Movie Review: Thor The Dark World

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The original Thor was a film with great action, fantastic performances from most of the cast and the potential to be something truly special but squandered it fairly quickly in order to devolve into a romantic comedy with one of the most rushed and unbelievable romances and character arcs I’ve seen yet. Thankfully its sequel, Thor The Dark World, manages to capitalize on the originals potential but still suffers from some of the usual Marvel Studios weaknesses.

The film takes place about a year after the Avengers, Loki is in prison, Thor and the Warriors Three battle across the Nine Realms in order to restore balance to them following the fixing of the Bifrost and Jane Foster continues to investigate strange happenings across the world in order to be re-united with her love. Soon things get complicated when the Nine Realms begin converging on each other which awakens the old enemy of the Asgardians, Malekith, who seeks to use an ancient weapon in order to bring eternal darkness to the universe.

All of the things that worked about the original Thor film are back here for us all to enjoy. Visually the film looks absolutely spectacular. Alan Taylor does a far better job than Kenneth Branagh did with the original as we get too see more of the Nine Realms here than ever before. Asgard in particular feels like a living, breathing place with and its the finest example of the films drastically improved world building over the original.

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Fighting choreography has also taken a significant step up in quality. Battles this time feel much more personal and brutal with a bigger focus given to standard combat instead of flashy special effects. Characters get stabbed, beaten and injured and by the end of the film the ones left standing look like they’ve been through hell and back again. Its another step up from the original Thor film which only helps enhance the film, I would go so far as too say it had some of my favorite fights in any comic book movie period.

Most of the cast from the previous films return and nearly all of them give top notch performances but it’s no surprise that Loki is the best of the bunch this time around as well. His character arc through the film was easily the best part of it as I genuinely felt bad for the guy when I needed too and I was actively rooting for him the rest of the time. Tom Hiddleston really went above and beyond this time and he managed to redeem a villain I felt the Avengers kind of screwed up.

I was also pleasantly surprised to see Thor actually lose people very close and dear to him. After Iron Man 3 I started to get worried Marvel Studios would never allow something like that too happen but the deaths that do occur are genuinely gut wrenching and give us some really captivating drama. Although I wish one of the characters who died had more screen time as I feel like the death could have hit us just as much as it did the characters in the film had they been used more.

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While Thor The Dark World did improve many things I felt were done poorly in Thor 1, the sequel sadly inherits some of the originals problems as well as the problems of Iron Man 3. The drama here is easily the best Marvel Studios has ever done but almost immediately after a really emotionally powerful scene we get gags and jokes that are funny, but like Iron Man 3, there are no transition scenes that make it feel organic. Thankfully these jarring moments are few and far between enough for them not to be a major issue.

But to the films credit a lot of the interaction between Loki and Thor is just hysterical. They easily have the best banter in the entire film and once you throw in some crazy Erik Selvig in the mix, its pure comedy gold at its finest.

The biggest problem I had with the film is how it tackles technology and magic. In the original Thor magic and technology were both clearly the same thing and it worked perfectly. Here we have them use things like laser riffles, space ships, artillery guns that fire lasers and space ships that fire even more lasers. This constantly took me out of the film because I just kept asking myself “If a species is advanced enough to have things like space ships, laser based projectile weaponry and energy barriers, why in the fuck are they still using medieval weaponry?!”.

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This constantly took me out of the film because it just made no sense to me what so ever. Sure the shields could block incoming projectiles but lets get one thing straight here, these guys are no Jedi Knights and the way a couple dozen Dark Elves are able to just gun down dozens of Asgardians who should be, at this point anyway, technologically far superior and they still use dinky swords and shields makes no sense to me. It constantly took me out of the film.

Malekith is also a pretty generic and a villain with poorly defined motivation. His whole motivation is just “I’m evil and sadistic and I will kill you all because I am evil and sadistic! “ He has barely over 5 scenes in the entire film and he has no presence on screen of any kind. It also doesn’t help that he is so pathetic in a fight you can’t take him seriously. If Thor’s mom can kick his ass in less than 15 seconds with no effort what so ever, you have a pretty good idea of how weak he really is. It’s a shame that many of his best scenes were cut out due to time constraints as they easily could have made him an infinitely more interesting character.

I also really don’t buy the romance between Jane and Thor. These two knew each other for a single day and they already so much in love they can’t live without one another. It also doesn’t help that the film never really gives them an opportunity to bond and for us to see this spark they apparently have but its no where to be found and it’s so rushed I just don’t buy it.

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Thor The Dark World is a, mostly, successful sequel that takes what the original did right and brings it back while at the same time fixing most of the things that were wrong to deliver a fun, emotional and awesome romp through the Nine Realms. Oh and the ending is without a doubt one of the greatest things ever to be put on the big screen and it just made me nerdgasm at the possibilities it presents.


+ Visually breathtaking

+ Captivating action scenes

+ Gut wrenching drama

+ Great performances from the majority of the cast

+ The relationship between Loki, Thor and Frigga

+ Kurse is a freaking beast

+ The ending is just… wow….


– No proper transition from serious stuff to comedy at times

– The romance still feels really forced

– Malekith is poorly done with all of his best scenes cut out




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