Underachieving – Thor: The Dark World (2013)

At least there’s more sexy Thor.  So Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) gets afflicted with a mysterious red substance known as Aether.  This is right around the time where the nine realms become aligned and unstable, so inter-dimensional travel is about to become a whole lot easier, opening the door for a previously defeated foe (Christopher Eccleston) to make a move for power by reclaiming the Aether.  Looks like it is once again up to Thor (Chris Hemsworth) to save the day.  When I first watched this originally, I thought it was alright, and then my opinion worsened in all of the negative word of mouth started circulating.  All of the previous Marvel movies since Iron Man 2 have been such high quality, and the public had been spoiled.  I liked this better a second time around, but make no mistake: The Dark World is still one of Marvel’s weaker movies.

1Still looking forward to Ragnarok, though.

Now this is directed by Alan Taylor, who has experience directing with Game of Thrones.  It’s something that makes sense on paper, as the lore of Thor makes it somewhat more grandiose, but television directors are sometimes out of their element when they transition to the big screen.  The biggest problem about The Dark World is that it is just missing that pizazz.  It’s not incompetently made or crafted, it just doesn’t feel like it was founded upon complete ideas and concepts, and it feels like it is trying to gain its footing as it goes.  I’m fine with all of the acting and the characters in this, and progression wise, these characters all end up where they are supposed to and take it where they need to go.  Tom Hiddleston is still having fun as Loki and honestly, this movie is at it is best when Thor is forced into working with Loki.  There is a feuding sibling dynamic between the two of them that it is very understandable on a base level, and it is something that the story could have used more of.

2Not sure why the crazy villain always has to be imprisoned in a glass cell in movies.

The two things this movie has going for it is Loki and the finale.  When physics get put on the back burner, it really gives the filmmakers the freedom to put together a fully realized action sequence, and it also gives this film an opportunity to end on an upbeat.  The special effects look fine, and even though it never hits the high notes that it should, it is always easy to follow and never challenging to pay attention to.  The Dark Elves are easily the weakest villain in this entire Marvel universe and honestly the story suffers for it.  The potential is there, but unfortunately, The Dark World is never as exciting as it could/should be.

Thor: The Dark World (2013) ***

– Critic for Hire

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