Thor: The Dark World
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From the Studio that brought you the #1 Super Hero movie of all time, MARVEL'S THE AVENGERS, comes another must-own, epic blockbuster starring Chris Hemsworth as The Mighty Thor. Worlds collide when a powerful ancient enemy threatens to plunge the cosmos into eternal darkness. Now, reunited with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), and forced to forge an alliance with his treacherous brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Thor embarks on a perilous personal quest to save both Earth and Asgard from destruction. Experience this action-packed adventure featuring bonus content, including a deleted scene and a new exclusive look at the feature film MARVEL'S CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER!
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I can't imagine that a fan of the character Thor would be disappointed with this film. It builds on all the elements that Kenneth Branagh established in the first film and ups the ante across the board. Everything is bigger: the battles, the cast, the sets, the visual effects, the soundtrack, the entire scope. The costumes are amazing. I wish they looked this good the first time around. And Asgard is incredible. Alan Taylor has brought the eternal realm to life in a way that Branagh did not. It is still majestic but it feels much more real and actually "lived in".
Further, the actors from the first movie have really grown into their roles. Hemsworth and Hiddleston in particular are the very embodiment of their characters. Hiddleston has much more material to work with from an actor's perspective with regards to Loki - a tormented and duplicitous soul - but he's so good at it. Whereas Hemsworth plays the cocksure Thor in a much more understated fashion. Thor is not complex but has a big heart. Bringing him to life requires subtlety and Hemsworth nails it. Neither actor oversells their role. Not only that, they have tremendous chemistry with each other and every scene in which they are together steals the show. As a fan who realizes how horribly wrong these movies could've gone with such an outrageous premise, I am so grateful that Marvel found these two actors to play the most vital parts of the story.
The creators of the film version of Thor had a difficult choice integrating into the universe and tone that Favreau established in the first Iron Man. In the comics, there's magic and there's sci fi and other dimensions and all that stuff and you just accept it. In the reality-based technology-centric world Iron Man created, how do you introduce a viking god from space who soars around with a magic hammer? In fact, Favreau even admitted he had no idea how it could be done. However, Branagh did find a way and he did it by emphasizing the science fiction aspects of the mythology Jack Kirby and Stan Lee concocted 50 years ago. Taylor now had the unenviable job of taking that idea and running with it without it falling apart at the seams. In my opinion he succeeded. The result is Dark Elves in space ships. It's a bizarre mix and maybe a lot of people won't get it. But it feels like a comic book sprung to life and I loved it.
The only legitimate complaint that I feel this movie deserves is that at times it feels too compressed. (However, I also felt that way about the first film.) It's amazing that for such a short run time The Dark World truly does feel epic, but there's so much going on in this story between Earth and Asgard and the other realms that things don't always get enough time to breathe. I believe this strategy of Marvel is to keep moving the story forward at a brisk pace for the grander scheme of things while maintaining the widest possible appeal for a broad audience - but I'd like to them to linger a little more in a juicy chapter like this. I think even 5 or 10 minutes of added scenes could've put this film over the top and helped flush out certain characters' motives and let you feel more attachment to them. Alan Taylor has said it was very difficult for him to cut out several scenes and is the first Marvel director who has said he'd be keen on doing a Director's Cut. Boy would I love to see that!
Things I liked about The Dark World:
* Character arc of Thor - Thor is growing wiser and shrewder but still retaining his bravado. The lessons he experienced in the first film have made him question things more in this one. His relationship with Odin ebbs and flows like real life and in this film we see that father and son are not so different from each other. In the end Thor makes a surprising choice that mirrors his actions from the comics.
* Character arc of Loki - Loki finds redemption - or does he? His motives are always ambiguous and questionable and he certainly is headed on a darker path. However, the events that unfold here give you more insight into who he is and why he does the things he does
* The funeral scene - Not wanting to spoil things here but you'll know it when you see it. Amazing.
* Sci-fi/fantasy mashup - Star Wars meets Lord of the Rings. The comics was always a weird juxtaposition of seemingly incongruous ideas and this film embraces it and it works.
* Algrim the Kursed - wow! This guy is scary.
* Fun plot twists - Loki isn't the only trickster in this film!
* Thor and Jane Foster make a cute pair - others may disagree but their romance to me is very innocent and sweet and I feel she plays the starry eyed scientist bit to a tee. It's not a huge part of the film but their scenes work and it helps humanize Thor and keep him connected to Earth. I also am very old fashioned and I love how gallantly protective Thor is of Jane and I love that she is equally protective of him.
* Creative battle scenes - especially the last one which produces some ridiculous situations and leave's Thor's hammer Mjolnir VERY confused!
* A healthy dose of humor injected to keep the film from ever taking itself too seriously but not overdone
* Stellan Skarsgård as Erik Selvig - you see that Tony Stark is not the only one impacted by the events of Avengers. This man is a genius but Loki's mind games have really messed him up. Even so Skarsgård is a tremendous actor and really sells it. I enjoyed his part of the story and how he unravels the mystery of the convergence despite his mental state.
Bottom line this film is fun escapism ala Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Don't expect poignant existential validation or heavy handed political commentary. This film is a good time. It's also an exciting chapter in a much larger story that is the MCU. Enjoy the ride!
But I’m getting ahead of myself. The movie begins a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, where some bad guys are fighting some good guys. You can tell who the bad guys are because they are called Dark Elves. Their warriors are called Kursed, and they are apparently the only beings in the entire universe that don’t speak English. Anyway, the Dark Elves want to take some red mist called the Aether, which is “the most powerful weapon in the universe”, and kill everyone (yes, there’s a lot of talk about “the universe” in this movie. You can’t get more epic than that.) Luckily, Thor’s grandfather wins, and hides “the most powerful weapon in the universe” in a rock.
Fast forward to present day. Some kind of “convergence of the Nine Realms of the universe” is getting ready to happen, and it’s focused on England. This makes parts of Earth act all wacky. Jane’s science team finds one of these places - if you throw things into it, it makes them disappear. So they decide to throw their car keys into it. Then Jane decides to wander off by herself. She runs into the rock that hides the Aether, and it infects her, which wakes up the bad guys. Then some other stuff happens that is even less believable.
Visually, the movie is interesting. Even though a lot of it is copied from Star Wars movies, it’s still fun to let it bounce off your eyeballs. Unfortunately, that’s the only positive thing I can say about the movie. The script is not just bad, it’s embarrassing. For a plot that revolves around the laws of physics, none of the three screenwriters seem to have heard of it (pro tip, guys: putting the word “quantum” in front of other words doesn’t count as an explanation. Oh, and a physicist would never exclaim, “It will tear the fabric of reality apart!”).
Thor is such a fratboy Superhero that it’s impossible to take him seriously. He tosses his hair around, flexes his muscles, and likes to party. He stops wars and saves the day multiple times on multiple planets, but then he gets all weepy over some puny earth girl that he just met and who will be dead before he has time to hit the gym.
The movie is stupid, silly, and boring. It has about as much suspense and depth as a television commercial. The cinematic equivalent of a pony keg of Keystone Light, it will actually make you dumber by consuming it.
We, as consumers, should send a message to Disney that this business practice is not acceptable. If we all rate this movie combo pack low, that will send the right message.
But I have to rate the package as well. And this package is not a five star product. I do not want a Blu-ray/3D pack. I want a DVD/Blu-ray pack, which I thought had kind of become the norm. I don't have a Blu-ray in every room. Or in the vehicle for my daughter.
So until I see the DVD/Blu-ray, I'm afraid I'll have to wait on buying. Which is unfortunate because, as I said before, it's a very good show.
Most recent customer reviews
And it seems that an important part of the film was cut from the original theatrical release...I saw in 2013!Read more