Review: THOR: THE DARK WORLD

thor the dark world posterThor: The Dark World, despite it’s abundance characters and scenic locations, of is a rather simplistic film. Which is not to say it isn’t an entertaining film. It is, just don’t expect Shakespearean complexities.

Thor (Chris Hemsworth)  has been busy keeping the peace in The Nine Realms since the Bifrost Bridge was destroyed. He has just about finished putting all the fires out when an ancient enemy of the Asgardians, Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), reappears. Malekith is a Dark Elf who remembers time before creation and desperately wants to return there. He almost succeeded centuries ago, using a supernatural force call the Aether during a convergence of the Nine Realms. He was defeated by Thor’s grandfather, Bor, who hid the Aether away as Malekith went into stasis, awaiting the next convergence.

Thor-The-Dark-World-Movie-2013-Review-Official-Trailer-Release-Date-1The convergence arrives in the present day and Malekith awakens, in search of the Aether. The Aether, in a strange twist of fate, has found itself melded to Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), which sets Malekith after her and therefore brings Thor back into her life. Thor must protect Jane while protecting Asgard while trying to save the world from destruction. To do this, he calls on his imprisoned brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) for help. But that might be the worst thing he could do.

The film proceeds at a fairly brisk pace, with plenty of spectacular action scenes and laugh-out-loud funny moments. But it does so with a brutal, cause-and effect storytelling economy. Why did this happen? Because this happened. Why did that happen? Because that happened.Outside of Thor and Loki, there is little room for shading or nuances.

"Marvel's Thor: The Dark World"..L to R: Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) and Algrim (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) ..Ph: Film Frame..© 2013 MVLFFLLC. TM & © 2013 Marvel. All Rights Reserved.Case in point, Malekith. His entire story is told in a voice over by Odin at the start of the film. We know what he wants and we know how he sets about to get it. We don’t really get a reason why (Vengeance? Quest for Power? A hope to recapture what he once lost) or anything that would make him a three-dimensional character we can relate to. He is just the threat, one against the entire universe, that Thor must defeat.

We get the legal minimum of characterization from the supporting characters. Whether it be fight scenes where they can show their personalities (Sif, Fandral) or just making them stark raving mad (Selvig), they only get enough personality to serve the plot’s purpose and that’s it.

thor-the-dark-world-chris-hemsworth-thor-natalie-portman-jane-foster-600-01And, granted, this is because Thor’s supporting cast is huge, even with the Warriors Three reduced to the Warriors Two (Hogun [Tadanobu Asano] gets relegated to his home realm at start of the film and stays there throughout) and to give everyone a moment to shine, that moment has to be short and sweet.

Thor and Loki fare much better. Hemsworth does an understated job playing Thor as a well meaning clod with moments of brilliance. His arrogance and ego from the first movie has been pared down to a stubborn pursuit of a doomed love with Jane (Any pairing of a demigod who can live thousands of years with a human who can live maybe 100 years, tops, can only end in tragedy).

importimagesource=MCthor-the-dark-world-picture-11_155085And Tom Hiddleston once again shows us why so many fans want a Loki film. It would never work, because Loki needs work in the background to be effective, but you can see why people would wish it would work. Loki steals the show with every scene he is in. You can tell Hiddleston loves playing the character too.

Your enjoyment of the film will come down to whether or not you can lose yourself in a bare-bones popcorn flick. I did, and had a great time. But the film has flaws that might irritate some viewers. Your mileage may vary.

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About William Gatevackes 1933 Articles
William is cursed with the shared love of comic books and of films. Luckily, this is a great time for him to be alive. His writing has been featured on Broken Frontier.com, PopMatters.com and in Comics Foundry magazine.

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FilmEksis
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Review: THOR: THE DARK WORLD http://t.co/0pkG4vAueF

Rich Drees
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I think I may have liked the film a bit more than you. I found it to be a much more confident movie than the first THOR, as it basically flips the first film’s formula of a little bit in Asgard at the beginning and end and the majority of the middle set on Earth to just bits on Earth that bookend the majority of the film that takes place in Asgard. I especially like that we got more of a look at some aspects of Asgardian life and culture, even though maybe all of it wasn’t specifically spelled us… Read more »

William Gatevackes
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I think the makeup hampered Eccleston. Hopkins was able to add more to his character with a well timed facial expression. Eccleston didn’t have that ability. His makeup took away all the expression from its face. Not that the writing helped. It’s hard to believe Malekith’s anger at having his family and people taken away from him when he is so willing to sacrifice the people he has now. And Selvig having a psychotic break after the events of The Avengers would have made sense if it was played right. Here it was just used as another shortcut for his… Read more »