REVIEW: THOR: THE DARK WORLD
SYNOPSIS: Marvel’s "Thor: The Dark World" continues the big-screen adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself. In the aftermath of Marvel’s "Thor" and "Marvel’s The Avengers," Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos...but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. To defeat an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor sets upon his most dangerous and personal journey yet, forced into an alliance with the treacherous Loki to save not only his people and those he loves…but our universe itself.
REVIEW: After Iron Man 3, the Marvel journey continues with Thor: The Dark World. Taking place sometime after The Avengers and after Iron Man 3, this latest installment offers a new menace who threatens the Nine Realms, bringing Thor forward to take action and save mankind, once again. Entrusted to direct this release is Alan Taylor, Kenneth Branagh’s replacement. Taylor is best-known for multiple episodes of The Sopranos, Mad Men and Game of Thrones. He’s also credited with being able to reunite Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and Tom Hiddleston. Portman returns as Jane Foster with Eric Selvig (Stellan Skarsgaard, whom we last saw in The Avengers), and their intern, Darcy (Kat Dennings). Joining the crew this time around is Christopher Eccleston of Doctor Who (and the first GI Joe film), who plays Malekith the leader of the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim. He happens to be Thor’s nemesis on this outing, more so than Thor’s incarcerated brother, Loki (Hiddleston), who also returns with a significant role that appears to be more of a mixed bag of tricks than anything else (Amazing in every sense of the word).
We still see much of the family dynamic present since the last Thor movie, which is great. We also see a bit more of the Asgardian world in terms of its people, compared to the previous movie. And while Kenneth Branagh understood how to carry the story and intensity in Thor (part I); Alan Taylor brought the Asgardians closer to mortality than their godlike previous impression.
The most obvious question is do we need to see Thor (part I) in order to appreciate Thor: The Dark World? The answer is a whopping “No!” And while there is no recapturing of the story from the original movie, there are references and continuations from the original Thor movie, throughout. Also in expected fashion, there is the post-credit scene; however, in this case there are two post-credit scenes. One is your Phase 1-type of scene which seeks to unify Phase 2 (and most likely towards Phase 3), the second one is more in line with the movie overall. Though, I did not stay behind for the second, I’m told that the Phase 2 post-credit scene “felt very different and you’ll see why.” Oh, and by the way, there’s a nice nod to The Avengers through the Eric Selvig character.
Overall, I think Thor: The Dark World is a great effort by Marvel, et al and the follow-up will probably find it quite difficult to top this one. It is one of the few blockbuster movies worth watching in theaters and does deserve four out of five stars for it’s out of this world style action, staying true to the comic-book storyline and the onscreen chemistry that Natalie and Chris shares (which we can probably expect the same from the next film too)!
By Movi-Man Stan
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