Review—Thor: The Dark World

This review is spoiler-light because ruining an experience of Thor would be terrible.

For the record, when I originally saw Thor in summer 2011, I really didn’t enjoy it. For some reason, I saw it more than once, and what finally got me over to the dark side was the appreciation of the character, Loki, or in particular, the acting talent of Tom Hiddleston. I suppose I saw this as an attempt to show that maybe I had a bias toward the character when going into Thor: The Dark World, or maybe Tom Hiddleston is simply an amazing actor and can raise the talents of actors around him.

Who knows?

Promotional photo courtesy of Walt Disney Motion Picture Studios
Promotional photo courtesy of Walt Disney Motion Picture Studios

Thor: The Dark World opens up with some backstory dealing with the main item of the story, the Aether and how the Dark Elves, led by Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), plan to destroy all the worlds with this power. Why? Odin’s narration never lets us know, but his father, Bor apparently defeated the Dark Elves and locked the Aether away forever and ever.

We then see Loki in chains, showing that when you try to take over both Asgard and Midgard, you’re probably going to have to face the consequences. As Loki is shoved into the dungeon to stay there for all eternity (which, considering how popular Tom Hiddleston is, you know is going to be false), Thor mopes over his love, Jane.

Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) is currently searching for strange magical phenomena in London, where physics is apparently not an issue. After a funny scene where Jane’s co-worker Darcy (Kat Dennings) and her intern (whose name I never really caught, but considering how many times they got it wrong, I don’t think it matters) throw shoes, bricks, and car keys into a portal to see if they would appear again, Jane ends up slipping into an area where the Aether was locked away and manages to get the Aether into her blood stream. You’d think that when hiding this Aether they would have made sure it couldn’t do that, but I guess this film would have been much shorter if they had.

Considering the Aether in her bloodstream is both a danger to her and people around her, Thor appears on Earth and transports her to Asgard to discover how they can save her. This causes Malekith to awaken and aim all his remaining forces at Asgard. Thor must then team up with his villains, constantly backstabbing brother Loki, in order to save the day.

For the first time, I enjoyed watching Thor and his friends in their adventures. Sif and Frigga and even Darcy were incredibly awesome and fun female characters.  Thor’s Warrior’s Three were interesting as well (even if they got rid of Hogun early), and Fandral was re-cast in favor of Zackary Levi, which is a plus. While the main plot was a little weak and the villain’s motivation wasn’t as strong as Loki’s anger in the first Thor, it was still interesting enough to watch him attempt to fight for revenge.

The biggest issue was Jane Foster herself. Although it is true that her character was the trigger for the plot, she was almost useless until the last part of the movie where, to be fair, she was incredibly important in defeating the villain. There was a part where she literally passes out, and, besides informing Thor that she is all right, she doesn’t speak for another twenty minutes. I love that she’s a strong woman scientist, but I just wish there was a way to let her do more science. This is potentially difficult to work into a film about magically mythical aliens, but if they can justify a magical Aether, then why not? The lack of chemistry between Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman was distracting as well.

The real gem that came out of this movie was the brotherhood between Thor and Loki. The first film showed us why they would be fighting, and The Avengers showed us what they were like as they (literally) fought. But Thor: The Dark World shows the audience what they are like as brothers. Their banter throughout the movie was probably the most memorable aspect of the film. It was funny, sharp, and made it apparent that Loki was the best part of the movie.

Either way, Thor: The Dark World was another fun entry into the Marvel universe, leading a bright and money-filled path until 2015’s entry, Avenger: The Age of Ultron. Don’t forget to stay for not one, but two after-credits scenes.

About Brie Garcia

Brie Garcia (COM/SMG '14) originally hails from Pennsylvania (where there is a cornfield behind her house) so forgive her if she is a little too obsessed with all things film and television. She can be found scribbling story ideas on notepads around campus and ignoring responsible things like "being an adult."

View all posts by Brie Garcia →

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