Review: Thor: The Dark World

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Thor was Marvel’s biggest gamble when it released in 2011. Movie audiences had accepted Iron Man but would they connect with a superhero steeped in mythology and magic? Luckily Thor was a hit thanks to good casting, Kenneth Branagh’s direction and knowing that the film was one of the lead-ins to The Avengers. Now comes the tricky part; making the character’s continuing story interesting.

Thor: The Dark World takes place two years after Thor and one year after The Avengers with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) doing her scientist thing and following spatial anomalies in hopes of tracking down her god with the perfect abs. This leads to her finding a weapon called the Aether which binds itself to her and reawakens Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), a Dark Elf who needs it to cover the nine realms in eternal darkness. You know, comic book stuff.

When Malekith attacks Asgard and kills one of their own it is all hands on deck to bring him down. The only difference is that Thor and Odin’s plans are exact opposites with Odin acting like the young, war-hungry Thor from the first film letting vengeance guide him and Thor wants to lead Malekith far away from Asgard to spare as many lives as possible. I liked this twist in roles that shows exactly how Thor has embraced his role and matured.

One large plus that the Thor franchise has over any other Marvel movie is that Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is going to be involved. He once again steals the movie as the fallen prince who tried to take over Earth. He spends his days locked in a dungeon prison until Thor has no choice but to break him out to show him a secret path out of Asgard. As with everything involving the character there are many illusions and lots of subterfuge involved and some of it you will not see coming, even though you know Loki has something planned out.


Thor: The Dark World benefits from its director, Alan Taylor. One of the regular directors for Game of Thrones, the show’s influence can be seen and felt all during the movie. From Asgardian forces in battle to how the city looks during celebrations and also with the clothing that is less royalty and more cloaks of Westeros. Branagh used his Shakespeare background in the first movie to the best of his ability and Taylor does the same with his use of realism in a fantasy setting.

With Loki taking up the grey area between good and evil Malekith is enough of a presence to keep the proceedings moving forward. He is not a legendary villain like Red Skull but he is a constant threat even if his character and motivation is a bit by the numbers.

The secondary cast have plenty of time to contribute. This could have easily been Thor & Loki’s Excellent Adventure but the script gives each character at least one or two times to shine. Sif and the Warriors Two (I say two because Hogun is helping his home world to begin the movie) are just as loyal to Thor as ever even to bring treason on themselves. I like how they are already planting seeds for the third Thor with Sif’s apparent feelings for Thor and her obvious wonder at why he loves a mortal. Zachary Levi takes over the role of Fandral (which he was cast for in the first movie but had to decline due to his schedule) and is charming as hell. Idris Elba as Heimdall once again proves that he is amazing in everything and even Rene Russo’s Frigga gets a chance to show off more than a glimpse of being a badass for a nice change of pace.

I am here to tell you that reports of Thor: The Dark World’s mediocrity are exaggerated. Now that we know these characters we get a chance to see them further fleshed out including the parts that could have easily been left by the wayside. Where Iron Man has Tony Stark’s personality and Captain America has his never-ending belief in doing good to push their roles forward, Thor relies on family ties and they are explored and exploited in good ways in Thor: The Dark World and it does it while setting up Thor 3, Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers: Age of Ultron at the same time. By the hammer of Thor indeed.






One response to “Review: Thor: The Dark World”

  1. Jeremiah Wolfwood Avatar
    Jeremiah Wolfwood

    Yeah i was really worried at the early reviews I had read, but I really liked the whole film (Awesome Cameo included)

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