Even as the superhero film fanatic that I am, I just couldn’t help but be worried about Thor The Dark World. Not only did the trailers not particularly grab me, but the original Thor (while enjoyable in many ways) had enough plot and screenplay problems to put Iron Man 3 o shame. That’s why I am overjoyed to say that Thor: The Dark World exceeds the quality of its predecessor and is a worthy followup to The Avengers.
Thor: The Dark World follows the events of The Avengers. Loki is sentenced to life in prison by his adoptive father Odin while Thor continues to try to make peace in the Nine Realms (by good ol’ war). Meanwhile, an old enemy returns and attacks Asgard. It’s up for Thor to track him down but he needs the help of Loki to do so.
The plot of Thor: The Dark World does exactly what it needs to do. It does a great job of continuing the story once it picks up. Unfortunately, it takes a solid 10-20 minutes before this film picks up. I was very bored and uninterested by the beginning of the film and couldn’t understand why anybody could like the movie. The writing was poor and performances were wooden. But this film pulled an Elysium and became awesome at the flick of a switch. All of a sudden, the movie pulled me in and I was sucked in for the remainder of the film where we get solid performances by the cast, a funny mostly well-written screenplay, and fantastic direction by Alan Taylor.
Most of the cast returns in Thor 2 and they are given much better roles. Jane is still a mostly weak character and doesn’t hold a candle to Frigga or the potential of Sif (more on her in a second) but Natalie Portman still does a fine job in the role. Kat Dennings’ Darcy Lewis was slightly improved from the first film but can still get annoying at times and Anthony Hopkins’ Odin, Idris Elba’s Heimdall, and Rene Russo’s Frigga were thankfully given more to do.
Chris Hemsworth plays a great Thor but the character hasn’t developed at all since the first Thor movie. He’s still the caring, powerful, and badass character we know and love but doing something with him is more preferable. Jaimie Alexander’s Sif is unfortunately thrown to the side in this film. She has potential to be a cool strong female character but the writer’s aren’t giving her the screen time. Finally, Christopher Eccleston’s Malekith is a waste. This villain added nothing to the film and is one of the most forgettable villains in recent memory. I understand that Loki is a tough act to follow, but Malekith was a boring and completely uninteresting villain.
Speaking of Loki, Tom Hiddleston once again knocks it out of the park as the God of Lies and Mischief. I was worried Loki would be overused in the film due to the character’s popularity but I was very surprised to find that the writers gave him the right amount of screentime. Those writers gave him great dialogue and somehow made the character shine after so many great Loki moments in the past two films.
The writing in the movie in general was pretty good for the most part. Besides some of the weak characters and slow beginning, Thor: The Dark World is a mostly funny film with a couple of great character moments. Unfortunately, the cons outweigh the pros when it comes to the characters but the writers were able to give everybody solid and sometimes hilarious dialogue.
The direction in the film by Alan Taylor is also excellent. There’s no shaky cam and no zoomed in action here. Thor 2 doesn’t have anything truly memorable when it comes to the action but the film looked damn good when things got hectic. Even the normal dialogue scenes were well shot with a few clever camera techniques thrown in. The visual effects in the film were also very well crafted although nothing too mindblowing.
Thor: The Dark World exceeded my expectations in quite a few ways. 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. And without spoiling anything, the ending certainly keeps you wanting more from Thor.
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