Thor: The Dark World is a film all about gods but, like its predecessor, it’s at its best when it focuses on the foibles of humanity. The film’s first half is spent primarily on Thor’s plane of Asgard – and somewhere called Svartalfheim (Gesundheit!) – and it’s mostly a slog. There’s some overly-serious exposition about a Power Rangers-esque villain who wants to use some ridiculous MacGuffin called the Aether to make everything dark matter or something.
The stakes are so high in the first half that it’s impossible to take things particularly seriously; Asgard still feels like the setting of a Saturday morning cartoon, so invading forces rending its CGI columns asunder carries little weight. It doesn’t help that the Thor/Jane romance is as flimsy as ever.
Thankfully, Thor’s last act provides timely redemption. The first action climax – the apex of a half-hearted heist plot – allows for exploration of the Thor/Loki dynamic, proving decisively that Tom Hiddleston is the best non-Robert-Downey-Jr element of the Marvel film franchise. A second confrontation is infinitely more playful, finding the intersection between superhero action and Monsters Inc, all imbued with a lively, silly sense of humour. If only the whole film had shone with such humanity.
13 thoughts on “Thor: The Dark World (2013)”
Good to hear Hiddleston continues to demonstrate his awesomeness!
I really think this film would have been pretty underwhelming without him, but I won’t say any more than that 🙂
Seriously, Hemsworth’s arms is just massive!! But it’s Hiddleston who’s the main draw for me.
They certainly include a good dose of Chris Hemsworth fan-service in the film. There’s an early shot that serves no narrative purpose other than “here is Chris Hemsworth shirtless.”
I quite liked it. Checked my brain at the door. The Loki/Thor dynamic was definitely the best part of the film. I thought they did some interesting things there.
I think most of my problems with the first half of the film was that I didn’t feel I could check my brain at the door – there wasn’t enough emotional engagement and/or entertainment in the film (at least, up until Loki was released) to keep me engaged. I’m definitely not looking for anything cerebral from these films, but I found the first half only fitfully entertaining. The last half was great though – the Thor/Loki stuff and a lot of the final action sequence (“Mjolnir!” was silly and hilarious and perfect, for example, as was the train station stopover).
You’re funny and have great taste.
Good review Dave. I liked it because it was while it was still a very serious approach, the movie still had some fun with itself that allowed me to join in on it as well. Also, those last 20 minutes or so had me howling in my seat.
I felt like it really needed an extra 50% (scientifically tested number here!) of humour/fun in the first half; it was just a bit too serious without really earning it, if that makes sense. The climax was indeed fantastic!
Good review and far less pervy than mine was. Lol! Wow – I enjoyed this a lot more than you did, though. I had a lot of fun with this one. My only complaint is the complete lack of chemistry between Hemsworth & Portman. And, omg – you’re right about Monsters Inc! Why didn’t I think of that?!
Yeah, Portman was wasted in this one. Honestly, I would have been happy with a “She died on the way back to her home planet” title card because they really didn’t do much with her in this one!
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