Thor: The Dark World


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Knock ‘em dead

Marvel continues to dominate the box office with Thor: The Dark World, the next stepping stone in Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that delivers the consistent action, thrills, and laughs fans have come to expect from Marvel, though in perhaps more generous helpings this time. As someone who didn’t care at all for the first Thor and finds Chris Hemsworth kind of annoying, The Dark World casts a shadow over all previous prejudices and won me over as a fan of yet another Avenger.

The Dark World is pretty much that stereotypical movie you think of every time you think of big budgets stuffed with special effects, big name actors, and non-stop action. Beginning with a Lord of the Rings-style voiceover setting the exposition, we learn Dark Elf leader Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) is hunting the Aether, a weapon of intergalactic destruction, to destroy the universe for no clear reason. Thor’s grandfather and then king is able to hide the Aether away somewhere safe for eons, at least until Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) happens upon it by complete plot-convenient chance one day.

The story’s invariable low point is Foster’s hasty possession by the Aether, which she stumbles upon literally by chance and not due to some Thor-related event. However it does serve to reunite the star-crossed, planet-crossed, dimension-crossed interspecies couple and gives Foster a large, surprisingly not-annoying role in the film during the 25% of the time where she’s not spontaneously fainting. Thor (Hemsworth), meanwhile, has been spending his seclusion from Earth and Jane in Asgard, where his father and king Odin (Anthony Hopkins) has been pressuring him to step up to his role as king and maybe trying to find a mate of his own species and lifespan.

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Thanks to Jane, Malekith is reawakened, and so is his desire to capture the Aether. He leads his army of skull-faced aliens called the Kursed to Asgard in time for the Convergence, in which the Nine Realms of the universe will align perfectly to be zapped into nothingness. With time running out before the Aether destroys Jane’s body and Odin not supporting him, Thor must enlist the help of an unlikely ally to help him save the universe.

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Amidst the action and fantastic special effects is the film’s true prize, Loki (Tom Hiddleston). Fresh off the bat of trying to destroy the Earth in The Avengers, Thor’s power-starved half brother is confined in Asgard’s underground dungeons as punishment, because that’s the best thing Odin could think of. Loki is easily the most compelling villain in the Marvel universe introduced so far. The writers are aware, as evidenced by the ample screen time and lavishing writing he received. Tom Hiddleston effortlessly fluctuates between a malevolent hiss and vicious snarl, though he knows exactly how to scale back and give Loki his more sympathetic side that makes him an excellent villain. The best scenes of the film are the ones where he’s involved. I guess “Thor 2: Loki” must have been a pretty awkward title.

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Boing-y, juggling between humor, action, and plot expertly, the movie peels away at its 111-minute runtime like tissue paper, though the breathless second half feels much shorter than it actually is. By the time the climax rolled around I had absolutely no clue what was going on, but I was entertained enough that it didn’t matter slightly. Even though the writers were clearly too invested in Loki to give Thor himself full attention, he still finds some character development of his own. Still, he remains by far the weakest Avenger of the bunch, character-wise. And that includes Captain America.

The hammer has been swung at Phase 2 as Thor 2: Loki delivers as much thrills as Iron Man 3, and possibly better humor and story. Avengers 2 is looking better and better with each film. Considering all the superheroes they’re juggling, it should be pretty easy to convince Marvel to make a Loki-centered film, right?

4.5/5 stars

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About Logan Krum Movie Reviews

Hi. I’m Logan Krum, now going into my third year of studying journalism at Temple University. I created this blog to help create a portfolio of my work as an entertainment journalist and screenwriter. Though I usually disagree with the Tomato Meter, I hope you enjoy my thoughts on current pop culture movies. I can be contacted at logan.krum@gmail.com.

3 responses to “Thor: The Dark World”

  1. MJ says :

    Liked your review & looking forward to seeing the movie myself.

  2. CMrok93 says :

    Nice review Logan. It’s a fun movie, especially since that it seems to be the last, big and official blockbuster we’ll get for awhile.

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