THOR THE DARK WORLD Film Review
It’s been two years since Thor hit our screens. Given a fantastic treatment by director Kenneth Branagh, Thor was officially welcomed into the Marvel Cinematic Universe and into our hearts. Since then we’ve had The Avengers where we got to see the Marvel Universe take full shape. With Iron Man 3 behind us, Thor the Dark World continues dealing with the aftermath of an alien invasion. Unlike Iron Man 3, however, Thor the Dark World can function as a standalone flick.
Some time has passed since the events of Thor, and the Asgardians is still dealing with the mess left by Loki and the Frost Giants. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has been instrumental in the clean up, and as it’s all about to come to an end, we learn he is still lamenting over his missed opportunity with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). When events begin to unfold, the Nine Realms find themselves in peril once more, and Thor, accompanied by Jane Foster, seeks Loki’s aid in battling an old nemesis threatening the entire Universe. Malekith, the dark elf, and his legions of warriors were once a tremendous force until they were pushed back to the edge of the Universe by Odin’s father Bor.
With each new film woven into the Marvel Cinematic tapestry one hopes that each is at least as good as the last. Due to the success of The Avengers, Thor, in my eyes has gone up massively in quality. Whedon gave the Odinson more depth which complimented the layers Branagh had already injected. With Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones) now in the director’s chair I wondered how much change would be brought to the characters introduced in 2011. For the most part there is little to no change to the people of Asgard, except for Zachary Levi replacing Josh Dallas for Fandral. One Asgardian gets an added kick: Queen Frigga (Rene Russo). She shows us in one scene why she is the Queen of Asgard. I have to say, I appreciated it. Christopher Eccleston is on form as the dark elf and major antagonist Malekith. He just oozes evil every time he opens his mouth. One of the more interesting quirks of Malekith in this film is that he speaks in Elvish for 95 percent of the film. Tom Hiddleston gets the best lines in the film, and there are certain scenes where he and Hemsworth get to show off their acting chops. The action is amped up to a whole new level where it’s all culminated into an unorthodox final battle with absolutely stunning special effects.
Unfortunately, where there is good, there is also some bad, and I’m afraid even Thor the Dark World isn’t immune to this. Even with the expansion of some the less developed characters from the first film I still felt that somer are completely underused. The Warriors Three appear to be incomplete without Hogun, who gets taken out early in the film, and he’s scarcely seen after that. Sif is given just enough interesting character development with whom makes you wish we had more time. I think that is the weakest point of the film, it gives you brief glimpses into a fully formed fantasy epic with one-of-a-kind characters, and instead we get a fantasy/sci-fi mash-up that feels like a Star Wars knock off at times. It’s nothing major but I feel like I must say it since there are vehicles in the film that sound like starships and that is not what I want in a film about a Norse thunder god.