FlixChatter Review – THOR : The Dark World

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Marvel Studios continues its box office winning streak with an $86 mil US domestic earnings, up about $20 mil from the previous film. It’s made nearly a quarter of a billion dollars worldwide already as it’s opened internationally a week ago. The filmmakers are well aware that most moviegoers are already familiar w/ the character, especially given the behemoth box office success of The Avengers last year. So there’s no character development needed here, and the story picks up where it left off with Loki now going to the dungeon as punishment for being a naughty boy.

So Asgaard and the rest of the planetary universe are now safe right, since the Bifröst‎s (Loki’s kind) have been defeated? Well not quite. Once again we’ve got another megalomaniac creature called Malekith from the Dark Elves race who’s hellbent on taking over the universe. The ‘dark world’ in the title refers to the state of a universe when a weapon known as the Aether is released upon them. But Odin’s father was able to stop Malekith and hid the weapon for thousands of years. That is, until somehow, it got discovered when Jane Foster and her buddies were looking for, who else, his Norse god boyfriend of course.

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Despite the title, there’s nothing dark about this film, in fact, there are never any sense of real danger with any of the characters. Even when Thor is fighting a giant beast three times his size, his loyal Mjölnir always saves the day for him. Chris Hemsworth is much more confident in the title role this time around, and a whole lot more likable as well. There’s still friction between him and his dad Odin (Anthony Hopkins), but obviously it’s a natural father/son relationship. When Heimdal (Idris Elba), Asgaard’s loyal guard who can see into all of the realms, tells him he couldn’t locate Jane (Natalie Portman), Thor visits earth once again. It’s nice to see that Jane is not merely an accessory of Thor, but her character is actually pretty crucial to the plot. But it’s not the reunion between Thor and Jane that I was looking forward to, but it’s Thor and his brother, Loki.

I felt like the time leading up to that is a bit too slow for my liking, but it was well worth the wait! Seems that every time he’s on screen, my interest level just goes up a notch because he’s just so much fun to watch. Though he’s not the main villain here, Loki still gets the best lines, delivered with aplomb by the fantabulous Tom Hiddleston. I think there’s more screen time of Loki, but really, the film could still use more of his presence. The lord of mischief makes the most of his power of illusion, and it makes for some truly hysterical moments both in Asgard and beyond. There’s even a Marvel cameo, I wouldn’t say who it is, that practically brought the house down as the whole theater erupted in laughter.

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The women in Thor’s world are given more to do in this film as well, which is a plus in my book. I’ve mentioned about Jane, but Thor’s mom Frigga (Rene Russo) is also given more screen time here. Clearly Thor gets his bad-ass warrior trait from both parents! Kat Dennings is still a delight as Jane’s research assistant, adding even more comic relief with her irreverent commentaries. But believe it or not, Stellan Skarsgård as Dr. Erik Selvig is actually the goofiest of the ‘Thor comedic troupe’ with his shenanigans and a penchant for stripping in public! Nice to see Idris Elba got a chance to get in on the action a bit more as Heimdal as well, and Zachary Levi apparently replaced Josh Dallas as one of Thor’s buddies, it took me a while to recognize him with blonde hair!

I knew going in that the sense of fun that we’ve come to know and love from The Avengers is going to be carried over in this film, but I didn’t expect it to be a full-on comedy. There are even more laugh out loud moments throughout, and the final battle is just hilarious. The self-referential humor is palpable as a guy witnessing the battle from a library in London quips, ‘Look, it’s Thor fighting down there, with his hammer and everything!’ Some of the subtler comedic moments are a lot of fun as well, my personal favorite is when Thor hangs his mighty hammer on a coat hook when he enters Jane’s apartment!

Whilst the film is robustly entertaining, save for the first twenty minutes or so, there are some flaws that makes this the lesser of the two Thor films. For one, Christopher Eccleston‘s Malekith is a pretty lame and wholly uninteresting villain. It’s not the actor’s fault though, it’s just the character isn’t really given anything worthy to be remembered. He barely even speaks and when he does, he uses some ho-hum Elven language. I also miss Patrick Doyle’s awesome score. No offense to Brian Tyler, who’s a good composer, but Doyle’s gorgeous and rousing theme is so memorable and adds so much to the enjoyment of the movie for me. Overall I also prefer Branagh’s direction to Alan Taylor’s, as the pacing is a bit off and tonally uneven. The visuals and production design are just as superb however, Asgard feels a bit more organic here whilst the first film it looks so majestic and pristine. At times it reminds me of Star Wars though, especially the flying sequence on the Harrow as they’re escaping Asgard. The universe reminds me so much of Naboo, and the moment of Thor and Jane being lovey dovey together also makes me think of Princess Amidala with his Jedi lover, ahah.

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Kudos to Marvel for creating a universe that spans multiple films, somehow it relates to one another whilst still maintaining a unique identity, tone and look & feel. Iron Man has a hi-tech, futuristic actioner,  Captain America is more of a political thriller, whilst Thor has that medieval fantasy feel to it akin to Games of Thrones. Yet everything ties together as one Marvel macrocosm. Just like in Iron Man 3, the Avengers’ battle in New Yorkis never far from the writers’ mind, not that we’d be inclined to forget it anyway. As Loki won’t be on the sequel The Avengers: Age of Ultron, I’m very curious if there might be a Loki film down the line. Certainly there are enough fans of Hiddleston and his nothing-short-of-iconic performance as Loki that’d warrant his own film. [Spoiler alert: Seems that the ending of this film suggests that this isn’t the last time we’d see Loki ;)]

I saw this film in 2D which is perfectly adequate. When it’s all said and done, Thor: The Dark World is lacking the depth to be a great film. I mean, it’s decent entry into Marvel’s cannon that’s fun and entertaining, but the hilarious bits are probably going to be more memorable than the film itself as a whole.


Three and a half stars out of Five
3.5 out of 5 reels


So what did you think of THOR 2? Did you like it more or less than I did?

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68 thoughts on “FlixChatter Review – THOR : The Dark World

  1. Hey good stuff for Ruth. We’re really not that far apart on this one. I definitely liked it a little more than you but we both liked many of the same things. I would put this one on par with the first film even though there are a few things I like better in this one. It was a lot of fun.

    BTW did you stay for the mid-credits and post-credits scenes? What a hoot!

    • Hi Keith, yeah pretty much we’re in agreement :D I only stayed for the first post credit scene w/ Benicio Del Toro, man I wish I had stayed longer. I hope it’d be on Youtube later on.

  2. Good review Ruth. Not perfect, and surely not as good as the first, but still well worth the watch. Especially since this is probably the last real fun, action-spectacle we’ll get in awhile.

    • Hi Dan! Yeah, I think all things considered it was hugely entertaining as it was so hilarious, but there’s not much depth in the story nor characters to really call it a great film.

  3. I’m going to see it later this week so I only skimmed through your review. That’s too bad they didn’t bring Dolye back to compose the movie, loved his score of the first film. I’m not a fan of Brian Tyler, with the exception of his excellent score for 300, all of work were forgettable.

    • Hi Ted, hope you enjoy it! Yeah I really miss Doyle, I mean his score was soooo good and has that majestic, epic feel to it. This one is just ok, not great. I only remember Tyler’s score from 300, too, but he did the Iron Man one I think.

    • Hi Brittani! Ahah yeah, Eric’s streaking was a hoot and they kept showing it too, ahahaha. I didn’t remember him being so nutty in the first film, what with taking off his pants to help him think and all that.

  4. Fantastic review Ruth. I had a great time with this one, more so than the first one. It really was laugh out loud funny and I loved it when Thor hung up his hammer in Jane’s apartment as you mentioned. I do agree that the villain was a little lame and was never really that threatening though, although I felt that about the first one too.

    • Hi Chris, I just read yours. Yeah that scene of Thor hanging up his hammer had me in stitches!! I suppose Loki wasn’t too threatening in the first film too but he was definitely memorable, he left an indelible mark in Marvel movies!

  5. Definitely enjoyed watching the film, but it wasn’t memorable. The first Thor film was brilliant. It was a fantastic introduction into the Asgardian world and the characters. The balance between drama and comedy was good. This one… felt entirely unbalanced to me. Sure, Loki gets to steal the show and there’s plenty of that. Even though the ending was totally predictable. The non-entity of the villain didn’t help matters.

    Feel like the film is riding on the coat tails of The Avengers… and feel like they all will be.

    • Hi Jaina! I really only remember the hilarious bit parts, like the hammer hanging thing and some of Loki’s quips, but yeah, overall it’s not as memorable as the first one. There’s something so epic about Branagh’s version, but this one is just a heck of a lot more comedic. I guess it’s fine if like you said it were more balanced. Hemsworth must not be too happy that Hiddleston continues to steal the thunder from him, ahah.

    • That’s all that needed to be said! I just tweeted this: “I wonder how Thor the god of thunder himself feels to have Loki continually steals his thunder, ahah. @twhiddleston rules!!”

  6. I agree with most everything you wrote, with one exception. I agree that Hiddleston is great in every scene he is in and I was glad to see the supporting characters get to do more. My one disagreement is the comparison to the first film. While I liked that one well enough, I thoroughly enjoyed this sequel. I thought it was quite a bit better than the first one. To each his or her own. The important thing is that the post-Avengers films have continued to entertain so far. Putting Whedon in charge of them all has paid off so far.

    • Hi Chip, I guess like you said, to each their own. I think this one is a lot funnier and therefore more fun than the first, but I wouldn’t say it’s better. I mean the villain is lame and the tone is all over the place, but yes we agree that Marvel continues to do a great job with the individual superhero films. Capt. America looks really good from the trailer, I like the political intrigue aspect of that one.

  7. Nice review, Ruth! I wasn’t a fan of the first Thor, but liked this a bit more. Still, found everything very bland, even if the film was mostly entertaining.

    I sure hope for a Loki movie. He deserves it. He’s been the highlight of three films now. Give him his own already! Huge fan of Hiddleston, as you know.

    You should sign this petition ;) http://chn.ge/1aDra3Y

    Oh, and it took me a while to recognize Levi as well!

    • Hi Fernando! Well, at least we agree about Loki, and yes I have signed that petition a while a go, I hope Marvel Studios realize its potential. Hiddleston has a huge fan base, though I’d love to see him in other prominent roles as well.

      It took me at least an hour before I realized it was Levi! Boy the blond hair really threw me off, ahah.

  8. I actually hope to see this so like Ted S. I just skimmed your review, Ruth. I sort of figured it wouldn’t be as good when I heard Kenneth Branagh wasn’t directing it. But I’ll be there for, well, everybody involved. When people ask me who should play me in a movie, I always say Kat Dennings.

  9. Nice review, though I disagree about this being the lesser of two Thor films. I personally felt it fixed pretty most of the countless number of problems that were prevalent in the first, and resulted in a much more complete and satisfying movie as a whole. I also thought that the movie did actually get surprisingly dark at times, which I honestly wasn’t expecting despite the film’s title. But yeah, that aside, I definitely agree that I love what Marvel’s done with this universe and making all these different properties really stand out and feel unique. I was curious how they’d manage to keep our interest with individual films after The Avengers, but I’ve gotta say that they’ve been doing a damn fine job of that thus far. :)

    Also, a Loki film NEEDS to happen. B)

    • Like I said to an earlier commenter, I think to each their own whether they like the first one or this sequel. Like Jaina said, I feel that the tone is a bit all over the place here, though I enjoyed the hilarious bits, I can’t honestly say the film is *perfect.*

      But yeah, the individual Marvel films manage to live up to The Avengers which is a feat in itself. Let’s hope the Loki movie happens real soon! :D

  10. Glad you enjoyed it! I love Thor 1 the most out of Marvel films and this one was fun too, I loved the funny moments in both films – my theater was enthusiastic about this Marvel cameo too :P Loki was awesome, I really liked how complex he was – selfish in one moment, saving Jane in another.

    • Hi Sati! Yeah it was a lot of fun and hilarious! I really had no idea about Cap’s cameo but it was such a hoot and didn’t feel forced at all!

      What Hiddleston’s done w/ Loki is nothing short of iconic! I hope film history will remember him being even as good as The Joker. I mean sure he wasn’t as dark but still it was an excellent and mesmerizing performance!

  11. Nice review, Ruth. I’ve been hearing some great stuff about this film, and you seem a little less enthusiastic in praise than many others. I guess I should temper my expectations when I get to see it (in a few more months on Blu, unfortunately) but I’m glad it still passed muster with you!!

    • Hi Rodney! Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed this movie tremendously, I mean 3.5/5 is still a good score. I just didn’t think it was stellar, but perhaps I was partial to the first one because of some of the reasons I gave. It is hilarious though, so I think you’d enjoy it too!

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  13. Hi Ruth, nice summing up of this one, we’re thinking of seeing this at the weekend though I’m not sure Irina is too keen on seeing it! Just recently subscribed to Netflix so will try and watch the first one before I see the Dark World. Excited about Avengers 2!

    • Hello Ronan, always nice to see you my friend! How’ve you been? Oh Irina is not a superhero fan is she? Oh good that you have Netflix, I didn’t know how many countries carry Netflix but yeah I think Thor and Avengers are on there. Hope you enjoy it!

      • I’m good thanks Ruth, how are you? Irina is not the biggest super hero fan but she puts up with it for my sake God bless her! We got Netflix instant, it’s great! They don’t carry all of the films we want to see but Thor is on there so will try to see it before I see the sequel. Great work as always Ruth!

        • I’m good Ronan, been busy with work/life, etc. but really can’t complain. Ahah, good for Irina then. It’s funny but Ivan and I have similar taste in movies, well apart from period dramas, he’s not fond of those except the comedic ones. Glad you have Netflix Instant, that’s what we have, too!

          Say hello to Irina for me!

          • Wil do Ruth! We’re actually very lucky as we both love the same films (for the most part!) including Pride and Prejudice BBC version and Bruce Almighty. Hope Ivan is keeping well, say hi too! Have a good weekend!

  14. Malekith is a compete non-entity as the villain. You’re right, it’s the script’s fault. There wasn’t a lot of care given to his character. Loki is a another bad guy of sorts. He’s such a magnetic presence in this.

    • Hi Mark, yeah it’s too bad as Eccleston is a pretty good actor. Loki is hard to top I suppose but still not an excuse to not write Malekith well.

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