EDITORIAL: What THOR: THE DARK WORLD Must Do To Succeed
With Thor: TDW’s release just around the corner, reviews have started to spread online. So before my views are tainted by what actually happens in the film, I break down my key points for this sequel to succeed. Hit the jump for more.
While there’s not much overtly wrong with it, Thor is one of my least favorite Marvel movies. Maybe they’ve set the bar too high for themselves on occasion, or maybe it was just a run-of-the-mill adventure movie that happened to star a comic book character. Nevertheless, I’m still excited about Thor: The Dark World. Hearing things like a more Norse-influenced Asgard and an exploration of the nine realms already give me hope for this one, but here are some more items I believe need to be addressed to ensure the greatest success possible.
1. Earn the Darkness
I blame The Dark Knight for instilling this ‘darkness’ theme into so many movies. If The Dark World wants to be dark, then great, but that means thematically, and not just visually. Using a grainy color palette and an emphasis on realism does not qualify as ‘dark’. If they’re to embrace this concept, then I want to see evil and despair. The villain should be less cartoony than Loki (we’ll get to that) and the stakes need to be dire (i.e. people actually dying). I want to see Thor stop his wisecracks for a bit because he’s so broken and angry, and I want that feeling to carry over to the end of the film, otherwise, what's the point of the darkness?
2. Make Loki a Background Character
Yes, everybody loves Loki, he’s charming and we all love to hate him, I get it. But the movie is called Thor, not Loki. It’s all well and good if he tags along as a foil to his brother for a bit, but I do not want him stealing the show (although it might be too late for that). We’ve already seen Loki star in two films, meaning he’s been developed and we already have a good sense of who he is. This is Thor’s film, so he should be used sparingly, not overstay his welcome, and he should not be stealing time from either our hero or the real villain...
3. Develop Malekith Into a Worthy Adversary
The dark elf is here for a reckoning that has something to do with Bor and reclaiming his lost world. There have been comparisons to Nero from Star Trek, and I do not know if that’s good or bad, but it at least gives a sense of the character. For someone to have Odin as concerned as he sounds in those trailers, Malekith better be one hell of a villain. After two face-offs with his malicious brother, I think Thor's due a more calm villain, one whose stoic manner will make his headstrong nature all the more obvious. And if Malekith's cause really is righteous, we better have enough time with him to actually care about it.
4. Place Importance on Earth
One of my biggest annoyances with Thor comes from a climax that completely lacked gravitas. Thor defending some tiny town in the middle of a desert? Who cares? The stakes were nowhere near high enough after we’d spent half the movie in larger-than-life fantasy landscapes. If Earth is to be a key setting in the film, which, judging by the trailers, it is, more of it needs to feel truly threatened. It appears as if Malekith will reach Earth, specifically London, before the end of the film, so it is important that his threat feels large-scale or risk losing much of the danger he presents as a villain.
5. Balance the Tone
Part of my unhappiness with Thor stems from the constant jump in tone. It went from Shakespearian family drama to fish out of water comedy to fantasy action film to science-fiction. The genre was all over the place and The Dark World needs to balance it out better. There should be a consistent feel throughout the film that’s highlighted with bits of these other genres. For example, I want to see a fantasy film that incorporates humor and action, not a fantasy-action-science fiction-comedy.
6. Link to the Rest of Phase 2 and Beyond
If there’s one thing Marvel is exceedingly brilliant at, it’s setting up their sequels and expanding their universe with each film, and I expect this outing will be no different. It seems all but confirmed that The Collector will appear, setting up next year’s Guardians of the Galaxy. There’s also been fan speculation that Surtur may be revealed as the true force behind Malekith and could be set up as a future villain. In any event, there’s no specific reference or easter egg I want to see, but with the broad scope and setting of this film, there ought to be at least some hint at what’s to come.
What does Thor: The Dark World need to satisfy you? Do you agree with my points, have some of your own? Let me know in the comments
: This article was submitted by a volunteer contributor who has agreed to our code of conduct
. ComicBookMovie.com is protected from liability under "safe harbor" provisions and will disable users who knowingly commit plagiarism, piracy, trademark or copyright infringement. For expeditious removal, contact us HERE