Thor, the Dark World (2013)


Thor, the Dark World

In certain spheres the Marvel world has worn out its welcome. The box office is not one of these places.

Generations ago, ancestors of Asgard defeated the Dark Elves race whose leader had schemes to plunge the universe into a deep darkness only he watched his people fall and his desired supernatural weapon, the Aether fall to the Asgards. Escaping, their leader waits for another chance to get what he desires but the Asgards have buried the indestructible Aether weapon deep where no one will find it, leaving the Asgards go back to living in peace. One of these decedents is Thor (Chris Hemsworth) who is trying to align the realms again after his half-brother managed to turn their worlds into chaos. Along with his trusted comrades Fandral and Sif (Zachary Levi, Jamie Alexander), he is travelling the nine realms and defeating the armies rising up against Asgard, and giving their people peace again. Unlike the young reckless man he once was, Thor is now restless, his heart left behind on earth…

FILM REVIEW | Thor (2011)

Thor and Jane

Two years have passed since Thor left, and Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) is trying to move on. Now living in London, she has thrown herself into her work and along with her intern Darcy (Kat Dennings), she has found another anomaly. Excited for what this might mean, she explores the building hiding it only to emerge from this with an energy inside her that repels the touch of any human. Her change in circumstances brings Thor back to earth, and fearful for her well-being, he takes her back to Asgard with him in the hopes of finding a cure for an energy that will, if a cure is not found, kill her.

OhMyGosh! This is how a superhero movie gets better a second time out. While still flawed in places with select portions that should definitely have been cut or polished, I adored this sequel. Let me preference all this by saying that I don’t go to a film in this genre expecting “greatness” in the sense that it’s going to offer emotional stimulation to life’s problems. These are the kind of films I watch to be entertained by, to get lost in a fantasy and let me tell you, that is exactly was ‘The Dark World’ did. It rose to meet my expectations and then some.

Starting off, can I just say one very important aspect of this writing process that was spotless. Best. Humor. Ever. There were so many vivid moments of comic gold I had to keep reminding myself to be quiet so as not to disturb sleeping family members. Despite the darker undercurrent to the Loki/Thor betrayal drama, it was a refreshing break to experience their brotherly camaraderie in one sequence without any sort of fake emotion beyond that of brothers being… brothers. (And you go Asgard loyalists. Tell Loki how it is, “if you betray him…”) In that same vein I wouldn’t be honest if neglecting to say that there does come a point in franchises that a baddie needs to be removed as a threat. Saying this will likely earn flack (don't hate me) ,but I’m going to because it’s an opinion and in those parameters, what I’m about to say is an element I feel stifles the story. Writers need to understand the importance of a villain remaining put in his place – whether it be in a dungeon or by death in battle just as they send off their good in a blaze of honor, I’m not sure that they realize how much it undercuts the heroes to pit them against their foes time after time.
 
Overall this film is better than its prequel. The action sequences are far better, the CGI is awesome (how gorgeous is Asgard!?), the costuming is stunning and of course, the change in location to London also provided a big, fun escapism. Also an improvement was the script which was more elaborate than the prequel in my memory though perhaps if I were to rewatch Thor in close proximity to this, the conclusion would be different. What was evident was this story didn’t seem to have the same level of “silly” as before. Those looking for more character development may not find any in this follow-up though it’s still fun to catch-up on the adventures of Thor and Company. Also returning is the always entertaining Darcy, Erik (Stellan SkarsgĂ„rd), Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and newbie, Ian (played by Jonathan Howard) as Darcy’s unpaid-intern, who apparently would follow her to the ends of the earth – and basically he does! 

Thor, the Dark World Loki

If you’re a Marvel fan, this is a solid installment to dazzle and include in your collection. There’s a fun cameo, great sass and opportunities of redemption found in unexpected places. It was funny, lighthearted, bittersweet, action-packed and of course, full of marvelous acting that brings everything together and tagging along in the credits is a happy ending. This girl is certainly prepared for the next chapters in the Marvel universe. Bring it on. 

CONTENT: there are several action/adventure battle sequences that rarely linger on the graphic, an energy source lives inside a woman causing her eyes to turn black. Men are stabbed and supernatural creatures wreak havoc on earth. There may be a mild innuendo or two, some general profanities. There are two or three scenes of a man running around naked on a TV news story – meant to be funny, the TV screen pixelates his body. The film is rated PG13.
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26 Comments

26 comments:

  1. I thought the first Thor movie was great, so I can't wait to watch this one!!!
    Thanks for reviewing this!!

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    1. The first film was fabulous fun, Ella - I 100% agree. In fact, I now really want to re-watch it since I'm watching all of these newbie Marvel flicks. Enjoy its sequel, it's even better. :)

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  2. Well, normally I would agree with you about the villain thing. However, Loki is kind of an exception in my mind. Dark World is such an improvement over the first Thor movie, hands down. Oh and I completely agree with you, the humor was fantastic!

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    1. LOL, I knew that's how EVERYONE would feel, Rosie and I understand that "pull." Most fans would abandon this if Loki goes, but seriously, they should now I'd stick with it. ;)

      *High Five* Definitely - far and above - this was better. I was more impressed and liked Thor so while watching this, it made me ridiculously happy to experience a better sequel. Watching this while the house was sleeping, I felt like I had to constantly "sush" myself for all the giggling going on - seriously! The humor was epic. Loved it. :D

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  3. I loved this one! I actually liked it better than the first.

    I saw a photo that went viral on FB shortly after the movie came out. It was the shot of Jane and Thor in Asgard. Looks like they are walking outside. She's in Asgard robes. The caption of that photo was "That moment when you realize that Kirk's Dad (Star Trek new one) dated Skywalker's mom."

    Plus when I first saw her in the Asgard robes, my first thought was "Oh look. She's back on Naboo."

    Just in case you didn't already know, I'm a total and complete nerd/geek.

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    1. Me, too, Dawn! This sequel was far and above, 10 times better - and I really enjoyed the first film too.

      LOL, you know I saw that photo also. It was comical - though I may not forgive Star Trek for casting Chris than promptly killing him off. Like, really, who does that!? ;)

      Geek is cool around here. It's my favorite thing. :)

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  4. I thought this one was better than the first too. I've already seen it twice, but I would watch it again just to see the Jane/Thor/Loki scenes again...so funny! Great review!

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    1. Those scenes were spot-on perfection, Bekah. Loved the humor, the touch of unexpected and seeing Loki be "good" for even a moment. :)

      I'm planning to watch this again too and hopefully the first one. Just because I'm a Marvel geek. ;)

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  5. Loved your review. :D

    As far as Loki...I'm torn. While I adore Tom Hiddleston to itsy-bitsy bits, I wasn't ever a Loki fangirl...until this movie. Haha. But seriously, there was serious Loki sass going in this movie that might have made me the teeniest bit of a fangirl.

    As far as villains wearing out their welcome, I totally get (and partially agree with) what you're saying. My brother thinks the same thing. However, there's also an element that once you've established an absolutely phenomenal villain in the series, no other villain will live up to it (like, IMO, Magnussen in Sherlock's series 3...he was a great villain, but he just wasn't Moriarty). In both cases, the series just didn't seem the same without them, and no other villain seems to be able to match their...villainy. :P So while I totally think that there's the prospect of Loki definitely wearing out his welcome, I still think the series just won't be the same when they do finally decide to kill him off.

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    1. Hi, Alexandra! Thanks for reading and visiting. Always glad for your comments. :)

      I know I'm very alone in my willingness to let Loki "go," but after both Thor movies plus The Avengers in which he played the baddie, he is getting a tiny bit old. That being said, the sass he displayed during the whole Thor/Loki/Jane scene was phenomenal - loved that series of events!

      *High Five* to your brother. I'm right there with him though as you say, same as we love watching a friendship or romance develop over X number of seasons/movies, a hero/villain dynamic also grows. That being said, it just grows too wearisome to be interesting any more (especially when you consider what it says about the hero!). For example we recently started watching The Mentalist and for 5-6 years, its hero Patrick Jane has been obsessed with dismantling one man. I understand his obsession but this needed to be a plot written out long before it was. Magnussen was quite creepy I thought and really a decent "substitute" for Sherlock (loved that final scene between them) - and honestly if they bring back Moriarty, I will be... baffled. ;)

      Considering Loki has a fanbase, I suspect he'll never be killed off. Unless it's in the closing of the final Thor movie and even then, he'd probably pop up alive in the post-credits scene. Ah, well, I'm still a fan. ;)

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  6. I loved this movie. Or maybe I just loved Loki. I have a feeling if they removed him from the franchise, no one would care half as much about Thor. He doesn't have fangirls -- Loki has fangirls!

    SPOILERS
    That being said, the worst thing about this movie was establishing how stupid Thor actually is. Your brother puts on an elaborate illusion proving he can make anything happen that he wants you to see, and then "dies" -- and you believe it? In my showing there was a six year old kid in the row behind me who shrieked, "Are you gonna believe that?! HE'S NOT DEAD!!" and when we got to the reveal at the end, he said, "I TOLD YOU!" I... loved that kid.

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    1. I think you just loved Loki. ;)

      You're very right - taking away Loki would create a mad dash of annoyance BUT seriously, Thor has fangirls too. They're just not as many as Loki.

      SPOILER RESPONSE:
      Honestly, nearly all heroes are stupid about trusting their nemesis is gone! I cannot count the number of times I've shouted at the TV when a hero will trust again or turn his back on his adversary only to barely escape being killed in a final effort. Like, really!? Will you never learn!? I didn't know how Loki would appear again but I kept thinking, "yeah, he isn't dead." Ha! That's a funny story - smart six-year-old. ;)

      As always, glad you stopped by! :)

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    2. Yeah, pretty sure I just love Loki. Although I kind of like Jane. At least, she doesn't annoy me. ;)

      This is the second or third time Loki has fooled Thor. The first time was Thor and Iron Man being dumb enough to have a knock-down, drag-out fight and then not wonder why, exactly, Loki is still sitting there when he could have been miles away by now (um, gee, maybe he WANTS YOU TO TAKE HIM TO YOUR LAIR?). I just... I can't with the stupid. The dumber I think someone is, the harder a time I have liking them -- and Thor is pretty dumb.

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    3. Yeah... I'm pretty sure he IS what (i.e., the only thing that) draws ya' back. ;) Jane is a great heroine - always did like her too and of course, I think Darcy is hilarious.

      I'm not sure why writer's keep letting heroes fall for their foes tricks. Is it to further widen that gap of separation - to show what no matter what, the good want to think the bad can change? In this franchise specific, despite his supposed indifference of Loki now, I think Thor has "issues" because Loki is his brother, so that factors into the equation. Plus, it can be boiled down to the "excitement" of movie-making - victory, then betrayal and on the pattern repeats.

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    4. I don't own the first Thor movie, but I'll probably own this one just because Loki cracks me up so much. Loved his Captain America impersonation.

      There's two possibilities, regarding good guys being stupid -- either the writers are stupid or the writers think the audience is stupid and won't see through the stupidity. Which... is stupid. ;)

      Thor will be fine. Loki is adopted! HAH!

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    5. I own Thor and will, of course I'll buy this one - that whole scene between Loki and Thor was really a highlight and I loved Loki's sassy attitude. That Captain America appearance made me giggle - it was so unexpected.

      Basically, there's just a lot of foolishness going on in the writer's room. Like, whatever! We're onto you, dude. ;)

      I loved that line in The Avengers when Thor is defending Loki to everyone and Natasha says "he killed 80 people in two days!" Thor: "he's adopted." It just fit in that moment. :)

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  7. Great review!
    I loved this movie a lot too, definitely one of my favourite Marvel's now. I really like how it's more than just a superhero movie, but also has hints of fantasy and sci-fi.

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    1. Absolutely, Birdie! Loved this one too - way more than even the first which was more "fun" than it was plot driven. (Have you seen the new Captain America film? It's my current favorite.) I think Thor is the "best" for elements of fantasy because all of the rest are set in the modern, contemporary world, so it's nice to watch one that can be more of a "costume drama-like" film. Glad you liked this one too - and thank you for reading! :)

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  8. I really loved this movie, except I could have done without the guy running around without clothes. Now I'm dying for the next ones too. Really, the humor and everything else...just really well done for a super hero movie, but they seem to be going that way.

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    1. Same here, Tressa - this follow up was SO much better than the first and I adored all the characters even more. Such a fun series with a great mix of fantasy and action-adventure plus oh-la-la, we get pretty costumes! :)

      I have to confess I love that there are so many superhero flicks. Keep them coming, Marvel.

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    2. Lol! That's what I say too - bring them on!

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    3. *High Five*

      Where is next summer!? ;)

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  9. Nice review! I agree, the humour was spot on!
    That twist at the end, though! I was so not expecting that.

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    1. Thanks, Renu! Glad you stopped by - and thank you for reading.

      Loved the humor, yes, it was one of the best things about the film. And I'm right there with you - I didn't expect that exact twist either...! Wonder what a presumed third movie will bring!? ;)

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