THOR: THE DARK WORLD - EF Preview-Review

I finally got to see one of the advance screenings of the highly anticipated Thor: The Dark World. Did it reach expectation? Does it deliver on what Marvel set out to do? Hit the jump and gain some of my initial perspective on this amazing upcoming entry into the MCU.

Follow E.F. "Manny":
By E.F. "Manny" Camacho - 11/2/2013


Let's be clear, it doesn't really matter what anyone says about this movie, most (if not all of you) are going to see it when it hits full release next week...This is virtually a pure fact, even if I am being a bit presumptuous, something you can all forgive me on (maybe).

When I do advance reviews of films like this (which I normally don't) I like to point out a few things (as much as I can without spoiling the film) that I think merit some conversation ahead of said film to quell or continue speculation.

Normally I write my "In-Depth" reviews with a "Good, Bad, Ugly, Great, and Amazing?" concept, with acknowledgement of any biases that exist that effect me personally. For this preview-review, I'll keep it a little bit more simple.

First, let me start by saying I was hoping for a lot more time in Asgard. Something I felt was sorely lacking in the first film (especially because it was under two hours). I am quite ecstatically happy that I got exactly that. In this film the "less-is-more" concept is alive and well in terms of how much time we lived on Earth. Something that I will continually prefer as far as Thor's individual films are concerned. The bulk of the film is otherworldly and visually stunning.

Second, the action is almost never-ending. I'm sure there is a critic out there (somewhere) that may give mouth-birth to a statement saying that this is almost a Michael Bay'esque film, and that it needs more dialogue and less "kaboom". While that may be so, it definitely exceeded the level of action I expected, and was thoroughly enjoying. I was enticed to see that the character development was pulled, almost by molecular sieve from the action to give us only specifics needed to continue the story. Without adding too much extraneous material to that development.

Depending on your perspective, and connection to certain characters, you may feel it lacking in that area. In other cases you may feel it aptly appropriate. I thought the latter, because I already have a degree of connection to many of these characters from the various other media I've seen them in. While I may want more of something specific, like the Warriors Three (who doesn't!?), we do get a lot more of these characters without really hurting the screen time of the main characters we need to see.

However there is a minor disconnect in some dialogue points used in comedic aspects, but I don't want to get nit-picky in this review. I can talk about my personal nit-picks after the film premieres next week in one of my "In-Depth" reviews.

Third, I agree with a point Ror made in terms of the comedy level in these films in his earlier Review (which you should also read). To some degree I haven't really liked the character of Darcy, and in this film she gains a playmate.

In truth (to me), I akin these characters as this franchises Jar-Jar and, now, Captain Tarpals. I don't know if that is a fair assessment, or overly harsh. But I would prefer to not have them on the screen as often as they did appear. I understand the need for comedic relief and timing during moments of stress and emotionally impacting scenes. We've seen this in all of the MCU films. The best example, I immediately recall, to literally pull you out of the moment occurred in Avengers - when Captain America "leads" the cops toward a proper and immediate course of action - much to their (initial) dismay. Followed by a comedic moment of clarity and execution of his lead.

You might have been thinking about the potential thousands of people dying in the massive alien attack prior to that comedic moment, which now became trivial in a moment of laughter. It's clever comedic timing with purpose. But some folks watch scenes like this and lose their connection to whatever feeling they were experiencing prior.

Here in Thor:TDW, Darcy constantly has that effect. Personally, that effect I am being removed from, is a magical one that I would rather remain. Even if the emotion I was feeling was a sorrowful one.

It does not happen too often, but it does happen, and that's something I would hope Disney/Marvel starts taking notice of; working toward resolving the old technique of comedic timing to generate levity during tense situations. To fall away from the topic for a moment to quote Captain Kirk "I want my pain, I need my pain..." Don't take it away with a cheesy character driven moment of throw away comedy.





This next bit may have some spoilers, conceptually, but I will attempt to be purposefully vague. But be warned, you may get the general idea from context.




There is a very odd conceptual change in a few characters from the principles and behaviors we observed in the first Thor film. The whole purpose for the first Thor film was a coming of age (so to speak) concept that also set the tone for who these characters were.

While on one hand, in Thor:TDW, you have the noted growth in one character, you seemingly get a breach in another that is uncharacteristic, and feels more like a state-of-plot issue. There are aspects that can be used to explain the behavior from events in the film, but even those do not justify the behavior with expectation gained from those behaviors...

Ok, I'll stop there as the vague nature of what i'm saying is getting ridiculous...we'll put a pin on this for later and revisit the topic at another time.

The fun factor of the film was epic. Nit-picks aside (vague as some were) this film outdoes its predecessor in the "popcorn-flick" category. I can easily see this film being played more often on my big screen as background in my home, more then I have the original. Because as much loved as that first one was, it is a bit boring by comparison; more tame would be a more polite comment. This sequel decided to put the finger on the proverbial trigger of a fully automatic weapon and kept it there until the clip was emptied...That's what we got. Then Darcy pops up for a moment of random levity, while a new clip was locked in, and the trigger hit again until the credits rolled.

Finally, the villains...I had an honest aversion toward most of the trailers, because I didn't want to see any possibility of what Kurse might have looked like. I knew he was coming when I saw the Algrim casting on IMDB. Most of us that know the character and the comics did (do)...Unless you are unfamiliar with the comics and expected the character from the Thor: Tales of Asgard, Algrim, that was just pissed and got toasted in that animated story.

Either way, I was exceptionally happy with what we ended up getting, to a degree, there is a lot of comparison from conception, execution, and exit to something else that I won't talk about here; overall it was interesting to see on screen. I think most movie-goers and comic book enthusiasts will be pleased, overall.

I'll write my In-Depth review after Thor:TDW releases and hit that review from a comic-book fan perspective, and from a movie-goers perspective.

For now I give it 4.5 "Comic Book Fanboys will love it" out of 5. The half a fanboy I just chopped down the middle is for the improvement room this film has before coming out with its third installment. Which I hope we'll get with a highly expected (fancasted) set of villains we all think are coming.



Thor: The Dark World Releases November 8th, everywhere...



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Tymminator - 11/2/2013, 11:40 PM
Very cool, indeed.
SageMode - 11/2/2013, 11:53 PM
RAMONSUAREZ

How would you rank it compared to the other Marvel Studios films?
MrSundayMovies - 11/2/2013, 11:56 PM
Nice work mate, great write-up!
Humperdink - 11/2/2013, 11:56 PM
Sounds almost as fun as a Taylor Swift concert.



Almost.
SpiderManFan54 - 11/2/2013, 11:59 PM
This is so gay, Thor is one of the best marvel films yet besides the first Iron Man, The comedy was actually funny not some cheesy comedy like usual.

If you "fans" really dont like this, you dont like movies cause the acting is good, the depth in the film, the feel, and the directing is, the real answer is you only like movies that are cheesy.
Jolt17 - 11/3/2013, 12:08 AM
Quite the contrary, I feel that it's the worst Marvel outing, by far. (But that doesn't make it all that terrible, really!) It's got a charming cast, in particular two main leads that have a great chemistry, but is downgraded with an utterly wasted main antagonist and "fight for the MacGuffin" plot, incosistent visual - at one point, it manages to achieve the epic scale, while at some others, it goes down to TV budget-low - while the comedy often comes up as travesty-like; whereas The Avengers and Iron Man Three presented it through the charm emanated by the characters, this one relies too much on comic reliefs, and the presence of the comedy often comes up as distracting. But despite some elements that appear quite perfunctory, it still presents a great, and I mean great comic book fun, so I reward it with a 3/5.

I haven't mentioned that it's got the best Marvel cameo ever.
aztecRaingod - 11/3/2013, 12:13 AM
RS, what country do you live in?
aztecRaingod - 11/3/2013, 12:13 AM
Was a screening, or was it already released in your country?
RyGoR - 11/3/2013, 12:15 AM
Great review @manny always love your write ups I can't wait to see this movie!!!

Bringing the thunder!!!!

Dropping the hammer!!!!!

B!tch gonna feel so thor in the morning yahhhhhhh buddy


;)
SageMode - 11/3/2013, 12:16 AM
RAMON

Word, wow. That's wasup.
Can't wait till Thursday night. Anticipation is killin me,
MrBatmor - 11/3/2013, 12:19 AM
What a movie!!! Incredible....
peppy - 11/3/2013, 12:25 AM
Just saw the movie it just washed the nasty taste of ironman 3 out of my mouth , a great film indeed
loki668 - 11/3/2013, 12:27 AM
"In fiction, a MacGuffin (sometimes McGuffin or maguffin) is a plot device in the form of some goal, desired object, or other motivator that the protagonist pursues, often with little or no narrative explanation as to why it is considered so important."

I don't think that the "Aether" fits this description as it clearly is an important part of things to come and is one of the "Infinity Stones (gems)".
Blastaar - 11/3/2013, 12:35 AM
I want to see a "Warriors Three" ONE SHOT. Make the ONE SHOT for 45min-1hour.

Great review btw.

Dwarves, trolls, Light Elves, and sprites are missing. I hope they turn up in Thor 3, along with a back story of Ymir.
Varanus - 11/3/2013, 12:38 AM
Movie was great, can't wait for Thor 3.
Cartoon22 - 11/3/2013, 12:38 AM
GreeeeeeAAAATTTTTT , THOR WILL BE GREAT!
MightyZeus - 11/3/2013, 12:44 AM
Great review now i'm hyped to see this.

Cant wait to see it tomorrow.
feedonatreefrog - 11/3/2013, 1:17 AM
6.5/10 for me.

Reminded me of Iron Man 2 and Iron Man 3.

Visually well realized and a lot of great lines, but ultimately the core story is not very exciting and it barely held my interest, despite the amount of comedy per minute.

It lacks heart (and the fantastic Thor theme from the first movie), romance, a sense of tension or intensity.

Thor's relationships with Loki, Jane, Odin, Sif are not developed at all. A true shame.

So while it was fun and cool, it wasn't satisfying.
billytwohats - 11/3/2013, 1:21 AM
Ive seen it and I thought it was good, im not a massive marvel fan but I enjoyed more than any other marvel film avengers included. The mid credits cut scene without spoiling anything was awful though.
npamusic - 11/3/2013, 1:26 AM
I felt the film went by WAYYY too fast, and it felt, in my personal opinion, rushed. What seemed like 120 minutes, felt like 40 minutes contained. Not a bad thing, and, surprisingly.... I actually liked and felt bad for Natale Portman's Character.

That's saying something as she was very awkward in the first film. I'm glad this one picks up the pace though. I also wish The Warriors Three were used in a better light.

The final battle was a throw away battle, nothing of epic proportion, it doesn't up the ante, not for me anyway.
feedonatreefrog - 11/3/2013, 1:29 AM
@NpaMusic

Agreed. The climax goes by in a flash despite it being described as like the end of the world. Totally undermines the majority of the movie, which devotes so much to this plot.

The movie's actually shorter than Thor 1.
Jolt17 - 11/3/2013, 1:37 AM
If anything, Thor and Jane's relationship is instead the one that's underplayed; there's a (Mild Spoilers!) whole lot of build-up to it, with Jane missing Thor and Thor concerning Jane's safe-being, but there's only one scene that truly captures that sense of romance, while Jane spends pretty much the rest of her screentime by being involved in the action, or just passing out. There are also aspects such as Sif's implicated jealousy and the treason that went pretty much nowhere even until the end of the movie. What it truly nailed is Thor and Loki's relationship, and even that are still seldom cut off by the movie's struggle to put the focus back on the premise. Add to that the severe pacing issue, which disallows numerous scenes from giving a true impact whatsoever.
nowtheresaBATman - 11/3/2013, 1:45 AM
Will this movie dethrone my favorite MCU movie (TIH)? From the looks of some of these comments...No it won't. Damn it. Here's to hope it's my 2nd favorite atleast.

"Just saw the movie it just washed the nasty taste of ironman 3 out of my mouth , a great film indeed"
^thank Odin!

@Humperdink
lol Almost
IronSpider101 - 11/3/2013, 3:07 AM
Okay, I've really dug the Marvel Cinematic Universe so far. That said, I really disliked Thor. I thought it was near Batman Forever bad, no hyperbole.

Is this enough an improvement on the first Thor? Would somebody who disliked that first movie and found the attempts at humor painful enjoy this movie? Because so far my only feelings about Thor TDW upon seeing the trailers are "There's no way it can be worse".
EarOne - 11/3/2013, 3:50 AM
man..!! i just don't get all the hate for the humor in this flick. it's one of the main things that make the movie as enjoyable as it does. both Mos and TDKR sure needed some of it way more, unless they're as tight (story wise) as TDK, which they were definitely NOT. faaaaar from it.

back to Thor 2. i do have to agree with some comments i read elsewhere, that outside the first Iron Man and The Avengers, other MCU movies, as good and fun as they are always feel like each should be LONGER, especially Iron Man 2, to tie all the good sub-plots and the main plot together.

they all tend to feel a bit short of becoming individual EPIC super hero movies, which i thought was Marvel's intention.

bottom line, though, i'd rather watch this again then Man of Steel, or The Dark Knight Rises.
Kazaam - 11/3/2013, 3:53 AM
Why they changed the main theme? They need to stick with one theme to make it recognizable, like Superman and Spider-man, and the theme from the first Thor was pretty cool.

I hope they don't change the Avenger's one.
Brainiac13 - 11/3/2013, 4:04 AM
Saw this on Wednesday. .....good movie. 2nd best movie this year after MOS.

I was worried after IM3 but not anymore. Should make MOS numbers at the BO.
Rokyn - 11/3/2013, 4:33 AM
In terms of this year, this movie was pretty good like all the other Marvel Films. You'll have a good time and there will be a lot of rewarding fanboy scenes in the movie. I have issues but they are more personal tastes than real issues. Agree with Manny on the last paragraph, we need pain we really do. I still rate IM3 and MOS over it because I enjoyed those films a lot more and I thought they were better. Loki though again steals the show; he's a great character. Stay for the full credits, don't even think about leaving.
Rokyn - 11/3/2013, 4:45 AM
Don't go in with super high expectations into this movie unless you are SageMode. Go in with average expectations and you'll enjoy it. Just my 2 cents. I went into all the movies these year with moderate expectations and I enjoyed them all.
loki668 - 11/3/2013, 5:11 AM
@Rokyn

I agree. I think one of the biggest problems is some people build their expectations up to a point where it would be impossible for ANY film to match them. That, or they're such diehard fans that ANY deviation feels like a personal affront to them. To them, I would suggest writing their own story. Not in the vein of "you think you can do better?" but, rather, in the vein of acknowledging the fact that NO ONE will ever create a satisfactory (for them) movie or story for their beloved characters. Changes will be be made and, if they can not handle them (regardless of the severity of changes) then maybe they should take the matter into their own hands and craft a story BY them FOR them. For me, I want to be entertained. I want to suspend my disbelief and enjoy a flim. And I do. I enjoyed MoS, I enjoyed IM3, I'm sure that I'll derive some enjoyment from Wolverine. If someone doesn't like the fact that I enjoyed these films, I could give less of a [frick]. I didn't watch these films and think "Oh, I better fall in line with the others."
Hawksblueyes - 11/3/2013, 5:45 AM
loki668: VERY WELL SAID!!!

I'm so sick of the people on here that simply can't be pleased. They find some reason to dislike every single CBM that comes out...to the point that you have to wonder why they are even on this site.
TheRealRemyLebeau - 11/3/2013, 6:49 AM
Damn the select few who happen to have dc avatars ;p
Most reviews including this one has rated Thor 2 a 4/5*. Since rormachine name was brought up, he actually wanted to give Thor 2 5/5*. Stop low key haters putting this on par with Batman forever. That's just hate spewing out your mouth. ;)
Marvel1997 - 11/3/2013, 6:51 AM
Calling someone out about bringing up Man of Steel and TDKR...and then you're going to continue saying ""Marvel's kiddie films blah blah"" and ramble on non-sense....just makes you look pretty childish
Baf - 11/3/2013, 6:53 AM
I'm going to see this movie anyway but have to say...
I loose faith in review articles where the author is obviously so attached to the main character that he can't give a proper movie review.
4.5 out of 5?
So, basically the movie gets 3 points for the title and 1.5 for great action.
Lets take 0.5 points away for three major flaws.
If I was able to connect with the characters, look past the breach in character substance/development from the first film, and ignored the fact that there is too much comedy I would award this movie the extra 0.5 points and elevate it to a perfect 5?
"Comic Fanboys will love it", and I am sure I will too, but how about a real movie review for once?
Review the movie, not the title please...
Marvel1997 - 11/3/2013, 6:56 AM
It's funny how the ones who are always acting like that or who CONTINUE TO REPEAT over and over again how they weren't satisfied with the film..like if their opinions are suppose to make everyone else not enjoy the film either..are the ones with the DC avatars ;)
brazilianbatman - 11/3/2013, 7:06 AM
im surprised by the posivity that I am hearing about this movie, especially the action that looked so luckluster in the trailers and commercials.

In the last few days i saw some visual improvements in the photos and videos released. i heard the villain is weak but Thor and Loki carry the movie very well.

My excitement for this movie went from 6 to 8.
Rokyn - 11/3/2013, 7:14 AM
@Marvel1997
@Remy

Did I say I hated the film? YEAH I HAVE A DC AVATAR. AND I ENOYED THOR 2 WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT ME TO SAY?! Like it's the greatest ever in mankind's history? Smh trolls -_-
Rokyn - 11/3/2013, 7:15 AM
Oh btw not everyone that didn't give this movie "the stars it deserved" weren't just DC fans. Not everyone that dislikes a Marvel movie is a DC fan. SMH LOL.
jcfrommars9 - 11/3/2013, 8:37 AM
Having just seen the movie myself, I'm in complete agreement with Ramon. Malekith nor the Aether are weak or need specific details. It easily understood who and what they are and in Malekith's case, what's driving him. Sometimes, less is more. Also the movie wisely focuses on Thor, Jane, Loki and Odin and lets their relationships drive it. In my opinion, it's a better movie than Iron Man 3, The Wolverine and Man of Steel.
ezio619 - 11/3/2013, 9:16 AM
jcfrommars-so what would u give thor,iron man 3,the wolverine and man of steel out of 10?
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