For those of you who thought the first Thor movie was not epic enough or was missing too many fantasy elements, The Dark World makes up for this during the entire 120 minutes it’s on the screen. The best part of the first film was getting to see Asgard and seeing another side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and TDW takes us to a whole new level and this time around we get to see some more of the nine realms. But this is not the best part of the film by far, what really helps this movie excel is the direction and tone that director Alan Taylor has brought to the table. TDW is one of the best sci-fi/fantasy movies of all time, and the blending of these elements left me in awe many times throughout the film. Some of my favorite films from childhood that I can compare this one to include Masters of the Universe and Krull. Watching the warriors of Asgard with their swords and shields take on the dark elves with laser guns is one of the best parts of this movie. Taylor’s work on Game of Thrones has a heavy influence over this film and it helps take the world of Thor to a whole new level. The Marvel Studios films of Phase 2 will all have different tones and separate them from each other and so far with the release of Iron Man 3 and TDW we get a wonderful contrast of two totally distinct movies that exist in different genres. The best part of this is that we will see this with both The Winter Soldier and Guardians of the Galaxy. I think this is very important as Disney and Marvel Studios continue to release their films. Avengers is what happens when these characters get together, but their individual films are important as the universe continues to expand, becoming more colorful and rich. Thor and Guardians of the Galaxy both exist outside the “normal”, more realistic world that characters like Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, and Bruce Banner operate and kick butt in. The Dark World is my favorite film of Phase 2 so far, not that I didn’t love what Shane Black did in Iron Man 3, but Thor takes all of the complaints of the first film and answers them with full force. Bigger battles, more mythos, and less Earth, all help to make The Dark World the epic film that it is and should be.
Chris Hemsworth returns as Thor, who unlike Iron Man, takes what happens in The Avengers and uses it for his own good. Leading an army of Asgardians across the 9 Realms to restore order, Thor has taken his place as a true warrior and leader of Asgard. I love his portrayal of the character as Hemsworth can deliver a performance on different levels. When it’s time to be funny, he’s funny, when its time to kick Dark Elf ass he does with full force! But will he decide that it’s time to take the throne?
Loki has a lot to answer for due to his actions in the Avengers and throughout this film we are always questioning his motives, especially when it’s time for the brothers to team up to take on the Dark Elves. But who can’t help but love the character that Tom Hiddleston has perfected, and even after his terrible actions and decisions we hope that Loki can turn over a new leaf in TDW. The rest of the crew is back with a change or two. Chuck alumni, Zachary Levi has replaced the actor who played Fandral in the first film, and Ray Stevenson and Tadanobu Asano both return as Volstagg and Hogun to round out the Warriors Three. The beautiful Jamie Alexander returns as Lady Sif and while you can see the looks she gives Jane throughout this film I kind of wish that she had a more prominent role in the film.
The film’s villains are great, Christopher Eccleston leads the Dark Elves as Malekith and his portrayal of the character is both creepy and evil. I love the Dark Elves in the film, their appearance is interesting as they wear a blank mask and wield their blasters as I mentioned before, and are well organized as they pursue the Aether across the galaxy. (MINOR SPOILERS) The attack on Asgard is one of the best siege scenes I’ve seen in a long time so get ready for what we were all begging for in the first film, EPIC ACTION! Again the humans of the film only tie the film to the “real” world and provide some comedy relief, but sometimes they are just a waste of time and only there to help move the movie along. The return of Erik Selvig provides the best part of the human element of the film, the after-effects of the events in The Avengers have taken a toll on the good scientist. Then we have Natalie Portman, who seems to force her role throughout the entire film as she tries to act amazed by Asgard and play a submissive female role, something she is not that good at. A “starlet” like Portman is a nice touch to the films but her acting skills kind of sets her apart in a bad way from the rest of the cast, minus Anthony Hopkins of course who delivers as Odin (perhaps for the last time). I think it’s nice to see these big stars show up in the Marvel films but I think the usage of lesser known actors allows for more believable characters.
Go see Thor: The Dark World as soon as you can. It’s fun, suspenseful, epic, and so much more! An upcoming episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will tie into the events that happened in the movie and I am very excited to see how the show will continue to address the occurrences in the movies. Stick around for the mid-credits scene, it totally ties Phase 1 and 2 together and gets you ready for what’s to come in Guardians of the Galaxy. You have to remember as GOTG approaches, that the world of Thor is probably the most comparable to weird, intergalactic, and whacked-out things we will see in that film! I can’t wait!
Next up, Captain America: The Winter Soldier hits theaters on April 4th, 2014!
Stay tooned 😛