JamesMan's Review- Thor: The Dark World Or I Experience The Blandest Comic Book Film in Years *MINOR SPOILERS
JamesMan went to sit in a dark theater and be entertained for 2 hours by a shirtless Natalie Portman and Kat Dennings. While he didn't receive that he didn't expect that he would not find any entertainment in the film leading to what he calls "Another Poor Marvel Studios Sequel."
When the 9th of November rolled around I was sitting in the theater stunned. I wish I could tell you I was stunned from pure joy at the discovery of another great comic book film, I wish I could tell you. What I saw instead was another MCU sequel that felt lazily put together and just meant as filler until the next Avengers. Yes, I feel this is the Iron Man 2 of Phase 2.
Let's at least start with what I feel the film did well. Chris Hemsworth is Thor, no doubt about that. He is great as the character and he really makes Thor a believable character. Tom Hiddleston as Loki was entertaining to watch and as always left a memorable performance. Natalie Portman is thankfully given more to do in this sequel which The action looks great and the final fight is creative enough to entertain. The CGI, make-up, and costume design as expected look great, especially on characters like Kurse and Malekith. The comedy at times can be overbearing but I thankfully didn't feel it effected the film negatively, minus seeing the same gag twice with a nude Eric Selvig.
Now sadly, the laundry list of negatives I found. From the very beginning I was already a little distressed. It begins with a narration from Odin over a big fight scene. Already within the first two minutes I felt that the film just copy and pasted a scene from the previous Thor, Bor (Odin) and the Asgardian soldiers fight the Dark Elves (Frost Giants), gain the Aether (Casket of Ancient Winters), and the leader Malekith (Laufey) escape with their lives.
I feel that the story of the film, at least from the way it is presented, did not grab me or make me interested. Malekith and his Dark Elves have been reawaken because of an event that causes the Aether to begin a dangerous process that could lead to the destruction of the world. How a film can't grab me with that type of setup is unbelievable. The first half of the film heavily drags and feels more like a string of events that are almost unconnected. The twists while entertaining can cheapen any gravity a scene may bring (Loki's twists especially).
Sir Anthony Hopkins, while giving his all in Thor, appears to not want anything to do with the sequel. He delivers his lines as he did in the first (quietly then loudly) but he gives no emotion in his performance.
I feel the character of Algrim/Kurse was a giant missed opportunity for a great side villain. Instead of taking inspiration from his comic book roots, portraying him as an almost tragic character, he is an uninteresting brute without any character.
Malekith though suffers the greatest in this film. So far, I feel Marvel Studios has yet to produce a worthwhile villain and Malekith feels completely interchangeable. While he has a clear purpose, he has no defining character. Why's he doing this? I don't know... cause he's evil I guess. Now if he were a threat to any character in the film then he could have at least had that. But every time we see him, he loses in someway. He never has a moment where he achieved full victory, in a fight or otherwise.
The action scenes in the film are entertaining and enjoyable, especially a humorous scene with Thor and Loki trying to escape Asgard.
But the fights on the other hand leave a lot to be desired. While they have memorable gimmicks there to short to be enjoyed. The battle with Kurse is nice, but doesn't use Thor's powers and is to short. The final fight with Malekith was inventive and just getting to be good, but like the Kurse fight and the final battle in Iron Man 2, ends disappointingly.
The after credits scenes are... odd. While it was nice to see Benecio Del Toro as The Collector, the whole scene incredibly clashes with the tone from the rest of the film and more resembles a deleted scene from Dr. Who. The final scene, while it does serve a point unlike Iron Man 3's, feels tact on so they could have an after credits scene instead of putting it in the actual film.
While Thor: The Dark World isn't as bad as Iron Man 2 or maybe Captain America: The First Avenger, it is in that lower tier of Marvel films. It has a good returning cast and while it brings what I felt was missing from the first, it handles it all in such a poor way that the film heavily suffers from it. I guess we'll have to wait until Captain America: The Winter Soldier to see if Marvel Studios still has a problem with getting the #2 of a film series right.
Thor: The Dark World gets a 2.5/5
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