Disclaimer: the following review discusses plot topics. I’m not going to spoil the whole movie, but if you want to see this movie without any preconceived notions please avoid reading this post.
Marvel does more than a few things right with this movie that put DC Comics to shame. Mainly, Thor is an almost unapproachable God – or in this incarnation a being from a different dimension. In levels of power, he’s Marvel’s Superman. The most powerful character is the hardest one to relate. To make him approachable, we are given Thor – the member of the Asgardian first family complete with a father that won’t let him marry who he wants and a black sheep of a brother.
Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World is worth the price of admission and worthy movie to add to Marvel’s collection. But dare I say it’s not so much for the lead actors, but for the world that surrounds them – and almost everyone else in the cast.
Natalie Portman returns as Jane Foster with Chris Hemsworth as the God of Thunder. I’m wondering if Portman had some Star Wars deja-vu at the green screens that would turn into Asgard. For the most part, both leads play their roles straight. Kat Dennings returns as the quirky Darcy, for which I was glad because Earth was going to be a bit of a chore with Jane Foster just moping for his beloved. I didn’t buy or found too much fire in Thor and Jane’s chemistry. They go by the book, but it’s a book we’ve already read a hundred times over. They are somewhat likeable, but a long distance from loveable.
I love the movie for basically every other character. Tom Hiddleston returns as the devious Loki. He makes no excuses about his behaviour but he remains the trickster and brings eons of life to the screen compared to Hemsworth’s stoic Thor. Jaimie Alexander’s warrior Sif has more fire in her few lines and action scenes than Natalie Portman. I don’t think it’s Portman’s fault – or Hemsworth either – they are just there to play the straight characters where everyone else seems to have so much more flavor to their presence and their demeanour.
Idris Elba is given a lot more to work with as Heimdall, the legendary Guardian of the bridge (aka teleporting beam) that leads to Asgard. Even when he’s unable to stop an invasion, he’s still a badass for bringing down an enemy ship all by his lonesome.
The enemy this time are the dark elves, leaded by Malekith. I did not recognize Christopher Eccleston in this role until the credits rolled. He’s not as charismatic as Loki, but he makes do the best he can and you do believe him a major threat once the body count starts to pile up.
I wanted to see more of the Warriors Three: Volstagg (Ray Stevenson), Fandrai (Zachary Levy) and Hogun (Tadanobu Asano). They make minimal but still significant contributions to the film and of course they’re in on it when Thor has to go above his father’s orders (if you didn’t see that happening a mile away you’ve never seen a Marvel film). Even Rene Russo has shining moments as Queen Frigga to the point of me wishing I could watch a movie about Asgard with anyone but Thor in it.
Hemsworth has some chops. He’s believable in his role. Eventually it’s up to him to save the day, but he does get by with a little bit of help with his friends (I had to, sorry). And there’s a hilarious scene when he gets teleported into London’s tube that kinda made up for a good portion of all the brooding looks and the standing around.
Yes, there’s a scene in the middle of the credits that you should stay for. There’s also one little scene after the entire credit roll that Marvel had to put in there. And of course there’s nods and winks to a lot of things during the movie that shouldn’t be missed. All in all, it’s Marvel continuity and worth going to see in the big screen. Get the popcorn.
Recommended with a sizable crowd to share some laughs.
That will do for now.
(Source: Marvel Studios)