Movie Review: Thor: The Dark World

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Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Christopher Eccleston, Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba, Rene Russo, Tadanobu Asano, Jaimie Alexander, Zachery Levi, Ray Stevenson

Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense Sci-Fi action and violence, and some suggestive content , Running time 112 minutes, Fantasy/Action/Adventure

Compare to: Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008), Star Trek (2009)

It’s tough to judge a movie based purely on it’s own when it’s a movie like Thor: The Dark World. Not because it’s a sequel and it’s going to be compared to the first one; a film that defied a lot of expectations when it came to how such a fantastical character could be brought to film in a way that wasn’t a flat-out wacky cartoon. But they did it, didn’t they?

No, the reason this movie is hard to judge on it’s own is because it isn’t it’s own. Dark World takes plot devices, action scenes and even characters out of every major Sci-Fi film in the last decade and it’s too obvious to ignore.

Long before Loki and Thor were battling it out on earth, Thor’s grandfather defeated a race of dark elves that wanted to use “Aether” to return the world to it’s original state before creation. After Jane Foster (Portman) accidentally unleashes this powerful, mysterious substance, Thor will need to use all the help he can get to try to get things back to the way they were before worlds and dimensions collide.

Eccelston getting his dark elf on.

Eccleston getting his dark elf on.

It’s tough to know where to begin with a film like this; one that has a lot going for it but so many things that are unnecessarily thrown in while so many important things are casually dismissed. If a finger were to be put on the film’s major problem is that it never really feels like it’s going anywhere until, pow, we’re at the climax and things are going down.

Sure, things are said along the way that let us know a general direction we’re taking- but the pacing and tone stays so constant throughout, I didn’t get excited at any point as to what would happen next because nothing ever felt like it was happening in the first place. Though Action and Adventure films are certainly prone to their share of jokes and one-liners during near death experiences, one would think somebody would take something seriously. If the characters I’m watching don’t even fear for their lives, why would I?

One of those "You take the 500 on the left, I get the 500 on the right" scenes.

One of those “You take the 500 on the left, I get the 500 on the right” scenes.

I think we’ve gotten to a point with the Avengers films where they’re so filled with helium that they’ve taken off themselves and as long as the fire keeps going, this balloon ain’t coming down. Which would be fine if there were a direction, a destination, a purpose; but nah- they’ll just keep showing Loki and smile to the sound the registers produce as the girls all squeal with joy. The story seemed to have been written around how Hiddelston was going to be brought back.

The film’s narration by Hopkins at the beginning, coupled with the gritty battle on a dark planet against evil forces was so clearly jacked from The Fellowship of the Rings opener, I shook my head in disbelief. If I’d been told there was a story about a ship full of villains being exiled to another dimension, only to return again, using a powerful red matter to try and destroy earth, I would have thought you were talking about the 2009 Star Trek. But nope, we’re talking about The Dark World, opening over four years later.

"How much mead can you drink, daddy?"

“How much mead can you drink, daddy?”

On a positive note, the performances by Hemsworth and Hopkins are still likable as their respective characters. Aside from the look, their ties as godly father and son feels genuine and it seems the casting choice there was not only fitting but that they guys might actually enjoy what they’re doing.

As for Kat Dennings, I was perturbed every time she showed up on screen. As an actress, I have nothing bad to say about her. As the character though, I found myself hoping a dark elf would throw her into a black hole or Thor’s hammer would accidentally wind up bursting through her on it’s way back to it’s owner.

General audiences will enjoy this one, as they have all the Avengers films. I don’t blame them for being distracted by the effects and quirky lines. If you can’t get enough of what you’ve already seen then by all means, dig in. It’s too much of a cliche to say “But if you’re looking for anything deeper, you’ll be disappointed.”

But what’s one more cliche after seeing two hours of one?

Grade: C-

Side note: Of course, you can expect the clips halfway through the credits as well as at the end. Also, Loki looks like Roseanne’s daughter.

loki1rosaanne

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One Response to “Movie Review: Thor: The Dark World”

  1. Nope, different eyebrows… XD
    Nice review.

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