationship, their motivations, their actions, etc. This is a very well made and entertaining feature. Hearing the cast and crew talk about the characters and the three films Thor and Loki are featured in was great stuff. Plus, we get some sweet behind-the-scenes footage as b-roll.
Also in Featurettes, “Exclusive Look – Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (3:35) is a very quick behind-the-scenes look at, you guessed it, The Winter Soldier. All it did for me was get me even more hyped for what is already one of my most anticipated films of the year. It does spoil something so beware for that!
Finally in Featurettes, “Scoring Thor: The Dark World With Brian Tyler” (5:21) is a brief feature with Brian Tyler on his great score for Thor. He goes over his inspirations and how he planned the music based on the scene it’s playing in, and we even get some footage of the musicians in action. It’s a great feature that’s pretty interesting if you liked the score (which you probably did because it’s epic).
There’s four deleted scenes and two extended scenes (7:49) all of which are worth a look. It’s understandable why they were left on the cutting room floor, but that doesn’t make them any less cool to see on Blu-ray. Each one (except for “Extended Vanaheim Scene”) also has a commentary track by various people which is a nice touch. They’re worth a watch with and without the commentary.
The “Gag Reel” (3:30) is your average Gag Reel. Nothing too special here but it’s certainly entertaining.
Finally, there’s an Audio Commentary by Alan Taylor (Director), Kevin Feige (Producer), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), and Kramer Morgenthau (Cinematographer) which is pretty good. They’re very talkative and drop lots of great fun facts and stories from the set. Absolutely worth a listen for fans of the flick.
Overall, the bonus features on the Thor: The Dark World Blu-ray are pretty solid. Nothing here was too noteworthy but I was generally pleased with everything we got. Audio Commentary? Check. Deleted & Extended Scenes? Check. Making of the Film? Check. What else can you ask for?
Just like The Avengers and Iron Man 3 Blu-rays, Thor: The Dark World does a great job. The movie itself has its issues, but is still a very entertaining and enjoyable flick. The video and audio presentations are stellar, and the bonus features are solid. The 3D is pretty weak and the bonus features, while great, certainly aren’t anything to write home about. Still, if you’re a fan of the flick, Thor: The Dark World is a worthy Blu-ray buy.