THOR: THE DARK WORLD Review (Spoiler Free)
CBM USer Pharaoh's Thor: The Dark World spoiler free review. The movie its self takes place in much the same way the first Thor film did by switching between worlds throughout the narrative but this time on a far grander scale than previously seen.
So earlier today I was fortunate enough to enjoy an early screening of Marvels latest outing directed by Alan Taylor "Thor The Dark World" and since I haven't wrote my 2nd article yet thought this was a prime opportunity to do so. You can all rest assured as a person who hates those who post spoilers this review will be entirely spoiler free (and probably a little brief as a result of this)
Where to begin without giving away any key plot points can be difficult as I don't want this to give anything away that you can't get from the trailer.
The movie its self takes place in much the same way the first Thor film did by switching between worlds throughout the narrative but this time on a far grander scale than previously seen. This time around we get to see far more of the 9 realms a particular favorite of my own is the time we get to spend on Asgard where Alan Taylor has done a truly beautiful job of portraying a world that whilst technologically advanced hasn't lost sight of those rich for lack of a better description "Norse" roots, old cobbled candle lamp lit streets and taverns that wouldn't seem out of place in a Lord of the Rings movie are complimented by cascading waterfalls and lavish palace grounds; In many ways Asgard now feels more complete a world, more lived in and more homely than we got to previously see. The only complaint I have with his portrayal of Asgard is that I simply did not want to leave. I wanted to explore the villages, towns, the markets and the taverns more and more and interact with its people even more because of how beautiful he managed to paint the landscape. This I suppose is a pet peeve that rings back to the Green Lantern movie in that why must we constantly bring our stories/movies to Earth? Whilst integral to the story in this particular case in a sense, every time the film moved back to Earth I found myself longing to be back exploring Asgard more. Something which I think would of especially benefited the character of Thor greatly would of been to show more interactions of him with the average Asgardian which would of offered us an opportunity to see his character through their eyes.(With any luck Thor 3 won't be set on Earth at all).
The look and tone of the film from an aesthetic stand point can't be faulted the special effects are first rate and not overused or used simply for the sake of spectacle, they contribute to the narrative. I saw it in 3D and whilst this wasn't necessary at all it certainly did serve to enhance and enrich several of the scenes and is especially good on some of the scenes where you're travelling on Asgard; though to be fair you won't be missing out on a great deal if you view this in 2D. The action sequences are all stellar and again not overused and it isn't simply a case of "Thor smash" and him easily dismantling foes he faces formidable opponents here and he is by no means the only character who gets a piece of the action which helps to maintain a good balance here of both action and actual story and character development.
One of the films other strengths lies in how well Alan Taylor manages to juggle the emotional and more serious moments with the comedic relief moments and whilst personally I felt by the 3rd arc that they could of skipped some of the "thrown in just to get a quick laugh" scenes overall the humor was good quality and some genuine laughs are there to be had. I'm confident even the most miserable of people would struggle not to laugh out loud at at least several scenes especially at some of Loki's antics and Darcy's contributions.
Speaking of Loki and Darcy both Hiddleston and Kat Dennings were on form throughout in fact all of the cast give strong performances but especially Kat Dennings who returns as Darcy, Jane Fosters (Natalie Portman) assistant and fortunately gets much more screen time than she did in the first Thor film. Hemsworth and Hiddleston manage to recapture the chemistry that they displayed in the previous two outings together and we get to see how their relationship has evolved since that first scene together in Thor in a very satisfying way it's an arc that is well developed and doesn't leave you either feeling it was rushed over or over focused on. As for our lead villain Christopher Eccleston provides us with a solid Malekith though not as terrifying as I would like from a "Dark Elf". I feel like he could of come off as far more malevolent and menacing than he did especially given his end goal. My main gripe with the story is Jamie Alexander was criminally underused as Lady Sif, as were the warriors 3. I believe in Jamies case this was in part due to injury so I'll give them a pass but The Warriors 3 were just not utilized well enough even in the scenes that they were given. Though a nice use of some of the time not given to them was spent allowing Rene Russo to turn in a spectacular performance, in Thor she was solid, she didn't really get much to work with then but this time around her performance was flawless as she displayed perfectly her multiple roles as a strong caring mother, devoted wife and graceful queen. As for Hemsworth he just is Thor now, he's managed to perfectly capture the character and will hopefully be up for starring as The Mighty one in many more movies to come and Hiddleston is just a perfect Loki with his best portrayal of the character yet.
As for the score it was, to be quite honest, forgettable. I can't remember any of it vividly and probably only found it moving during a few of the more emotional scenes but I was that drawn into the story and everything that was going on that it wasn't until writing this I even realized it was forgettable.
Now to the story its self all I can really say without giving spoilers away is how I felt which was happy. Happy its a strong narrative that provides both Thor, Earth and the rest of the 9 realms with a genuine threat and genuine consequences which works well as a standalone movie whilst at the same time standing strong as part of a larger narrative and adding to the tapestry of the MCU. I'm happy that it stayed true to both the characters and the source material and happy that not only did it progress the MCU but that it showed plenty of character development throughout.
I am also happy that there are many little nods to the fans scattered throughout as we have come to expect now and many nice little hints of whats still to come further down the line in not only Phase 2 but Phase 3 and beyond and that it was done in a subtle way and not done in a you know obvious "lets make this movie a trailer for whats next" way like Iron Man 2 felt, if you're not a fan to be honest you probably won't even notice them.
The after credits scenes of which there are 2 so be sure not to leave until the very end of the credits are well, one is awesome and just adds so much to the MCU for both Phase 2 and 3 and the others just blah. Much like Avengers you have one early like the Thanos appearance and one at the very end like the shwarma scene.
Without giving even the slightest hint of what happens I hope this "Review" serves to at least wet your appetite for a truly great, emotional and humorous addition to the MCU and what I would deem the best CBM since "The Avengers"
All in all I would be happy to give this a 4/5 RATING...
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