Thor: The Dark World – 4/5 – Movie Reviews by Ry!

thorThor: The Dark World – 4/5 – I could say many things, good and bad.  I could come up with an intriguing or meaningful prologue, but I’ll just get straight to the point.  Thor: The Dark World is a film that builds upon this expanding universe that was created with the previous films, and does it in a way that is thrilling, comical, and completely entertaining.  With some obvious plot commonalities, you will still enjoy the journey that is Thor: The Dark World.

Premise:  In this continuation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Asgard and the rest of the nine realms are faced with an enemy that dates before time.  In this dire situation, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet.

Every one of the big names return to reprise their roles.  I will put the main four in a list below:

Chris Hemsworth as Thor

Natalie Portman as Jane Foster

Tom Hiddleston as Loki

Anthony Hopkins as Odin

In these roles, all the main players do an excellent job in recreating the characters we loved from the previous film.  As Thor, Chris Hemsworth provides a person that has grown from the previous films.  You see (within this film) that there is a maturation Of Thor.  He is more or less, at times, an arrogant fool, but even with this slight misstep in personality, he has grown up and feels more like a wise general on the battlefield.  As Thor, Hemsworth brings great bravado and wit to the character, which is both cunning and welcoming for the audience and everyone else in the film.  He makes you want to fight for him, cheer for him, and many other emotional feelings that brings you closer to who is the Thor.  What makes Thor so admirable is his interactions with his brother, Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston.   Tom provides that lovable trickster as before, but does it even better and more elusive than the first few films.  He takes him to the fullest extent, which is comical, eerie but completely welcoming on screen.  There is something vicious in his nature, but ironically you get a good feeling from this anti kind of tone.  This is created by how Hiddleston makes the character Loki dangle the line between good and evil.  He has deep motives for something grand, but deep in his heart, he still has a connection to be accepted, welcome and appreciated by his family and friends.  That gift of versatility, along with his interaction with Thor, helps create a brotherhood bond that shows that even for all the past discretion, he is still family.  As Odin, Anthony Hopkins provides that ‘old wise man’ caricature, but it is done very serene and briskly.  He isn’t overbearing with the portrayal, but it is enough to make him stand out.  Jane Foster is somewhat an underused character in this film.  Unlike the first one, she is more of a plot device more than an actually character.  Even so, she does a great job in providing that ‘scientist’ mentality, that helps compliment the fantasy that is built within this film.  You also have returning the Warriors Three (Fandral, Hogan and Voltstagg) played by Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano and Ray Stevenson, the Lady Sif, played by Jaimie Alexander, and Heimdall, played by Idris Elba.  All these actors do a great job in providing deeply, unique characters.  In doing so, they provide a great compliment to the story, as well as to Thor and Loki.  When it comes to the big bad guy, the group has to face against the Dark Elf, Malekith, played by Christopher Eccleston.  As the villain in this film, he provides a great antagonist that a grand threat to Thor and all of the nine realms.  With the limited screen time, he does well to exude villainy, as well as prove to be a tough match for Thor.  Even for being a great antagonist, he doesn’t actually capture the hearts like any of the other characters do (especially Loki), but it isn’t as much as a bother as it could have been.

The direction of the film is one that is hard to explain.  I say this because the film doesn’t have a start to finish kind of perspective, or follows and real common format.  As a continuation of previous films (Thor and The Avengers), this film has to be a building block for further expansion of the universe.  With that being said, with Alan Taylor at the helm (Game of Thrones fame) his motif with serial connection and storytelling helps bridge what could have been a convoluted sequel.  In the beginning, we pick up a year after the situations that have happened in Thor and The Avengers.  Loki has been imprisoned and Thor is fighting to restore order back to all the nine realms.  Along with this, you have the introduction of the convergence; where the 9 realms align every thousands of years.  Within this, we are thrown into convenient subplots that bring a connection for Thor back to Earth and Jane Foster; a dark power is unearthed that has awaken Malekith and his dark elves from their slumber.  From this introduction, we are badgered over the head with a lot of mythos and creeds that make up the nine realms, the dark power, as well as the consequence of any non-action taken from the oncoming threat.  It is a lot to take in, but Alan Taylor directs it in a way that it is methodical, and easy to understand.  Also, through this first half we get a good mix of action, comical situations, some interpersonal dialogue and heartfelt moments.  This is very good for the audience because it grounds the fantasy to reality, making it more believable than some comic films.  Once the Elves begin their attack on Asgard, the film hits a pivotal point, and moves forward, bringing all the separate characters (Loki, Thor and Jane Foster) onto one linear path; they must work together to find a way and stop Malekith.   From this pivotal moment, we are thrust into the standard ‘good vs. evil’ theme, as well as a ‘brotherhood’ theme.  The Loki vs. Thor scenario is as much a dire thing in the film’s progression as the encompassing threat from Malekith and his legion of Dark Elves.  This dueling of these threats (both external and internal) causes a great layering to the standard linearity of the film’s second half.  This helps add flavors that are amusing, ominous and unpredictable.  This creates a thrilling second half, which is both grounded with humanistic values, but still action pack and bombastic like a comic book film should be.   Even with some convenient plot devices near the end, you’ll never feel as if you know what’s going to happen, especially in the climax.   Once the film comes to its epilogue kind of closure, you watch as Thor’s character grows even wiser and mature, and takes a path that few would see coming.   Also, stay for the mid and post credits, there are two scenes afterwards that will glean your attention.

The visuals of the film are wonderful coloring for both the story and characters.  Through the visuals, you feel as if it’s a character to itself, as you get a grand scope of the worlds that are being portrayed on screen.  In this film, we have a larger scope of things, as we travel to a few more realms, as well as other parts of Asgard.  We get a luscious, believable world that is fitting to the lore, as well as comparable to the previous films.  From the creation of the palace, the surrounding homes and villages, as well as London (on Earth) and a few other places (like the Dark Elves home world and other realms), you feel as if you’re a part of the world, being fully captured by what you see.  The score is somewhat of a trivial thing, but you notice it is there, but don’t completely care about it.

Overall, Thor: The Dark World is a wonderful comic book film.  It builds upon the universe created from previous films, and pushes the stories into a bigger and wonderful direction.  Thor and Loki are wonderful as always, as well as the supporting cast and the big bad guy, Malekith.  The story is enriching, even if it isn’t great, and the action and interactions of certain people (like Loki and Thor) will keep you watching.  If you’re a fan of Marvel, Thor or fun filled action adventures, this is one for you.  You will not be disappointed.

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