In our look back at the movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Geek Dave revisits Thor: The Dark World.
I wasn't a huge fan of the first Thor film, I didn't hate it but it was kinda meh for me. Still everything I saw leading up to the release of Thor: The Dark World had me very excited, and I hoped we were about to get the definitive Thor movie. After all, this followed Iron Man 3, the definitive Iron Man movie as far as I'm concerned. And before that we had The Avengers, the template for how all superhero movies should be presented. Marvel were on a roll.
But (you knew there would be a but, right?) Thor: The Dark World saw the studio stumble. Again, it's not a terrible film by a long shot (and I found I enjoyed it slightly more rewatching it for this retrospective than I did two years ago... only slightly though), but there are enough flaws to firmly put this movie in that same meh category.
The idea behind the story probably seemed quite strong on paper, but it lost a lot in translation to the screen. Basically thousands
of years ago a race of beings known as Dark Elves attempted to
send the universe into darkness with a weapon called the Aether.
Various warriors from Asgard stopped them but the leader of the Dark
Elves, Malekith, escaped and hid out waiting for another opportunity.
Through one thing and another, that time has come.
Although the acting from all is solid, with Tom Hiddleston's Loki and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Algrim/Kurse being the real highlights for me, the dialogue given to many of the other characters is often cringe-worthy. The film looks amazing, especially Asgard, but in most other areas Thor: The Dark World just doesn't click.
Former Doctor Who, Christopher Eccleston, plays Malekith. As a rule he seems to be quite picky with his choice of roles and will often take smaller parts where he steals the show. That's not the case here, Malekith is terribly underdeveloped. He just comes across as a bad guy doing bad things because, oh yes, he's bad! The character is completely one dimensional and rarely interacts with any one else but Thor, so never really explains why he's doing what he's doing. It's probably more to do with editing and time constraints than anything, but apart from a short introduction told by
Odin (Anthony Hopkins) near the beginning of the film there isn't
any other character development for Malekith and so he really suffers
because of this. Meaning his eventual demise is very anti-climatic.
The action scenes aren't as well choreographed as we are used to in Marvel movies, and there is way too much humour injected into the film, which is often totally unfunny....
I'm ripping this apart and that really wasn't my intention when I started writing this. So let's try to look at some positives.
As I mentioned before Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Algrim/Kurse is amazing. He is easily the most memorable
villain in Thor: The Dark World. Zachary Levi is a worthy Fandral, Natalie Portman is a lot less annoying as Jane than she was in the first installment, and the scenes between Thor and Loki are probably the most enjoyable in the movie - even if Tom Hiddleston totally overshadows Chris Hemsworth.
Maybe it's just me but I find it's hard to like Thor: The Dark World because it's hard to care for Thor: The Dark World. This is pretty much the same problem I had with the first Thor movie. Unlike the rest of the characters Marvel has bought to the screen in the MCU, I'm just not sold on the cinematic take of Thor Hemsworth is a capable enough actor but, for me anyway, there's something off with the character itself. I hoped the lack of having to tell an origin story would fix that in this film, but sadly it didn't. So we've still not seen the definitive Thor movie and after this installment I'm not sure we ever will.
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