Here I am again with another belated review. I don’t go to theaters so I have to wait until the movie is out on Bluray to watch and review it. In this case, I was going to get Thor: The Dark World when it came out, I even saw it at Walmart on it’s release date but I wanted to see if there was a different version coming out and when I went back for it a couple of days later, every single copy in the store was gone. The same with Target. The same with K-Mart. I didn’t check Best Buy. So I waited and the next time I walked into Walmart, they had one, and only one, copy on the shelf so I got it, watched it and now, you get to benefit from my late viewing. Strap in, here’s my take on the latest Thor flick.
Thor: The Dark World deals with the previously unmentioned Dark Elves and their rather odd obsession with destroying the Nine Realms after Odin’s father, Bor, defeated them long, long, long ago. To this end, they’ve created a magical, mystical cloud of energy called the Aether. Thinking that he’s destroyed the Dark Elves, Bor hides the Aether in a stone column, but a handful of Elves, including their leader Malekith, have escaped and await the next alignment of all Nine Realms in an event called the Convergence. Meanwhile, following the events of the Avengers movie, Loki has been imprisoned in a cell and Thor has spent the next two years putting out fires that have erupted following the destruction of the Bifrost Bridge. Finally quelling the insurrection, he dreams of going to see Jane but Odin wants him to be king and a human woman is not fit for an Adgardian king. On Earth, Jane has tried to move on, she thinks Thor isn’t coming back but Darcy and her intern Ian have something to show her, an abandoned building where gravity has gone insane, a sign of the Convergence. Experimenting with it, Jane slips between worlds and ends up coming into contact with the Aether, which infects her body. When she returns to Earth 5 hours later, she finds that the Aether will do anything to protect her (and itself, mostly itself). Thor arrives, he’s had Heimdall watching her and when she vanished from Earth, he had to respond. He takes her back to Asgard, much to the dismay of Odin. Suddenly, Asgard is attacked by Malekith and his Kursed warriors. The Asgardians fight valiantly but are soundly defeated and Queen Frigga is killed trying to protect Jane. Odin locks down Asgard to consider his next move but Thor enlists Loki to smuggle Jane out of Asgard, thereby protecting Asgard from direct attack. The escape to Svartalfheim where Loki tricks Malekith into drawing the Aether out of Jane, but Loki is apparently killed in the fight. They return to Earth and work out that the center of the Convergence will be Greenwich, England. Malekith has only to fire a beam of Aether through all of the Nine Realms at the moment of Convergence and he succeeds in destroying the universe. Can Thor and Jane save not only the world, not only the universe, but all universes? Go watch the movie!
Now to be perfectly honest, Thor wasn’t my favorite movie. It wasn’t bad but I have never really cared much for Thor as a character so it’s not a movie that I watch over and over. I’m also not a Natalie Portman fan. I don’t get the hype. In my opinion, I don’t think she can act her way out of a paper bag and I don’t find her attractive in the least. She’s just annoying and to have her be the love interest… um… yuck. So I guess I went into this movie with some pretty low expectations but I was surprised that it was pretty enjoyable.
It’s not without problems though. First, and this is something I’m really sick of, the entire Marvel universe does not revolve around Loki. Yeah, you wouldn’t think that considering the last couple of movies, but can we please have a movie where Loki isn’t involved? Yes, Tom Hiddleston is a fine actor, but give me a break. I actually felt relieved when I thought Loki was dead, forgetting for a moment that this is a comic book movie and nobody ever really dies. Enough Loki!
Second, the plot is pretty silly. You have this unexplained magical cloud of evil that infects Jane and makes her invulnerable to attack. Wait, what? Again, I had that momentary excitement that Jane might die, but… see above. Still, we never understand why Malekith wanted to make the world dark using the Aether and by the end, he was just insane, which might have been the explanation all along. And while we’re talking about Malekith, he was a really horrible character, he was entirely two-dimensional, he had no real motivation, all he did was stand around and yell all the time.
Third, why is Asgard so technologically inferior? Yeah, I know it’s not, but you have the Dark Elves using advanced technology and the Asgardians out there swinging swords? Sure, they have some laser cannons and a couple of fighters but generally, the Asgardians look like a bunch of LARPers out in a forest somewhere. These are supposed to be the superior race in the Nine Realms?
Fourth, okay, other than comedic value, why did Eric Selvig spend most of the movie either naked or without pants? Are we supposed to think that he’s had a mental breakdown following the Avengers movie? Nobody else had a problem and it really makes no sense that he’d take to public nudity to work through his issues. Was it supposed to be funny? It really wasn’t.
Reading all of that, you’d think I hated the movie but I really didn’t. It was a fun romp. I just think it missed a lot of opportunities to be significantly different from the first film. In both of them, you had a malevolent alien race from another world plotting to destroy Asgard and only Thor and his band of humans can save the day. There were no real risks involved. It should have been different. It should have been better. It was great for what it was, it just wasn’t what I hoped. I find it especially troubling that we see at the end that Loki is playing the part of Odin and ruling Asgard. NO MORE F’ING LOKI!
It wouldn’t be a Marvel movie review without talking about the credits spoilers so here goes. In the first one, Lady Sif and Volstagg take the Aether to the immortal Collector for safe keeping. Sure, that’s a good idea, it isn’t like the Collector ever screwed anyone over or anything. They refer to it and the Tesseract as “Infinity Stones”, clearly a reference to the Infinity Gems that form the Infinity Gauntlet in the comics, leading us back to Thanos showing up at the end of Avengers. They’re already leading up to Avengers 3, probably released post 2017. We have good reason to think that we’ll see a third Infinity Stone in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie and according to Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, this might lead to movies about more supernatural-based characters like Doctor Strange and the Inhumans. Hey, I’m up for it!