Saturday, 16 November 2013
Thor: The Dark World
Thanks to the geniuses at Marvel, the detailed teachings of my nephew, and the welcome into the Marvel fandom I have received through my blog, I have become a huge fan of the Marvel movies. As such, when I heard that my local cinema was showing not only a midnight screening of Thor: The Dark World, but also showing Thor beforehand, I had to go and be part of that. However, I then heard that another cinema a little further away was showing Thor AND Avengers Assemble before a midnight screening of Thor: The Dark World, and I knew that was the one for me. I convinced my Avengers midnight screening buddies to come along too and before you can say 'For Asgard', we were on our way to a 7 hour Thor-a-thon. You can read my previous reviews for Thor and Avengers Assemble by clicking the respective links.
Firstly allow me to say how great it was to see Thor in 3D IMAX, which I did not when it first came out. Wow. It looked great, it was funny, Asgard looked more shiny and sumptuous than ever. And then Avengers. You can't top it. Or can you?
Thor: The Dark World opens by telling the tale of the dark elves, lead by Malekith (Eccleston). His goal is to destroy the universe by unleashing a powerful weapon known as the Aether. In the tale, Malekith and the dark elves are faught to extinction by Odin's (Hopkins) father Bor, and the Aether is moved to a safe place, far from the reach of those who might mis-use it's dark power. We move forward to present day London where we find Jane Foster (Portman) and Darcy Lewis (Dennings) discovering strange goings on in an abandoned warehouse; trucks that can be flipped in mid air by the lightest of touches, items disappearing and reappearing when dropped down a stairwell. In the midst of all these strange goings on Jane disappears into one of these voids and finds herself in another dimension, face to face with the Aether. As Heimdall (Elba) is unable to 'see' Jane in the other dimension, Thor (Hemsworth) makes the decision to return to earth to find Jane. But he takes on more than he bargained for when the dark elves return, forcing Thor to join forces with his imprisoned brother Loki (Hiddleston), in order to defeat them and return the Aether to safe hands.
I enjoyed Thor: The Dark World greatly, but sadly, not as much as I liked the first Thor. I wasn't keen on the villain this time around, I just found him to be rather lacking in charisma, and as you never really know his motivation for wanting to destroy the universe, it's hard to ever really see things from his perspective. Plus the name for the race, the dark elves, I'm sorry but I just couldn't take that seriously. I can't find elves something to be feared, no matter how 'dark' they are.
Having said that, I enjoyed the humour of the movie and I particularly enjoyed Loki's scenes this time around. Bearing in mind that this is the third outing for Tom Hiddleston's Loki, this is the first time in three movies that I have had any empathy for him, and this time I found that I was actually rooting for him a lot of the time. You can tell that Hiddleston relishes this role and has a lot of love for the character and I think this really comes across in this movie. The scene in Loki's cell with Frigga was just heart wrenching, while Loki's scenes with Thor are filled with enjoyable banter.
In terms of the Marvel universe and the continuation of things from Thor and Avengers, Thor: The Dark World does not disappoint. Asgard still looks sumptuous and spectacular, while the scenes on earth have moved to London as the main setting. I for one really enjoyed seeing the UK play such a big part in a movie as mainstream as this, and especially as superhero movies tend to always take place in America, with very little mention of the world outside of that. Little touches such as the digestives on the breakfast table, and the ITV news story made me smile and I hope that the US audiences enjoyed it as much as I did.
I must also give praise to the artists who's work is featured in the end credits of the film as it really is quite stunning. If you don't want to stay for the mid credits or post credits sequences I would at least recommend staying until the artwork has finished being showcased. Another great edition to the Marvel movie universe, just don't expect it to surpass Thor. 8 out of 10.
Viewing Date - 29th October 2013 (Midnight)
UK Release Date - 30th October 2013
Thor ~ Chris Hemsworth
Jane Foster ~ Natalie Portman
Loki ~ Tom Hiddleston
Odin ~ Anthony Hopkins
Malekith ~ Christopher Eccleston
Sif ~ Jaimie Alexander
Fandral ~ Zachary Levi
Volstagg ~ Ray Stevenson
Hogun ~ Tadanobu Asano
Heimdall ~ Idris Elba
Frigga ~ Rene Russo
Darcy ~ Kat Dennings
Erik ~ Stellan Skars