REVIEW: Thor – The Dark World ***SPOILERS***

thor the dark world posterI spent last night at the Cineplex (formerly Empire Theatres) in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia taking in the latest movie from Marvel Studios. I was extremely excited for Thor – The Dark World and am a huge Thor fan. Even though I had high expectations, there was a little apprehension on my part as Thor and his world can be a tricky world to adapt and we were promised more of the 9 Realms in this one.

If you have read any of my previous reviews, you will know that I will do a list of Pros and Cons, and then end the review with my own thoughts. I do assign a numerical score and try to be as fair as I can in that assessment.

PROS:

– The cast was simply fantastic in this film! Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston have truly made Thor and Loki their own and I do not think anyone else could ever step into those roles. The chemistry between the two actors as they are either enemies or allies is really something rare that you see in movies between the heroes and villains.

– How bad ass did Kurse and Malekith look in the movie? Both Christopher Eccleston as Malekith and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje really added a dark visual to the film and I think that Dark Elves may be my favorite villain group in the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far.

– Thor is a fantastic example of how a character grows, learns and matures between films. The rash and quick to anger young king that we saw in the first film has grown into the fearless, strong and relentless to protect those who need it. In the same way, Loki has grown in the same amount but in very different ways of course. I can not think of a pair of characters that are linked so closely together and have experienced so many changes. It really is something to see.

– I was blown away by how great the CGI was for the film and how it did not come off as cheesy or unbelievable. Whether it was the cameo by the Kronan warrior (who Thor fought back in his first appearance in the comic books,) the Aether and how it was projected as a dark energy that could consume everything.

– I loved that there was a sense of hope that was generated by Thor as he continuously fought through not just the waves of different enemies, the aether itself but also the grief of losing his mother. I never once felt like he was truly in over his head as he would not allow that to happen as long as he could breath. Thor also had to make tough decisions that others perhaps could not make the call on.

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– Man… Rene Russo as Frigga was KICK ASS!!!! Man and it was tough to see Malekith battle her and then have her die from it was a shock and really was the glue that brought Thor and Loki back together as allies. It created such an immense emotional weight that it heightened everything that followed it.

– The secondary cast of Asgardian characters of Heimdall, Fandral, Volstagg and Sif had much more screen time and more of a chance to shine in this movie. I was extremely surprised with the performance of Zachary Levi as Fandral and felt that he brought a little something more to the role than I expected him to.

– The characters on Earth also were much more enjoyable this time around as well. Natalie Portman was fine as Jane Foster but I really enjoyed the times that Stellan Skarsgård as Selvig and Kat Dennings as Darcy really added some comedy to the movie. I know a lot of people do not enjoy Darcy in particular but I think that a movie can become too weighted down with darkness that it needs a break from it and she provides this.

– The ending of this film with Loki on the throne not only sets up a possible third film but also adds a new wrinkle to the relationship between the Sons of Odin. Thor will not be happy, of course, that Loki has supplanted their father on the throne but the bigger concern has to be……where is Odin?

– I loved both after credit scenes and think that they both had major implications in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Of course the scene with The Collector and his continued collection of the Infinity gems sets up next summer’s Guardians Of The Galaxy movie that will push Marvel and it’s universe in to new directions. I also loved that Thor could come back and see Jane during the second after credits scene. This really made it feel more like the comic as Thor seems to be able to traverse the worlds as he pleases.

– Seeing Bor battle Malekith was awesome!!!! Bor is the father of Odin and grandfather of Thor and looked exactly and I mean EXACTLY like the character as drawn by Olivier Coipel in his relaunch run of volume 3.

– The addition of more Viking-esque visuals and influence was not only very cool but much needed. One of the more interesting aspects of the Thor mythos is the impact that the Asgardians had on the people of Earth and how these people viewed them. Seeing the Asgardian Viking funeral pyre and long boats was very cool!

CONS

– I consider it a con that I can not remember all the pros that I experienced or witnessed during this film.

– Too bad that we did not get a little more character development for the Dark Elves especially Malekith and Kurse. I don’t think that it really hurt the characters but it would have added some more depth to who they were.

– Is it a fault if I wish I had more faults???

MY FINAL THOUGHTS:

I have to say that Thor: The Dark World is my favorite solo hero movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The movie not only showed an evolution of some of the most interesting characters that it possesses but the chance to see Thor and Loki fighting side by side was something that literally had the theatre cheering out loud. I remember thinking “THIS IS AWSOME!!!!!” when Thor and Loki launched their plan to destroy the Aether.

There has been no conformation as of yet of a third movie for Thor, but I really think that it has to happen. The sequel movie has almost made as much as the entire run of he first movie, has the mystery of what has happened to Odin and the continued developments between Thor and Loki to look forward to.

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Where Thor: The Dark World succeeds and Man Of Steel failed, in my opinion, is that Thor presented us with a chance of hope. I find it ironic that Superman stated that the “S” shield his wears on his costume stands for hope but the entire movie was so devoid of hope. Even though Thor was beaten down, at times savagely, by Malekith and Kurse his determination never wavered. His determination to stop the evil that was running amok created a true sense of hope and it was amazing to watch transpire.

This is the first true “fantasy” film that Marvel has released and it really has expanded it’s universe with the movie. Thor and his mythos allows Marvel to breathe life in to some of it’s obscure titles and bring them to the big screen. I can not recommend this movie enough and think everyone will find something to enjoy in it.

SCORE:     9/10

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About Jason Huskins

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