'Thor: The Dark World' Review

'Thor the Dark World' movie review

This review of Thor: The Dark World starts out spoiler free, but devolves quickly into a few movie spoilers after all is said and one.  (Don't worry, I warn you before I spout some plot-ruining surprises.)

Thor: The Dark World takes place a year after events of The Avengers and continues to add detail to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where Thor himself deals with a dark threat to the entire universe.


Thor 2 is Rated PG-13 with a run time of 112 minutes and stars Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Christopher Eccleston, and many Asgardians.

director Alan Taylor and Chris Hemsworth in 'Thor The Dark World'

Alan Taylor replaces Kenneth Branagh in the director's chair.  Taylor's resume includes Game of Thrones, and has been tapped to direct the Terminator reboot.  So ya, this is his first venture with a popular movie franchise.  (No pressure there!)


The movie starts by showing us the back story of how the evil Malekith (Eccleston) was defeated in a time long ago by Thor's grandfather, and despite his best efforts, Malekith has to go into hiding.  The weapon Malekith was using, the Aether, was hidden by the Asgardians, so no one else can use it.

Natalie Portman in 'Thor The Dark World'

Meanwhile on present day Earth, Jane is trying to get on with her life, going on hollow dates, and trying to move on.  Until Darcy (Kat Dennings) apprises her of some energy readings that are "just like New Mexico."

They go to investigate the location and find some odd things taking place.  It's here that Jane accidentally discovers where the Aether was squirreled away, so long ago, to keep it safe.

Oops.  No, really, it's a big oops and not her fault.

Chris Hemsworth in 'Thor The Dark World' - big monster, no prob

We then pop in on various familiar Asgardian characters, including Thor as he starts to assume pre-king duties of settling what unrest that exists amongst the nine realms, celebrating victories and asking Heimdall (Idris Elba) to look in on Jane Foster (Portman).

That is, until her presence disappears from the sight of the all-seeing Heimdall.

And her discovering the red protoplasm floating stuff seems to awaken Malekith.  Crap happens, Malekith wakes up his Dark Elf army, goes after Asgard and Thor has to go ask Loki for help.

And here we go!


It's hammer time gang! (And Thor hammered the domestic box office!) and you better be ready for a few good laughs, while weathering a few good shocks along the way.  And some serious ass-kicking!


Anthony Hopkins and Chris Hemsworth in 'Thor The Dark World'

I usually hate when a studio swaps out directors, but costs are costs and I liked that director Taylor took the opportunity to demonstrate some new skills with how Thor uses or deploys his hammer.  We're shown some inner workings of his and Odin's (Hopkins) mindsets about various "normal" aspects of an Asgardian god.  He made them more "down to Earth," if I may say that.

The evil army of Dark Elfs felt looked and acted, or at least reminded me strongly of the Chitari army from The Avengers in posture and mannerisms.  It was a little distracting.

The witty humor we've come to know or expect from Marvel movies was ever-present and mostly quite successful, while still delivering story.  (There were moments it wasn't needed, but eh, it's cute.  Right?)

What I enjoyed was how much story was packed into the movie.  It clocks in just under 2 hours, yet it felt like we were given 2.5 hours of content.  And that feeling of it being a longer movie, was a good one.

Ladies, you WILL get an eyeful of a shirtless Hemsworth, so there's that.  And he delivers the Asgardian as he always does, wonderfully.

Tom Hiddleston in 'Thor The Dark World'

And so to, does Hiddleston deliver more Loki, keeping all the Loki fans happy.  We even see a new side of Loki that I didn't expect.

Porter gives us the love-lorn scientist, as well as Stellan Skarsgard delivering Dr. Selvig, after having had "Loki in his head."

Oh, and "meow meow" (As Darcy calls Mjolnir) puts in a lot of miles.  (You'll see what I mean)

If you're a Thor fan, I think you'll love the film, though I suspect if you're a generic fan only going to support Marvel, you might not be sucked in emotionally in worrying about the universe that's threatened.  And some logic points are meted out with quick jumps of faith or belief.

But this is the world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it will all make sense as it all comes together.


I can't decide between giving Thor: The Dark World a 7 or an 8.  I think if I was a huge Thor fan, I'd lean higher, but since I'm not, I'll fall back on a great Popcorn 7.

This was one more story that sequels out from The Avengers and we get to see what's gone on with Jane, and Darcy since Thor 1, and what Erik Selvig has done with himself since The Avengers.

Regardless of my review score, this was well worth my 2D money spent at the theater.  And with the worlds and scenics presented, I'd bet it could be fun at a 3D screening as well.


Movie Spoilers Ensue from here on out

Thor the Dark World  movie Spoilers






A Few Thor: The Dark World Movie Spoilers

Oh where do I begin.

"Buyer Beware!"
I had my movie experience f*ed because one website had a post about end-credit scenes, and their warning was stated as "end-credit spoilers."  As called out, I presumed that details about the movie were safe.  NOT.  Subsequently, their write up blew the middle of the movie and a huge emotional turning point for me.  (For some reason, they feel justified enough with what they have there.  Lesson learned on that one.)

Otherwise, I don't have a ton here.

The movie showed a new side of Thor's hammer.  It comes when called, and does its dangdest to get back to him.

In one scenario, Thor chucks his hammer at a bad guy.  But then as Thor pops back and forth between planets via a portal, the poor hammer keeps trying to fly in the direction of Thor's location.

It tries to turn around, then turns up and heads into space, then does a u-turn and heads back to Earth.  It's an interesting and subtle piece of action or humor.


It's obvious the lady Sif has hankerings for Thor, but to be honest, the life-span of an Asgardian well outlasts that of a mere human, and I am not sure why they don't dwell on that one aspect for a moment or two.  (News rumors on the street is that the actress who plays Sif, Jaimie Alexander, is being considered for playing Wonder Woman the Batman vs. Superman (Man of Steel 2) movie.


Becoming a fan of Idris Elba, I love how Heimdall got more screen time this time around.

Selvic apparently didn't handle it too well, having Loki in his head during The Avengers.

For TV show Chuck fans, I swear, you have to keep reminding yourself that Zachary Levi is in this movie.  I continually forgot he played Fandral and was never reminded of Chuck every time I saw Fandral on screen.  Nice job Zach!

Ok, when a bad guy can swat Mjolnir out of the way, Thor's in big trouble!  (That's all I'm saying here!)

Is there hope for Loki? 

When the enemy of thy enemy is thy friend, at least at this go around, yes, there does seem to be hope.

A very powerful event:
An event occurs that pulls the brothers together and for once, I start to believe in Loki as being motivated towards the same end-goal, as much as I can that is.

brothers Tom Hiddleston and Chris Hemsworth in 'Thor The Dark World'

All I'm going to say is that his scheming never ends and to pay close attention to him.  At All Times.

YES, Stan Lee makes his usual appearance, looking for a shoe.  (You'll see.)

Asgard has more mechanical things than I expected, but there's one thing I have to say, and that's that the little transports they use sound so very Star Wars-ian.  It's almost distracting.

I love Anthony Hopkins, but I could not tell if that edge of his raspy voice was a thing from his getting old, or the role.  Yikes, I hope it's the role!

Jane is a strong part of the story, more than I was guessing from the trailers, but there's something not clicking there for me and I can't put my finger on it.

In the end credits scene, we get to see The Collector as he seems to possibly be another agent of Thanos.  We'll see how that pans out.

And as he notes, that the red ruby goo, the Aether, is considered one of the infinity gauntlet gems, and the Tasseract is another, well, it's going to be a while before we actually see Thanos in action against The Avengers.  Maybe.

One last thing... 

Check out these two credits that might be a pleasant surprise:
  Benicio Del Toro  (uncredited)  (Plays The Collector)
  Chris Evans  (uncredited) (You do the math, but regardless, it's a one minute scene, there's disparaging comments about the uniform and it's pretty funny.)

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