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on December 3, 2013
[Caveat: I have to confess that I'm a huge fan of the Marvel Thor mythology and have read the comics off and on through the years ever since I was a kid. I state that upfront so you understand that my review of this film is viewed through that lens. However, I still feel the film is fun and entertaining for everyone even if you're not that familiar with the character. There are at least three or four things in this film that are worth the price of admission alone.]

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!
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VINE VOICEon April 18, 2016
I went into this with relatively high expectations since I greatly enjoyed the first Thor films and to date, have enjoyed the other Marvel film properties - especially ones like Guardians of the Galaxy. Thor 2, however, fell short of expectations and while it's not a bad way to while away a few hours I couldn't help but feel that it really could have been better served.

One of the first things that stands out is the chemistry between Portman and Hemsworth, or rather the lack thereof. Both of them are exceptionally talented actors, but they just don't really feel believable as a couple in this film. Portman was also somewhat dull in her role as Jane. She looked great in every scene, but she just feels like she's more phoning it in than anything else. Since watching the movie I've read that Portman *really* wanted out of the film franchise, so this could be a result of her being in a movie she overall didn't want to do. Again, I love Portman but I'd be happier with her character being either gone or recast with another actress with better on-screen chemistry than what we have here.

Now what does work is the interactions between Hemsworth and Hiddleton, as Thor and Loki. Hiddleston approaches his character with sadistic glee and it's easy to see why he's become a fan favorite. Also excellent was Renee Ruso, who shone as Frigga, and Jaimie Alexander as Lady Sif. I could definitely see a Sif/Thor pairing, since the two worked well off of one another. The action and special effects scenes were also well done, which helped make the film move a little faster, although at times I felt that the movie length could've been tightened to make it flow a little better. I couldn't help but find my attention drifting occasionally during the slower scenes.

In the end the film is good, but not exactly the greatest in the series. So far the Marvel films have been overall good, so this is kind of one of those movies where I'd recommend a rental (like I did) rather than a purchase unless you're a completionist or a huge fan of one of the actors in the film.
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Like the first Thor, this one has a lot to see in it. Although Loki is well-acted, I'm really starting to hate him. But I guess that's kinda the point, and a nod to the actor himself- if he can get the audience to hate the villain he's playing, then he's done his job well.
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on May 11, 2017
I love the cast of characters in this Marvel movie! Can't believe the professor from Good Will Hunting, Stellan Skarsgard, is in it, haha. He rocks. Every actor/actress had distinctive charm, which is hard to find in superhero movies. Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston were so well picked for the movie. The script was serious when needed yet not without plenty of hilarious moments. Watch it!
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on August 4, 2014
Couldn't they have waited to make this one until they found out how big a deal The Avengers was? The characterization of Loki--a character a lot of viewers are quite fond of--is particularly mediocre. Take lessons from Joss Whedon and Kenneth Branagh, writers/producers. They know what they're doing.
The actual villain was not interesting. Jane Foster continues to be boring, and Odin continues to be an ass. I expected better.
However, Mama Frigga was amazing. I'm sure Rene Russo was kind of "What am I doing in a movie like this?" but damn, she was excellent. She should be proud. ^_^
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on October 24, 2017
Odin sons first solo movie is a origin story the let us know who he really is. Although everyone didn't love this movie, it was necessary to introduce his side of the story to everyone. Thor is an intricate part of the Marvel MCU and I enjoyed it although it wasn't Marvel's best work. As a movie reviewer and reaction videomaker, I do enjoy most of the Marvel Universe offerings. This one however, could've been a little better but is still is a great ride and necessary to the future movies that came out after this one. I do recommend this movie so you can better understand who Thor is and how he feels about Earth. Enjoy the ride.
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on July 13, 2016
I absolutely loved this film!! So Why Did I only give this version Three Stars???
Answer:
Because It Is NOT, I repeat NOT an Unrated version of the original film. IT IS THE SAME THING as the Theatrical version!!!!

The Packaging is Misleading! Beware!

A True unrated version would have additional footage restored into the film, as well as footage that the rating board that would have made this film a "R" , "NC - 17", or even a "X" Rating.

The Theatrical Version - "5 Stars", I repeat "5 Stars". Not this version, Due to Misleading Packaging. On Could Call the Unrated packaging a Out Right Lie.
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on February 13, 2014
This movie makes the first Thor movie look like a bad memory. It blows that one out of the water. Easily. In fact, I'd say this movie is more akin to the Avengers in style. Truthfully, I'm not sure WHY Thor just didn't call upon a couple Avengers to help him. Hulk alone would have evened the odds immediately. But, alas, this is Thor's chance to shine. He does.

There are a lot of interesting foes Thor and his little gang have to contend with before they even meet the dark elves. Then there is a lot of magic and science I cannot pretend to understand that makes the story a lot of fun to follow. Loki and the dark elves keep the tension high in this movie. There are a few nice twists and surprises, and a few startling ones. (Stay for the scene that appears after the credits roll for a nice surprise).

The creativity in this film is HIGH! Fighting between realms of existence. Following Thor's hammer as it tries to get back to him using various routes. Magic transforming dark elves in hulking monsters. Other monsters dropping into the fight. Dogfights between ships with amazing powers and Norse designs. Frigga kicking some serious . . . elf. (Frigga pretty much saves the day until something intervenes. Very nice.) Kat Dennings comedy relief. You get the idea--LOTS of fun to be had watching this film.

Action-packed, loaded with superb effects, and boasting a top-notch supporting cast, Thor: The Dark World is visually stunning, at times funny, and thrilling all the way through. No corny dialogue. No waste-of-time love scenes. Just a solid sci-fi fantasy story wrapped in Norse mythology.

WATCH IT. If you are a Marvel fan, BUY IT. They did well.
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on November 24, 2015
I paid $20 for this DVD (not even Blueray), and the only extras it had on it was one deleted scene, and a preview for Captain America. It didn't even have commentary. What a waste of money. Next time, I'll buy my movies in a physical store, so I'll know what I'm getting.

This is a good movie with some funny moments (my favorite is when Thor hangs up his hammer on the coat rack), but it isn't better than the first one. Granted, we knew the characters from the last movie, but for the most part, all the characters were flat. None of them evolved, except for maybe Loki. There wasn't one idea in the entire movie that was developed. It was painfully obvious that they had used a different director. I hope for the next one, they go back to the one used for the original Thor. I won't pay twenty bucks for another one like this. Natalie Portman could be directed by a monkey, and still look good. There isn't much for action until the final scene. The ending is as undeveloped as the rest of the movie. Maybe the first film was about Thor, and this one was about Loki, but it didn't center on Loki. Tom Hiddleston's acting is excellent. Chris Hemsworth gave a good performance (he could use a hair brush), but the director didn't use it well. I just don't think the director knew what he wanted, or what to do with what he had. He made Anthony Hopkins look bad. Do you know how hard that is? All the glow and shine from the first movie is absent from this one. Granted, they are at war, but it is everything in the film. The gatekeeper's costume looks like a dime store version of the previous one - it's just all of it. Did they not keep the props or costumes from the first movie? Did they run out of money? Who knows - because there isn't even commentary to tell us friggin' why! This is a good rental, but wait for more features to be added before you buy the DVD.
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on June 4, 2016
I like the idea of Thor. This actor makes a good Thor. Regretfully they skip a lot of character development and just go straight to the action, action action. I don't care at all for his love interest because there is no character development. No reason why there is this love interest particularly because the story seems more geared towards instant gratification and not toward telling a story. It's like this is tough man Thor. See Thor Fly. Thor like Jane. Thor and Jane fly. Thor tough guy. Bad guy hurt Jane. Thor beat bad guy. Thor tough guy. Jane tough guy. WAIT! Jane is a girl! What is going on? So I hear Thor is a woman in the next movie. I guess she got jealous of him getting all this attention and decided to try to be him instead of using her abilities as a woman to be an amazing woman. What kind of lame woman thinks becoming a man will make her better? I mean making humans is so much better than killing them. For real, man! I don't like what the writers are doing to Thor. It didn't happen in this movie. But my complaint is still... WHERE IS THE CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT????!!!!
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