Martens' Movie Reviews

Movie Reviews from an avid movie-goer

Thor: The Dark World Review

Released: November 8, 2013
Running Time: 1 hour 52 minutes

“In ancient times, the gods of Asgard fought and won a war against an evil race known as the Dark Elves. The survivors were neutralized, and their ultimate weapon — the Aether — was buried in a secret location. Hundreds of years later, Jane Foster finds the Aether and becomes its host, forcing Thor to bring her to Asgard before Dark Elf Malekith captures her and uses the weapon to destroy the Nine Realms — including Earth.”

MCU

Marvel Cinematic Universe – Source – Marvel

You can find all of the reviews for the Marvel Cinematic Universe at the link here. At that link, you can also find the dates that the other reviews for the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be posted. My plan is to release one every single day, and because I’ve already reviewed Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 here, and Spider – Man: Homecoming here, they will not be included in the two weeks leading up to Thor Ragnarok.

As such, I will now move onto the actual review of the film, and I hope you enjoy!

Thor: The Dark World Trailer – Source: Marvel Studios


Cast and Crew

This film was directed by Alan Taylor who had previously directed mostly television shows, with one or two relatively unknown movies thrown in throughout his filmography. He also directed several episodes of Game of Thrones before filming Thor: The Dark World, and has since directed one episode for that show. His other noteworthy directorial work includes the 2015 movie ‘Terminator: Genisys’.

Thor: The Dark World’s story was written by Robert Rodat and Don Payne. The screenplay that adapted the story was written by Christopher YostChristopher Markus  and Stephen McFeely.

Thor: The Dark World

Chris Hemsworth as Thor Odinson – Source: Marvel Studios

Payne’s previously wrote ‘Thor’, and ‘Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer’ prior to this film, as well as several television shows including The Simpsons. Rodat’s work as a writer includes ‘Fly Away Home’ in 1996, ‘Saving Private Ryan’ in 1998 and ‘The Patriot’ in 2000. He has since worked on the television show ‘Falling Skies’ as the creator and writer. Yost has written a ton of stuff in the animated superhero realm for television, as is returning as one of the writers for Thor: Ragnarok. I’ve already mentioned Markus’ and McFeely’s work within the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a writer, in the Captain America: The First Avenger review.

Thor: The Dark World

Thor vs Rock Guy? on Vanaheim – Source: Marvel Studios

The cast featured Chris HemsworthNatalie PortmanTom HiddlestonAnthony HopkinsChristopher EcclestonJaimie AlexanderZachary LeviRay StevensonTadanobu AsanoIdris ElbaRene RussoAdewale Akinnuoye-AgbajeKat DenningsStellan SkarsgårdChris O’DowdChris EvansBenicio Del Toro and Stan Lee.

 Review

Malekith the Accursed of Svartalfheim, was a villain with a lot of potential be be great. The actor portraying him, Christopher Eccleston, is an fantastic actor, who did as good a job as the script allowed him. It’s a shame that they decided to kill off the villain in this film as I could have seen much more that could have been done with him. At the end of the day, I feel that Eccleston was wasted on this film, and it’s something that I think everyone will agree with me on saying that for a while, the villains in the MCU, were subpar, as well as all having swarms of minions that were easily defeated.

Thor: The Dark World

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Kurse & Christopher Eccleston as Malekith – Source: Marvel Studios

Kurse and The Dark Elves was a waste overall, it was essentially a bunch of minions, similar to the Chitauri from the Avengers, and the Extremis thugs from Iron Man 3, where Marvel decided to go the route of expendable villains that was easily dealt with. Kurse’s utility in this film was to not let Loki free, and to be the Malekith’s bodyguard after he was beat up by Frigga, chose that moment to kill her. It’s something that Marvel started to become known by, and that’s the underdevelopment of their antagonist in their movies.

Thor: The Dark World

From Left to Right: Kat Dennings as Darcy, Chris O’Dowd as Richard & Natalie Portman as Jane Foster – Source: Marvel Studios

The music for Thor: The Dark World was done by veteran MCU composer, Brian Tyler, whose work I mentioned a bit more in my previous review, Iron Man 3. He brought the score forward a bit from the first Thor film, and made it more epic, and grandiose in style, while adding the feel of history to the score as well. It was a rich score, with many different tones throughout, but the hero’s journey was well scored and enhanced the movie, in my opinion.

The cinematography, which was done by Kramer Morgenthau, was beautiful in this film. It is very hard to screw up the beauty and colours of Asgard and Thor, and as such, he did a good job. There’s nothing that I could say that stands out in terms of the shots in the film, but I wanted to have a short paragraph acknowledging the director of photography.

Thor: The Dark World

Jane Foster & Rene Russo as Frigga – Source: Marvel Studios

Another problem in this film is the obsession with the Jane Foster character. I feel that making her an integral part of the plot once again was a mistake by the filmmakers as it felt forced, and took time away from the titular character, who was already interesting without her, as seen in The Avengers. The fact that the Aether was was on Midgard of all places, was another plot point that I don’t think added anything to the film, other than to make it ‘close to home’. Thor is a cosmic character, and making his solo films take place mostly on Midgard is something that hurts the character. I am really excited for Thor: Ragnarok because it is supposed to take place mostly on other planets, with a short stop on Midgard to interact with Doctor Strange.

Thor: The Dark World

Thor and Anthony Hopkins as Odin Allfather – Source: Marvel Studios

Losing Frigga, Thor’s mother, and Loki’s adoptive mother is something that doesn’t really hit you until the funeral scene. It was a beautiful tribute to the character that ended her story on a very high note, going toe to toe with one of the oldest beings in the universe (in the MCU), and besting him at single combat, only being taken out by a surprise stab by his bodyguard.

Thor: The Dark World

Tom Hiddleston as Loki – Source: Marvel Studios

The scene where Loki is notified of Frigga’s passing is something that you can clearly see affected him. His only visitor while imprisoned was Frigga in the form of an illusion, as she wasn’t allowed to visit him. The character who gives off the look of someone who is calm, and in control of his emotions to those around him, lets loose in a bout of rage, and you see the items in his cage go flying. The fact that Thor managed to see through this illusion shows just how much they both knew that Loki loved Frigga, no matter how much he grew to despise Odin. When you see the devastated Loki sitting in his cage, unkempt, and the effect that that has on the audience, seeing the ‘villain’ feeling such emotional pain, and you feel sorry for them, you have to give credit to the writers and the actor for being able to manufacture empathy towards that character.

Thor: The Dark World

Jane Foster & Thor Odinson – Source: Marvel Studios

The characters that are a part of the group ‘Lady Sif and the Warriors Three’ did a good job in their very limited roles in the film, as the screen time was given to lesser storylines (in my opinion), and didn’t really add to the characters. We are introduced to a new Fandral, played by Zachary Levi, as Josh Dallas went on to star in the hit television show ‘Once Upon A Time’. It didn’t really change much, he spoke three or four lines in the film. They also got rid of Asano’s character by making stay with his family on Vanaheim, the planet that they were fighting the rebellion on at the beginning of the film. Lady Sif seemed to be a little miffed that Thor was choosing to entertain the idea of being with a ‘mortal’ in Jane Foster. Sadly that’s the extension of their place in the film, they help Thor, Jane and Loki escape from Asgard. I would have much preferred to spend time with them over the ‘mortal’s on Midgard.

Thor: The Dark World

From Left to Right: Ray Stevenson as Volstagg, Jaimie Alexander as Lady Sif, Zachary Levi as Fandral, Tadanobu Asano as Hogun – Source: Marvel Studios

While I understand what Selvig said when he explained that he had a God in his head, and that’s why he’s all loopy, I feel like it hurt his credibility in the film, and was added for supposed comedic effects, but in my opinion, it didn’t work. It just gave the effect that he’s temporarily mad until he is told that he’s not the only one ‘seeing things’.

The character of Darcy is something that has to be carefully kept in check, or else the thing that happens in this movie, ends up happening, she becomes annoying. In the first Thor film, she’s quirky and funny, whereas in this film, she quickly becomes the annoying sidekick to a side character (Jane), who has become one of the main characters. To me, Darcy is a representation of the comedy of the Thor films to date, because in the first film, the comedy worked throughout the film, and it was enjoyable and stupid, and fun, whereas in this film, it was falling flat, and you were waiting to get away from the side characters, and back to the story and its main characters (Thor, Loki, Malekith).

Thor: The Dark World

Loki and Thor – Source: Marvel Studios

Watching Loki turn Thor into Lady Sif, change into an Asgardian guard, and then into Mr. Stars and Stripes, Captain America was amazing and really fun. It was a cameo that took everybody by surprise and definitely fit into his character. I found the Loki & Thor team up to be fun and sweet, especially the serious talks that Thor was having with Loki, telling him that he wants to trust him, that he still loves him as a brother, but if finding it hard to do so after everything he did. I am really looking forward to their team up once again, and how Loki will react to the Hulk, after the beating that he received from him in The Avengers.

Thor: The Dark World

Thor and Chris Evans as Loki as Captain America – Source: Marvel Studios

Loki’s death scene was something that shows that despite everything they’ve been through throughout the films, Thor and Loki still love each other as brother, and that hits hard when you think he actually died in the film. Loki ‘sacrificed’ himself in order to save Jane, who his brother loves, and tells Thor, that he doesn’t care about the honour that he died with, and what his adoptive father thinks of him, he did it for the sole reason of avenging his mother’s death, and killing the one who took her from him.

Thor: The Dark World

Jane Foster and Loki – Source: Marvel Studios

Where did Odin go? That is the question that will be finally answered on November 2nd (Thursday night release). The fact that Loki actually survived the stab, or if it was just a stronger illusion that he managed to create will hopefully be addressed in Ragnarok, and made it back to Asgard, managed to trick his father somehow and take his place on the throne is something that he could barely even dream of, and he managed it somehow. I really enjoyed the interaction with fake ‘Odin’ and Thor, when Thor was telling him that Loki would have made a better king than he, and that he wasn’t ready to be king any time soon. When he offered Mjolnir to ‘Odin’, and he didn’t take it, it’s probably because Loki would not have been able to call it, or lift it, giving himself away.

Thor: The Dark World

Loki Impersonating Odin – Source: Marvel Studios

In the mid credit scenes, Lady Sif and Volstagg bring the Aether to Nowhere, where Taneleer Tivan, the Collector resides, and where the Guardians of the Galaxy will be headed. They give him the Aether to protect as they don’t want two infinity stones in the same place, not knowing that it seems that Tivan is planning on collecting them all himself, telling himself 1 down, 4 to go.

In the post credit scene, Thor returns to Midgard to be with Jane Foster after giving up the throne, and we see the monster from Jotunheim chasing a flock of birds in London.

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Overall, this movie focused too much time on the Jane Foster character, and had too many scenes on Midgard. If the film would have spend more time developing the villains of the film, and not make them utterly disposable, it would have been a much better film. The interactions between Loki and Thor were the best parts of the film, as they were in the first film. It’s something that I believe they’ve learned from the looks of the Thor: Ragnarok trailers. At the end of the day, I feel like this was the worst movie out of all of the MCU films, and sadly the score reflects that, I don’t think this was a terrible movie, but was only a slightly good film. It was the first MCU film that I did not see at least twice in theatres, and from someone who will see pretty much anything in theatres, that has to mean something. At the end of the day, I give this film a score of 6.25/10.

What did you think of the film? Are you excited for Thor Ragnarok? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for reading,

Alex Martens

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