Thor: The Dark World
Directed by Alan TaylorWritten by Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely
Guess what? Thor: The Dark World is no different than any other of the Marvel films. Really. In the continuing productions from the Marvel universe, this one fits the mold that has been expected from all of the previous films. Good one-liners, numerous plot holes that do not answer anything, blocky fantasy and story lines that seem to follow the similar path to please the audience. Some explosions and over extended action scenes, decent humor (I must say) and characters that are more interesting by themselves than the films as a whole. Thor: The Dark World is what it is and pleases today's audience, who mainly wants eye candy and detailed, expanding CGI instead of a story that has meaning, continuity and substance. It puts butts in the seats. The blockbuster lives and will never die, or grow.
The film begins with a back story revolving around Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), his Dark Elves and there attempts at conquering the universe. They eventually lose to Thor's grandfather Bor (Tony Curran) and Malekith's magnificent, energy enhancing device, the Aether, is lost forever. It is hidden deep in the planet, but with no protection and no concern. Malekith escapes and awaits his turn for another opportunity at turning putting the universe into miserable darkness.
Now, we are back in modern time, comic book time. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and his warriors have been defending the universe and protecting the nine realms for safety and the upcoming alignment of these nine. Love that inter dimensional travel... We also have Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) who is still working as a physicists, but also misses her friend and love Thor. Somehow, randomly and with little reason, she stumbles upon a gravitational pull that transfers items, or humans, from one dimension to the next. No reason. It just looks cool and sounds amazing. Easy stuff for this mildly predictable audience to not care and not really give a shit about understanding. Maybe the die hard comic fans enjoy it, but give me something more. Anyways, Jane becomes in contact with the Aether and eventually reunites with Thor. Thor's father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) dislikes this mortal, especially when he brings her to Asgard, but his mother Frigga (Rene Russo) consoles and looks after her.
The story goes on and not until about the half way mark it gets interesting, just because Loki (Tom Hiddleston) becomes more involved in the story. He has been locked up in an Asgard dungeon since his devious endeavors in The Avengers (2012). He plays the role of Loki with a lot fun and clinical, humorous madness. You can tell he is just having a good time playing a villainous character, but brings more depth and creativity to the role then any other character in this ongoing Marvel filmography. I will say that even though I did not enjoy any of the Iron Man films, Robert Downey, Jr. is quite good.
The film goes on, running around two hours and everything is in its place. Certain characters appear to die, but do they? These films seem to never want to kill off any characters and if it is working and making money, why not keep it going even if it does not make any logical sense at all. After all, it is a comic book film. You have the obligatory mid-credits sequence that, and I do not mind this, links this film with the next Marvel film in the sequence. There is usually about two films a year and next year already has release dates for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, April 4, 2014 and Guardians of the Galaxy, August 1, 2014. And, there are big, ending explosions, this time in London, and action and flying superheroes and Portman's Jane doing something with a remote control. Whatever man.
I did not completely dislike or hate this sequel to Thor (2011) like I did all of the Iron Man films, but I was not blown away by it, not that I was expecting to be. To be honest, I like the Thor films because of Tom Hiddleston as Loki and the underused Idris Elba as Heimdall, and that is about it. Hemsworth is reliable and supporting turns from Stellan Skarsgård, Kat Dennings, Jaimie Alexander and Ray Stevenson round out the ensemble. Portman, like in the first film, seems oddly out-of-place. I I really do not know why, other than that it just does not work for me. Maybe because I am so use to seeing her films with more depth and meaning behind it. However, I did like the horned, devilish mask that one of Malekith's dark elves Algrim (Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje) wears once he is inflicted with a curse. Really crazy and wild looking.
Other than Hiddleston's continuing great turn as Loki, there is not much different about Thor: The Dark World from the first film or any other of the films in the Marvel universe. A piece of escapist cinema for the masses that makes millions of dollars. Money talks and story is put on the back burner. The next film will be little different form this one. You know what to expect and little more.
Photo credit by IMDB.