[Movie Review] Thor: The Dark World

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I hereby accept your surrender.”

It’s been two years since Thor and in a post-Avengers/Iron Man 3 world Thor: The Dark World has a lot to live up to.

Everyone else is making comparisons and I agree with them after sitting through Thor: The Dark World 3-D IMAX Experience.

First, the 3-D isn’t worth it. Gravity in 3-D was better. Jurassic Park in 3-D was better.

Second, the IMAX showing was gorgeous.

Third, the preview of Captain America: The Winter Soldier took the wind out of Thor’s sails.

Thor: The Dark World picks up immediately after Avengers with Loki, played by fan favorite Tom Hiddleston being jailed for his crimes. Odin, played by Anthony Hopkins and once again Rene Russo playing set dressing is of course none to please with their adopted son’s antics.

Meanwhile, Thor and the Warriors 3 + Sif are containing war spreading across the realms and in hindsight, this plot thread which could have been spread out through the entire movie ends too quickly.

Thor is still pining for Jane Foster played by Natalie Portman. She, Kat Dennings and Stellan Skarsgård all reprise their roles looking to get back to Thor. The good news is that Jane geeks out considerably towards science the bad news is she becomes the girlfriend in trouble and the unnameable macguffin. If she and Sif got into a cat fight over Thor I’d have a triple word score for tropes.

The unnamable macguffin brings us to the sore point in this film: How to top Loki?

If this sounds vaguely like a problem from The Dark Knight Rises then you aren’t too far from the truth.

Thor 2 don’t do the whole two villains theme we’ve been seeing in movies over the years. Since Loki was the mastermind in Thor 1, we can’t repeat ourselves can we?

Instead, we get Malekith played by Christopher Eccleston or to the rest of the geek community Doctor #9. Originally supposed to be played by Mads Mikkelsen, Mads went to Hannibal instead and thank the gods he did.

Malekith is a dark elf who wants to return the entire universe to darkness like it was before.

That’s it.

That’s all the backstory and plot they give him and it just feels like such a cop out it brings the whole story down. No mention of family. No mention of a wife just like the Fallen from Transformers 2.

His band of Dark Elves almost nuked the universe once but Bor, father of Odin stopped him by stealing the macguffin and hid it somewhere safe.

Once Jane gets infected by the macguffin, Malekith and his banished brethren onboard their ship re-awaken after millions of years to start right back up where they started.

See, there’s trouble brewing across the universe, the nine realms are aligning again and the walls between these realms are getting thin. What does that mean for our heroes?

Portal.

No bullshit, we’re talking Portal without the blue and gold haze around the holes.

In order to stop these Dark Elves, Thor, the Warriors 3 + Sif and a better used Heimdall played by Idris Elba breaks Loki out ala Leverage and a race to save the universe begins.

Once Thor returns to Earth, there are bits of comedy that are a welcome refresh from the boring Malekith. Lost keys. Thor fitting into a small car along with Thor taking the tube. Several hammer sight gags that got good laughs from the audience. And it all works. Even Doctor Selvig’s post-tramatic stress from Loki’s scepter works. And, yes, Kat Dennings is still funny no matter what the haters say.

Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor was a good choice. Original director Patty Jenkins bowing out was amicable according everyone but we all know how Marvel works so take that with a grain of salt.

The SFX use is clean. No more dark underlie scenes like the ice giants scenes from Thor 1.

Many times I say the movie needs another ten minutes and the last reel needed that to slow down and take a breath due to the plot changes that happen towards the end of the movie that I won’t go into. Several scenes got fist pumps from audience members and while I can agree with them, I’d rather have seen the fallout for the intended victim. Yes, that sentence was intentionally vague but spoilers sweetie.

So, is it worth seeing in IMAX: yes. Is it worth seeing full price: no.

As always, stay for all the credits until the bitter end.

There are two credit scenes, the first named checked all the boxes necessary while the second should have just been at the end of the movie instead of a credit scene.

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