Thor: The Dark World – 2013
Director Alan Taylor
Starring Tom Hiddleston, Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Christopher Eccleston, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano, Jaimie Alexander, Rene Russo
Screenplay Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
It’s no surprise that Loki is one of the first characters that you see after the prologue of Thor: The Dark World. It’s a short scene, with a scolding from father Odin (Hopkins) and a wayward look from his mother Frigga (Russo). It feels like a tag along scene, after the events of The Avengers. We already knew he was going to be locked up, so why do we need to see it played out this way?
The answer is obvious. Hiddleston, the big surprise from the first film, is so good as the villain, the film struggles to move forward without his gracefully devilish grin. For this reason, we have many scenes with him locked up, even seeing a bunch of other goons broken out of jail. He even helps the bad guy (Kurse, played unrecognizably by Akinnuoye-Agbaje) escape, while he remains behind.
We are treated to the obligatory “If you betray me, I will kill you,” scene before his brother, Thor (Hemsworth) lets him out of his imprisonment. After this, we get to see this same sequence repeated ad nauseam with seemingly every supporting character down the line. This scene is a waste of time for any actor, but at least Hiddleston seems to enjoy the attention, no matter how it is received. Thank goodness for that.
Thor’s second time out may not be Shakespearian masterpiece that the first film almost was, but it is not bad, in any sense. It suffers from the strength of its superhero, who we discover from Odin is not actually part of a race of Gods, but rather just a strong race of individuals who can endure for 1000’s of years. If he is not unbeatable, that hammer sure is. The thing about Loki is that he doesn’t use his brawn. Up to this point, the filmmakers of the Thor films have not had to worry real hard about creating a nemesis. This method worked well in his first two appearances. Now, as we see Thor’s foes, Kurse and Eccleston’s Malekith, we anxiously wait for him to find a reason to do something other than swing that huge hammer.
Sadly, any thought that is required of the good guys comes in the form of the same braintrust that they had in the original. This means plenty of face time for Portman and, more unfortunately, seeing Skarsgård in various states of disrobe. Supposedly it helps him think more clearly when he acts like a loon. Portman is a little less annoying this time through, even if she still is not a believable genius. Dennings is still more than capable comic relief as an intern, this time with one of her own (Jonathan Howard).
The screenwriters and Taylor tone down the Hamlet this time, of course that story has been told. Taylor’s talent for utilizing characters employed so effectively in Deadwood works on Asgard. Russo leaves a mark in her brief turn, and it is a nice surprise. Hopkins seems more baffled with each movie, and that suits the aging Odin just fine. Thor’s band of misfit warriors are briefly used once more, but at least they seem to have a place in Asgard as something other than merry men (and one stoic woman). It’s nice to see an expansion of Alba’s Heimdall, as his one action scene is an intense moment.
The weakest part of the story is the megalomaniacal nature of the foe (is there any other in Thor’s universe?). The plan to take over the “9 realms” has more to do with timing than anything, and the convenience of it all gives nothing at all as grist to the plot. It all leads to a battle that is loony toon to the point where one wishes the hammer could end it all. Instead, we get to see the puny humans run around looking frail, weak, and even worse, like Skarsgård.
There is a new mcguffin in the form of a red liquid called Aether. That, with the Tesseract +3 other elements will get you something in a future film, no doubt. Do we get more Loki? If we do, we’ll definitely be entertained to an extent that he is on the screen. Hemsworth has shown a capability to wear Thor’s wig and not look too much like a fool. He needs more than what we’ve seen as a supporting cast on Midgard to make it work.
(***1/2 out of *****)
I thought THOR DARK WORLD was fine I liked the funny parts. The next one will probably be better. Part 3.
(*** out of *****)
I liked Thor Dark World. It was really funny. It had the right amount of action. I did not like the things what were creepy, though. The dark elves.
(****1/2 out of *****)