Thor might be the hero, but I’m rooting for Loki.
In this sequel, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is back on Asgard while Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) is trying to move on since Thor has vanished from Earth for the past 2 years. Just when everything seems to be in order, Darcy (Kat Dennings) stumbles upon a mysterious portal in an abandon building. While investigating the building, Jane is sucked through a portal where her body is taken over by a dark spirit that causes a rift in the galaxy. It isn’t long before Thor must spring back into action and help not only save earth, but the entire galaxy from a dark elf known as Malekith (Christopher Eccleston).
When the original Thor hit theaters back in 2011, I remember audiences having very mixed feelings about it. I think the character of Thor is probably one of the lesser known characters in the Marvel Universe and therefore people were curious to see the film, however, the reception was rather mixed. A lot of people stated that the original was a complete mess of the film with comments about unnecessary characters, bad acting, and awful CGI effects. The Marvel fans on the other hand enjoyed the film for the most part, although they all admitted that there was plenty of room for improvement.
Well, ladies, gentleman, fanboys, and fangirls, I hate to say this but truth be told, nothing much has changed from the original film in terms of quality. Thor: The Dark World is a sloppy mess of a film and this is coming from someone who sees almost every comic book movie that is released. There is so much wrong with this film that its hard to discuss all of it without writing a mini novel so I will try my best to summarize the film’s problems as quickly and thoroughly as possible.
First things first, lets start with the look of the film. The opening 10 minutes looks as if you are watching video game footage. The CGI is awful and doesn’t look realistic at all. The same goes for most of the first half of the film. The CGI scenes and shots of Asgard really haven’t improved much from the first film even with a new director onboard. I was surprised by how fake so much of the film looked. It was really distracting and took away from my overall enjoyment of the film. Also, since we are talking about the look, the 3D adds absolutely nothing to this film so do yourself a favor and save the $3 to $5 up charge for the ticket and see the 2D version instead.
Next, the film is just all over the place. The film jumps around too damn much and doesn’t transition well at all. One second we are on Asgard with Thor and the next minute we are on Earth with Darcy. The way that the film is edited together makes it seem like an intern got the job and just pasted the film together quickly using iMovie. There are some scenes especially near the end, where it just feels so rushed or out of place. The end is most noticeable simply because it comes to a close so damn quickly that it feels like they ran out of time and money. The ending without spoiling anything feels extremely half assed and rushed.
Thor: The Dark World is also paced really poorly and lacks character development and depth. I was completely and utterly bored with the first half of this film. I honestly started to fall a sleep because it was that dull. You have a movie about superheroes, space, and dark elves all things that should be entertaining yet some how the first half of the film is a complete snooze fest. As for the character development, well there isn’t any. Sorry to be blunt, but you would think with so many characters in this film that the story would want to focus on them or give the viewer a reason to root for them. The only character it does that with is Loki, who I will get to in just a bit.
Since I am talking about the characters, let me talk about the horrendous dialogue and acting in Thor: The Dark World. Anthony Hopkins as Odin, is probably one of the worst casting decisions for a comic book film since George Clooney was cast as Batman in Batman & Robin. Hopkins is awful in the first film and he has only gotten worst in this one. The conversations between him and Thor are so laughably bad and the dialogue is cringeworthy. There is one scene where Thor and Odin are talking and Odin makes a reference and states “it’s like a piece of buttered bread.” I seriously looked at my wife and we both just whispered “what the fuck.” This isn’t the only cringeworthy conversation in the film, but its definitely one that caught my attention enough to write it down in my notes.
Besides Anthony Hopkins, I personally felt that Natalie Portman looked extremely uninterested to be apart of this film. Portman is probably one of my favorite female actresses but she just didn’t seem that invested in the role at all. Chris Hemsworth just seems to scream or mumble throughout the film while posing as eye candy for the ladies in the audience. Idris Elba and Rene Russo are again just as underused and undeveloped as they were in the first film plus now we have a completely pointless new addition to the cast, Jonathan Howard. He plays Darcy’s intern Ian. Yes, he is funny as a character but extremely unnecessary and was only put in the film to serve as more plucky comedic relief (I am not sure if the film needed more of this) and a love interest for Darcy.
Now, that I got all the bad things I had to say about the film out of the way, I do have to say that the film isn’t a complete disaster. The film’s savior is without a doubt Loki. If it wasn’t for Tom Hiddleston, Thor: The Dark World would have been on par with Iron Man 2 for the worst film in the Marvel/Avengers franchise. Hiddleston’s Loki is charming, quick-witted, and has a screen presence that none of the other characters in this film have. Its during the second half of the film where he becomes a more active part of the film and once he does, he really turns the film around. I will state this right now, Loki needs his own film.
Also to be fair, the entire second half of Thor: The Dark World is a lot fun and is extremely entertaining. I think most of it is because of Loki, but there are some other reasons as well such as the battle sequence. The battle sequence involves transporting to various locations, which makes the fight even more entertaining. The second half also feels more campy and light hearted kind of like how The Avengers felt. It was like the film needed the entire first have to discover what it truly was going for. Lastly, the one and only Stellan Skarsgård needs to be mentioned. His character Erik is just a riot in the film and I love the whole running around naked bit.
Honestly, when push comes to shove, I think if you can make it past the first half, the second half of Thor: The Dark World is a real treat for those of us who enjoy Marvel films. The film as a whole though is a mess and really needed a better editor, screenwriters, and some stronger direction than what Alan Taylor did with the film. Its kind of makes sense that 5 people were involved with writing the film because it clearly is all over the place. I seriously wouldn’t mind putting a third Thor to the side and instead getting an entire film based around Loki. I think if you can get a great screenplay and a solid director to direct that one, it might be as good, if not better than The Avengers, but thats just my humble opinion.
MovieManMenzel’s final rating for Thor: The Dark World is a 6 out of 10. Thor fans will more than likely look past the film’s flaws, but as a film buff I just can’t ignore them.
Oh and for those of you who are wondering if there is anything at the middle and end of the credits, the answer is yes and yes. *SPOILERS* The mid-credits scene is actually an introduction for the Guardians of the Galaxy film with an introduction of Benicio Del Toro as The Collector. The final credit scene is completely pointless and just shows Jane and Thor reuniting back on Earth.