Sunday, November 10, 2013

Movie Review - Thor: The Dark World


I just got back from watching Thor: The Dark World tonight. I'm going to post two reviews...one will be completely spoiler-free and basically my argument for anyone who has not seen it yet to plunk down at the nearest movie theatre and see it!! The other review will be rampant with spoilers and will include my thoughts on certain parts of the movie. So, here we go.

Eh, little story first, I got to see it with my dad, sister, and a friend. My dad saw it for Natalie Portman and the rest of us saw it for Loki. We live in a very rural area so it was a bit of a haul to the nearest theatre and it was still a very small one. Nevertheless I was able to meet two other Loki fans while waiting. One of them was a mom of two kids and her husband started a rant about what was it that made all the girls fall for Loki, and his wife and I had a very fun conversation about that. Even though it was a small place and not a lot of people everyone seemed to have a great time and enjoyed it a lot. I left the theatre mulling over things like character development, all the unanswered questions, and what in the world Thor 3 is going to be about!


Spoiler-free Review


Thor: The Dark World picks up almost immediately after The Avengers movie, where we find Thor working to bring peace to the Nine Realms while his adopted brother Loki is sent to life imprisonment for his crimes against Midgard. An ancient force that once strove to use a special magic to turn the entire universe into complete darkness has risen again, and that same magic enters Jane. Thor takes Jane to Asgard to save her from it, and decides to face their enemy head-on in a place called the dark world. However the only person who knows how to get there is Loki, so the two end up having to form an alliance together. If you have not seen The Avengers but know generally what happened you won't be lost; but it's pretty important that you see the first Thor movie before this one.

First of all, the plot. It is not the most unique story and feels quite predictable. The villain is plastic and not that intimidating so it's hard to feel anything for or against him. It is a really cool setup to have Thor and Loki, who have been through a lot in Thor and the Avengers movies, having to team up as allies. They have some good moments together, some which scream "sibling rivalry" and others which are a lot more serious.

The characters are all done very well. Thor has matured greatly from the boyish, naive prince he was in the first movie. Jane Foster and her friends have also developed well. The romance between Thor and Jane feels much more genuine. But my dad and I agreed on this one...Tom Hiddleston absolutely steals the show as Loki. He is deranged, ruthless, and fabulously sassy, but underneath that he is broken and hollow. Such a fascinating character. Loki and Darcy are the two that will invoke the most laughter from the audience. Just those two alone are worth the watch!

The special effects are very cool and well done. We get to see a little more of the world of Asgard than we did in the first Thor movie, but not too much. A lot of the movie is also set in London. But as with most any movie, Thor: The Dark World was far from perfect. There were some scenes and character moments that were left out, some subplots that could have been given more depth, and the ending feels a tad anticlimactic. In summary, though, if you loved Thor and the Avengers you will love this movie a lot!! You will walk out very satisfied and so excited to see more Marvel movies in the future!


Full Review (WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS)


Thor: The Dark World is not a stand-alone movie. It ties in closely to its two predecessors but especially the first Thor movie. The plot feels quite predictable and not the most original of ideas. The two plot twists, being Loki's apparent death and then his disguise as Odin to become King of Asgard, caught me slightly off guard. I have always imagined that Loki would go out with a noble self-sacrificial death of some sorts, but I was surprised that they played that card so early on in the movie. It felt so odd to even pretend to kill off a major character before the final battle that it immediately smelled fishy. Of course, in the final shot (excluding the credit scenes) I was blown away by the plot twist. A most brilliant play that made me so excited for the sequel! I wish there had been more reason for Thor not wanting the throne since that decision seemed rather sudden on his part (like suppose he had been discussing the thought of not becoming king throughout the movie on-and-off?). As for the two credit scenes the first one was quite bizarre but an interesting setup, and the second one was pretty much a waste of time.

The final battle of the movie felt anticlimactic. It doesn't help that the villain was bland and predictable, so much so that he scarcely felt like a threat at all. I felt pretty much nothing in regards to Malekith. Loki's sudden death added a surreal sense, like "What? He can't be dead, can he?" At least it was better than having a showdown in a small town in New Mexico like in the first movie...I guess you can only do so much.

Character development was very impressive! Thor has come a long way since the first movie, and Loki is so much fun to watch. Now I feel a bit confused about Loki's motives, though...so he wants to be King of Asgard, and he succeeded? Did he "die" for Thor just as a trick or was it out of genuine love? Does he even care about Thor anymore? How much of his actual "love" for his family was just part of a trick? I don't know exactly all of what happened between Thor and the Avengers, but I think it would be a stretch to say that Loki has lost all affection for Frigga and Thor. Odin, though, is another story. As for the other characters I felt satisfied but still a bit frustrated. The Warriors Three and Sif don't really do much for the plot other than they are just...there, as backup. They did not get to do a whole lot. I was glad to see more scenes involving Frigga since she had next to nothing in the first movie, but her death was basically just a plot device to get Thor and Loki motivated for revenge. I really liked how they portrayed Erik Selvig as going insane after Loki possessed him...I never expected that and it made a lot of sense to me! Jane almost got too much screen time, too.

But Odin? That guy has double-standard after double-standard and I cannot like him at all. He goes from telling Loki they are mortal just like the humans, to telling Thor he cannot marry a human because they are mere mortals...what? He goes from telling Loki and Thor they were born to be kings in the first film, to sentencing Loki to life imprisonment for, guess what, trying to become king of Midgard...what? His motives make no sense at all. I don't even know what he expected. The way the story is panning out, it's like everyone sets Loki up to do these things and then they wonder why he is doing them!

Two major things bugged me the most. First, these movies are starting to repeat themselves. Loki faked his own death...again. He takes the throne in Odin's place...again. He gets Thor to stay on Midgard while he becomes king...again. And Thor 3 will probably have Thor figuring this out and challenging Loki to a final showdown...again. While I'm impressed with the surprise ending I wish they would have done something more original. The second is how fast the plot moved and gave little time for the characters to grieve. There were two major deaths: Frigga and Loki (sort of). Thor lost his mother and his brother. And minus Frigga's funeral scene Thor was only given about three seconds each to mourn. I expected a lot more after Loki "died" in Thor's arms especially with that tear-jerking monologue...but as soon as they're in the cave it's like Thor completely forgot about it. Even when Erik Selvig, when told Loki is dead, remarks, "Oh, good!", all Thor does is blink. Thor should have gotten one good scene to express his regret and guilt about Loki, as well as his mother.

But, it was still a great movie. It's bigger and stronger than the first one. It's a worthy follow-up to The Avengers. Loki had plenty of screen-time but it wasn't overdosed. And the Captain American cameo was to die for.

All in all it felt like the movie had a bunch of little holes that were not filled. The relationship between Thor and Sif...Loki's own motives, as well as Odin's...Malekith's backstory and character. Things I was looking to see a lot of I only got small tastes of. But to be fair it feels a lot more epic than the first one, and has a more mature, darker feel to it. The characters' presences are generally balanced well, and there is a definite setup for the next installment. I was not as satisfied as I wanted to be, but I was indeed satisfied. And Loki's dark, vindictive, sassy persona gave the movie all the jazz, funk, and character tension that was needed.






6 comments:

  1. Thor still surprisingly has something charming about him that not only has you root for him right away, but think of him as somewhat of a cool guy. Good review.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was in love with that movie.

    it broke my heart and at the end gahhhhhhhh. I loved the humor in it though! SO funny! my friend and I were dying of laughter and crying from everything else so we got some very judgmental glances during and after the movie.

    That movie.....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! I laughed and I cried!! My friend, sister, and I were the loudest people in the theatre :3

      Delete
  3. *Spoilers*

    When Chris Evans came on screen, I nearly died! I had to restrain myself from being too loud. That cameo has to be the best I have seen in a long time.

    Hiddleston's Loki was so awesome in the movie, and I liked how Thor has developed from the Avengers.

    Good review! :)

    By the way, here is a link to my review if you want to check it out.
    http://jandjproductions1809.blogspot.com/2013/11/thor-dark-world-review.html

    -James

    ReplyDelete