Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Thor comes back to kick some dark elf butt in his second solo film! Fresh off the heels of The Avengers, the film opens up with us seeing Thor on the battlefield quelling a small rebellion with a single thrust of his mighty hammer while his evil brother Loki is being locked up in an Asgardian booty house. Meanwhile, a dark elf who lost a battle to Thor’s grandfather comes back to finish what he started by plunging the world into darkness. Dire circumstances force Thor and Loki into trusting each other to battle a common enemy.
Pretty much everyone returns from the first film here, including love interest Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), whom Odin is unimpressed with, and who would be when Sif (Jamie Alexander) is around? There is some goofy humor at the opening when the film switches to Jane and her friends storyline. The script writers evidently felt Kat Denning’s character Darcy is funny and quirky and therefore the audience would love her. Not so much. I didn’t hate her or anything but I wouldn’t argue if someone decided to compare her to Jar Jar Binks.
Once we get all that out of the way the film really starts to take off and never truly lets up. I felt the Thor/Loki team up could have gone up for a bit longer and my only other real complaint is that there were some odd comic relief moments that I felt undermined the sense of loss Asgard has once the dark elf army attacks. Even Loki’s jokes seem a bit inappropriate given the mood we see him in before he starts pestering his brother. But this is a family friendly big-budget superhero popcorn flick so I can’t complain to much. It does what it sets out to do and it does it admirably while setting up arcs for future films in the series; namely next summers Guardians of the Galaxy, and of course, Thor 3. Hemsworth owns this role, and is fast becoming an incredible action movie star.
As far as the individual movies in The Avengers series go, the Thor flicks are (so far) consistently the best. Granted, we have another Captain America movie coming out in April that looks really fantastic, but the first movie was just basically a bridge movie leading up to The Avengers. Iron Man 3 was basically Tony Stark 1 and unfortunately Ed Norton left after the best entry in the series, The Incredible Hulk. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a solid show, but people mostly aren’t watching it because there are no super-heroes in it. I don’t mind this, because I understand the budgetary restraints to hire the actors from the series to do TV (thanks a lot, Robert Downey Jr.) and I think it’s cool that we have a weekly focus on the side characters. I just hope there is a payoff to the show’s storyline that ties it in with the larger picture of the films.
I saw the film in IMAX and thought it was an awesome way to spend a couple of hours and you should too.