Marvel Cinematic Universe‘s Phase 2 continues with the second installment of the Thor franchise. Thor’s 3rd movie appearance has him returning to Earth and reunited with Jane Foster while also battling the mysterious Dark Elf named Malekith the Accursed. With Iron Man 3 becoming the biggest hit-and-miss for the fans, will Thor: The Dark World make it up and continues to strengthen the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise?
Fortunately, yes. TDW shows that Marvel is still serious about making good films, and continues to deliver enjoyment towards fans and casual viewers alike. What makes TDW successful is that it’s not ambitious. Yes, it is, but not overly ambitious like how they did in Iron Man 3. Even though Iron Man 3 premiered months ago in which TDW would’ve already been completed, it’s like the studios knew that they had to be careful with Thor and they did a good job with it.
The plot itself is simple, like I said, it doesn’t rely on being too ambitious. It’s just Thor trying to protect Jane Foster who has been targeted by Malekith for some reason that I can’t say because it will spoil you, and that’s it. It was an interesting adventure, and satisfies us all. Since this is the direct sequel to the first Thor, I can see that they’re transitioning the characters pretty well into the sequel. First off is that Thor himself is pretty much like he was in The Avengers, in which he is already a matured warrior and still retains his love for Midgard, or rather Jane Foster. Also, while I really love Natalie Portman and her performance as Jane, I was a little bit bummed at how they turned her into a damsel-in-distress for the majority of the movie. But comparing to Iron Man 3, they treated her WAY better than Pepper was as a love interest.
Fan favorite Loki obviously returns as he deals with his actions in The Avengers……… in prison. Promotional materials stated that Loki in this movie would be very f’ed up, although he actually remains pretty much as he is in all of his appearances, which we all loved. As always, Thor and Loki’s chemistry are great, and they explored here even further in the sequel, thanks to Loki becoming an anti-hero and forced to be Thor’s partner for a while. Also, there will be one scene that makes fans go rage, but rest assured that it is nowhere as bad as Mandarin was. But overall, Loki’s appearance was mostly to draw fan attentions because without him, fans wouldn’t want to watch TDW even if it’s good without him.
The movie also did a great job at having all of the supporting cast without needing to shove some of them aside due to having too many cast. Anthony Hopkins is great as Odin, and his wife Frigga even has a more active role, as well as an astounding fight scene. As what we saw in the trailer, Lady Sif was supposed to feel jealous towards Jane Foster, but much to my disappointment they didn’t really expand on that aspect. I guess they wanted to avoid being a love story instead of a superhero movie. As for the Warriors Three, Volstagg was just there, and Hogun was actually the only character with the least amount of screen time, due to him staying at his hometown, or realm. Fandral, however surprised me, mostly because he was portrayed by Zachary Levi who replaced Joshua Dallas from the previous installment. Zachary Levi did a superb job at portraying Fandral, and although Fandral did seem like a bit silly, Levi overall managed to pull off a performance that makes people didn’t realize this guy played Chuck! Lastly, Idris Elba as Heimdall. Like Elba said, he has a more active role in the movie, and some cool action scenes that I was impressed with. My only nitpick about Elba’s performance is that he didn’t give a “Cancel the Apocalypse” speech here 😛
As for the Earth characters, they pretty much acted as the comic relief of the movie. Kat Dennings as Darcy has more screen time than Dr. Selvig, whom after The Avengers is now pretty much a mentally unstable man due to Loki messing up with his mind. Wait, if Loki messed up his mind that he ended up like that, I wonder if the same would happen to Hawkeye? Oh and their group are joined by a guy named Ian who is Darcy’s intern. The guy is pretty much there, I don’t hate him or like him.
The main antagonist is Malekith the Accursed, played by Christopher Eccleston. He is aided by Algrim, who was played by Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje. Funny thing is that these two worked together in the crappy G.I.Joe: The Rise of Cobra! Algrim is pretty much Malekith’s right-hand man, although he is not as awesome as Faora did in Man of Steel. I enjoyed Eccleston’s performance as Malekith, mostly because of how different it is than Eccleston’s previous performance as Destro or the Ninth Doctor. However, as much as I liked Eccleston and that he delivered a good job, Malekith is just a boring foe. He’s not one-dimensional or anything, it’s just that he is boring. I mean at least Ivan Vanko was too focused on killing Tony Stark, but Malekith here is just a cliche character. Even Loki plays a more interesting villain in the movie, and that’s a bummer because Loki was mostly the anti-hero for the movie!
Enough with the characters, let’s talk about Asgard because it’s one of the interesting change in the movie. In the first installment, Asgrad is too much sci-fi-ish and that they will change it into a viking-style setting in this movie. And I gotta give props to them because they retained the original Asgard design from the first movie, just less CGI and more viking set! Really, it makes you feel like you’re watching a viking movie with magic, because they are Asgardians after all.
As for the actions, it was pretty okay, except for the climax, because that is AWESOME. The okay stuff mostly had me nitpicking about the close-up shots. I can’t help but to compare the camera work with Batman Begin’s camera work for the action scenes, because really they had this close-up shots and sometimes you can’t tell what’s going on. And the climax, it was pretty unique. I wouldn’t give much detail to it because it would spoil you, but the climax action scene is really unique and something that I rarely saw in movies.
Overall, Thor: The Dark World is an interesting and satisfying movie, and what’s important is that it keeps us pumping for more Marvel movies. Actually it surprised me because I wasn’t looking forward for the movie at all, but I gotta say that Thor: The Dark World could probably be the best superhero movie in 2013, with The Wolverine in second, Man of Steel in 3rd and Iron Man 3 in 4th. If you are hurt by the disappointing Iron Man 3 & Man of Steel, watch TDW. It will satisfy you and redeem the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Bottom line, I Want to Watch it Again and Again and Again!!!