When the Captain America: The Winter Soldier trailer came out the other day I thought that the film would easily top the solo outing films of Marvel phase 2. However I may have been wrong, because Thor: The Dark World just raised the bar pretty damn high! After feeling a bit let down from Iron Man 3 and Marvel's TV show Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D I went into the cinema with average hopes and a critical mind, I came out having just had a blast of a time! Read on to find out why and as always my review is spoiler free!
Thor: The Dark World picks up after the events of The Avengers. Loki is in jail, Thor is back on Asgard with the Bifrost Bridge rebuilt, whilst love interest Jane Foster is down on Earth still doing science experiments and attempting to get over her fling with the demigod. All this gets shaken up when Jane discovers the Aether, a dark force that wakes up Malekith, a dark elve that wishes to bring revenge to Asgard for killing his people a long time ago. Like the first Thor, the plot is quite simple making for a fun and easy watching film, something I really loved about the first film. There's obviously a bit more going down in this second instalment but the heart of the first film is still there even with new Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor on board.
Let's start with the acting, as with all Marvel casting so far, everybody is perfect in their roles. Especially Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston who you couldn't imagine anyone else in their roles as Thor and Loki, their chemistry on screen is even better again and every scene with two becomes the highlights of the film. In villain duties is Christopher Eccleston as Malekith who does a decent job but his performance lacks being memorable, not by fault of his own but my fault of yet another underwritten villain who's plan is essentially to destroy everything, again. One of my favourite characters though is Heimdall played by Idris Elba who gets even more kick ass action in this film.
That's one of the best things about Thor 2, the really cool moments that see your favourite character do something so cool it makes you nerd out. Early in you know you are in for a good ride when Thor jumps off a balcony twists grabs his hammer and flies away. There are loads of moments like this which make for a really enjoyable watch. This is something Iron Man 3 failed to deliver on apart from the end scene with all the suits but that was unfortunately mostly spoiled in the trailers. Like Iron Man 3 though Thor 2 is very funny but it never feels like a comedy. Unfortunately a few of the joke do fall a bit flat.
We also get to see the continuation of Marvel writing some stronger roles for it's female characters. They're not fully there yet but I sure would soon like to see a film with female superhero lead soon. Thor's mum Frigga is one of these strong characters and even gets her own fight scene that turns out to be one of the best of the film. Natalie Portman's Jane Foster is still a bit of a damsel in distress but has no fear of standing up to the likes of Loki and even Odin. A love triangle between Thor, Sif and Jane is also hinted at but never really goes anywhere.
The film itself looks great! The use of real sets and locations really makes a difference and something I imagine Alan Taylor had some doing with. The fights are more epic and everything is dirtied up a bit. Saying that Thor is not going down a Nolan esque route with being dark and gritty, far from it actually, in fact it's a very fun and moving adventure film. The visual effects were also great and the whole film looked awesome!
A few dodgy lines and acting aside, Thor: The Dark World is a great ride and really delivered a lot higher than what I expected it to. The story is great and has some great unexpected twists and a lot of fan service. There is a lot of teasing of the future of phase 2 and beyond, so much so that you will hope they announce a Thor 3 soon! Remember to stay for the mid credits and post credits sequence! I really, really loved this film and I can see it becoming one of my favourites of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s not without its flaws but you sure do get one hell of a Thor film that leaves you wanting more, therefore I am giving it a rating of 4/5.
I think Alan Taylor really brought something special to the Marvel universe and it is unfortunate that due to rumoured disagreements with the studio and few suspicious answers to questions during the junket for this film that he most likely won't be back. However the bar has been raised for Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Guardians of the Galaxy.
What did you think of the film? Do you agree with me or disagree completely? Let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading!