THOR: THE DARK WORLD – What did you think?
Shifting the fish out of water setting of 2011’s Thor from Earth AKA Midgard to the mystical worlds of Asgard and the Dark Elf inhabited Svartalfheim roots this mythology in a way that’s refreshing and less condescending towards the source material at hand. This time the story revolves around a dangerous weapon referred to as Aesther that can be used to devestating results if taken advantage with the upcoming alignment of the Nine Realms known as the Convergence. Alan Taylor’s directorial strength lies in his television experience, particularly Game Of Thrones, which has given him a creative outlook in creating the illusion of more from less which paints a grand scope that’s undoubtedly necessary for Thor to work in a cinematic universe.
There are flaws in the script’s logical plot-holes and can only be filled by those inclined with previous knowledge rooted from the pre-existing Marvel comic book universe but those willing not to burden themselves and go with the ride are in for a good time. It makes sense that they would give Anthony Hopkins more screen time, but given that he seems more irritated and ashamed of playing Odin than embracing it in the way of his fellow up and comers, he truly gets upstaged in every scene. On the other hand Tom Hiddleston as Loki is without a doubt the heart and soul of this film and although his character is untrustworthy in nature, there is so much depth and growth brought to him that I found myself rooting for Loki even at his sneaky worst. The villian Malekith, leader of the Dark Elves and his lieutenant Algrim that becomes Kurse are robbed of personality, yet in my opinion are set up more as MacGuffins than fleshed out developments meant to resonate with. There’s a big step forward for female comic book characters here as the Bechdel test is well beyond passed. Natalie Portman reluctantly brings another dimension to Jane Foster and Rene Russo makes Frigga a double threat of strength and elegance. Jaimie Alexander’s Sif is underutilized but shines when given the opportunity and Kat Dennings’ Darcy is the comic relief along with Skarsgard’s Dr. Selvis. The comedy thankfuly is kept to a minimal balance this time as creating a believable world this ludicrously strange to an audience doesn’t need the trouble of being undermined by it’s own story. The Warriors Three ( Volstegg, Fandral and Hogun) all get their time in the sun as well and add more depth to a satisfyingly ambitious attempt at solidifying an enormous fantastical universe.
What makes Thor: The Dark World a really entertaining post-Avengers sequel is it’s boldness to be experimental and dive deep in the embrace of this delightfully weird and surreal landscape rich in character history without shying away in embarrassment. This sequel surpasses the original in action and unabashed excitement and anyone that’s still enthusiastically riding the Marvel cinematic train will have no qualms at all where this film builds the momentum of where it’s all headed and will leave satisfied and hungry for more when it’s all done.