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.

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By Pharaoh - 10/27/2013
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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Pharaoh - 10/27/2013, 12:08 PM
I've edited a little more in about the action, but yea the action sequences are quality throughout but not overused, there's a nice balance and shorter sequences so it's not like some movies where its story-30 minutes of action-5 minutes story-more action-more sction, its well balanced.


The humor is better than IM3 but there is probably more of it that said 90% of it is genuinely funny stuff that any fan of Marvel movies will love.

Thor 1 I loved but I would say this probably is better than it, its just a larger world you get to explore its on a whole other level.

Joss Whedon said he didnt know how he could top IM3s final battle in Avengers 2, if that worried him then this should terrify him...
MrCBM56 - 10/27/2013, 12:16 PM
Great review! How was Kurse and Thor fight?

-Was it long or short?
-Was it a great well coordinated fight?
-Did Kurse challenge Thor physically?

Thanks in advanced!
Pharaoh - 10/27/2013, 12:33 PM
I enjoyed the Kurse sequence and he mos definitely challenged Thor physically...
ezio619 - 10/27/2013, 2:30 PM
good,i was getting a little worried but this has put my mind to ease alittle,i have a few questions

How Much is Malekith in the film?

do thor and loki have a character arc and how did you feel about their arc, was it well done ,satisfying for you or not?
ezio619 - 10/27/2013, 2:36 PM
also another one,since you have now seen thor, what is your verdict for the other big three superhero films,iron man 3,man of steel and the wolverine and where would you rank this?
Pharaoh - 10/27/2013, 3:13 PM
The Thor and Loki arc was done really well, they didn't simply rush over it and they didn't go over board and spend to much time dwelling on it. Without giving anything away I think they did a great job on that arc and you'll be satisfied with how they explored that relationship.

I'd rate it as better than those 3. IM3 when I watched it was just ok; on 2nd viewing I liked it more since expectations were gone. Man of Steel I (as a huge Superman fan) was disappointed with but I've only seen it once and do plan on giving it a 2nd chance though I couldn't imagine ever thinking it was better than Thor 2. Wolverine I really enjoyed, more than IM3 and MOS I felt that they finally made Wolverine how I wanted to see him the ending was a little ehhh but overall I really enjoyed it...
ezio619 - 10/27/2013, 3:19 PM
Pharoah-you seem like a cool person,how would you rank your anticipation for the superhero films next year?

mine is

4.X men days of future past
3.The Amazing spiderman 2
2.Captain America The Winter Soldier
1.Guardians of the Galaxy
speno94 - 10/27/2013, 3:39 PM
@Pharaoh. Is it true that we see ALL of the Nine Realms such as Jotunheim again in the final battle with Thor & Malekith and could you maybe talk about what they all looked like, how long you see of all of them etc

You mentioned in your review what you thought of Asgard which is great, is it OK if you also give your thoughts on Vanaheim, Swarvlheim and the other Nine Realms you see in the final battle.

Thanks!
Pharaoh - 10/27/2013, 3:40 PM
cheers you too, for me it's

1: Guardians of the Galaxy
2: Sin City 2 - A Dame to Kill for

after that it's pretty much the same for

Captain America - The Winter Soldier
Amazing Spider-Man 2
X-Men - Days of Future Past
Transformers - Age of Extinction

Caps kind of got the edge because I've seen a trailer for it now but before that based on the scope of the project it was X-Men DOFP which could be insanely epic if they pull it off or just a complete mess, personally I think it's a little ambitious for 1 movie and should of been spread over 2. Spidey I really like the last one but worried that they may be over populating this next one with too many villains...

ezio619 - 10/27/2013, 3:44 PM
cool, im strictly a superhero guy but im trying to broaden my horizons so sin city is not on my list and while I love transformers,i Hate the movies because of the focus on human characters and not focusing on the autobots or the decepticons and the humans are so dumb and unlikable ,the humor is groan worthy and unfunny,the action is so shaky,its stupid
speno94 - 10/27/2013, 3:54 PM
@Pharaoh. Another question... Do we get any Surtur set-up at all, maybe even a mentioning of him because I think this film would be the perfect oportunity to set him up especially when you have Malekith in the film because I'm sure some people said there are some fire demons in the battle of Vanaheim at the start?
Spartan - 10/27/2013, 4:33 PM
Good review but who uses the word "whilst"?
ckal - 10/27/2013, 4:37 PM
"Darcy, Jane Fosters (Natalie Portman) assistant and fortunately gets much more screen time than she did in the first Thor film."



....wat
ckal - 10/27/2013, 4:38 PM
"My main gripe with the story is Jamie Alexander was criminally underused as Lady Sif, as were the warriors 3."


Well, yeah. You got more Darcy.


-___-
ckal - 10/27/2013, 4:43 PM
Q:


How powerful was Thor in this movie? Did he show great strength and uses of lightning? Did Thor seem more powerful, less, or about the same as he was in Thor 1 and The Avengers?
harley2011 - 10/27/2013, 5:00 PM
If Alan Taylor could have just be let alone, and Marvel Studios could stay out with all the little nods to fans and over use of action, it could be something unique. Only Shane Black, has done that recently.
MightyZeus - 10/27/2013, 5:00 PM
Great review. I enjoyed reading through it. Now i'm really hyped to see the film.
Amazing512 - 10/27/2013, 5:12 PM
Now THIS is a great review. From what I can tell, this movie is pretty damn good to most critics, which must mean that the Comic audience will love it. Can't wait
Liderc - 10/27/2013, 5:13 PM
*Whet your appetite. Not "wet."
GoldenOne33 - 10/27/2013, 5:36 PM
Good review! When is the Tasm trailer coming out! it better be worth the wait!
crashrendar - 10/27/2013, 5:36 PM
i don't mean to start a flame war, but it just seems like no matter how bad a marvel movie might be, it'll get the most favorable review ever.

the more i see of this movie the more ironman3 it looks, where they through away the character we knew from the comics, and even previous movies, and create a caricature of him.

i'm all for a fun movie, but you can make a serious movie and still have it be fun(the dark knight, ironman 1, avengers).
Panther1966 - 10/27/2013, 5:40 PM
@MartianAbominationClone all those are rumors.. The movie runs 2 hours long. I got to be one of 400 people that got screen the movie yesterday.. It had it funny moments, action and then some...
Lhornbk - 10/27/2013, 5:44 PM
Yeah, I knew it was coming, and it'll get much, much worse. All the fanboys who hate Darcy are gonna be whining and moaning that she gets more screen time, and that you actually liked her. They hate having very much humor in these movies, and for some reason hate having cute girls in the films unless they're superheroes (see the hate they spew for Natalie Portman, Darcy, and even Skye in AoS. Heck, several even spew hatred for Black Widow.)
MrYurMomm - 10/27/2013, 5:48 PM
@ Pharaoh,

Great review man! I'm even more excited for this than ever before, I cannot wait! The 8th can't get here sooner.

Anyways, I wanted to ask, was the fight between Thor and Kurse anything like Superman vs Zod? I ask because their fight (Superman's and Zod's) was short but action packed. Was Thor and Kurse's fight like that, shorter with just as much destruction, more or less destruction, or about the same?

And how was the fight between Thor and Malekith? Better or worse than his battle with Kurse? Just as epic, or even more so?
EpitomeofAwesome - 10/27/2013, 5:59 PM
One, if not the best, spoiler-free review I've read. You've got a bright future here, pharaoh;)
TheRealRemyLebeau - 10/27/2013, 6:07 PM
Epic review without spoilers. I'm very excited.
Voiceofthevoiceless - 10/27/2013, 6:19 PM
If you really Don't got nothing to bring to the discussion just stop. People waving towards the flame are ridick donk stupid.

If he says its good, it is his opinion. The new argument is now " too much humor". Shit some people want to leave a theater not depressed, so sue em. If you want a dark film, then you miss out I guess but dont come in here on some high horse like you are some famous creator that "gets" what the audience wants. Different strokes for different folks.

Good review and seemed fair and unbiased.
SauronsBANE1 - 10/27/2013, 6:36 PM
Great review! Throw in a couple more (non spoilery) pictures in there, and change every "would of" to "would have" (seriously, that mistake kills me every time I see it haha) and this would be top-notch!

As for the movie itself, I figured the dynamic between Loki and Thor would be the show-stealer here. It's disappointing that Sif and the Warriors 3 are so underused, especially when the same can be said of them in the 1st movie as well.

From what I hear, the love triangle between Sif, Jane, and Thor goes nowhere, although I'm chalking that up to Marvel throwing a hissy fit over the final runtime of the movie. Forcing Alan Taylor to edit and re-edit in order to cut down the runtime probably meant important things such as expanding supporting characters was left on the chopping block. Unfortunate.

Can't wait to see this though!
ezio619 - 10/27/2013, 6:43 PM
guys, alan taylor has said he didn't know what the running time was gonna be and they settled on 112 mins because this type of blockbuster has to be fast moving and entertaining and he felt that for the better of the film, he had to cut scenes involving malekith and his history with bor which he felt slowed the film down and the guy has been pretty open about the conflicts,they only one he said he had was the choice of composer,he wanted someone else but marvel wanted brian tyler and they won and if he was trying to protect himself, he would not even have mentioned that at all.
ezio619 - 10/27/2013, 6:54 PM
idk why people keep blaming marvel for the running time, Alan Taylor has said that he was the one that help approve the runtime and he himself has been very open about the conflicts or the only conflict which he said was because of choice of composer
ezio619 - 10/27/2013, 6:56 PM
I love that you said that because the last time marvel let a director do his thing, That Director was shane black and it got mixed reaction ,his tropes were in those films such as a kid,being set on Christmas,his style of a little of tongue in cheek and frenetic storytelling and having tons of humor that subverts your expectations..so yeah
Ironman50780 - 10/27/2013, 6:58 PM
@Pharaoh


How did the two main elves stand out in this one? I mean Malekith and Algrim. How was Algrim before he becomes Kurse and was his transformation into Kurse shown in the film?
ezio619 - 10/27/2013, 7:00 PM
They want the directors to bring their own style,alan taylor was hired because of attention to detail,his ability to bring an epic scale while helping make the world feel real and lived in,Joe and Anthony russo because they wanted to do a 70s political thriller for cap and marvel really liked that idea and james gunn because of his weirdness and out there sense of storytelling
ezio619 - 10/27/2013, 7:02 PM
mrmegadeath-yeah your right but still they let him do his thing and if they had reined him in on the humor and the mandarin twist which is an idea Feige himself loved and had help create,that movie would have a lot more positive reviews
Kyos - 10/27/2013, 7:10 PM
Very nice review, Pharaoh! Informative, spoiler-free and pleasant to read - looking forward to reading more from you in the future. :D

I have to agree with SauronsBANE1, though - kill the gorram "would of" (this goes to all folks, not just Pharaoh)! I can't even understand how this trend ever started, but it pains me. :'(
ezio619 - 10/27/2013, 7:43 PM
omegadagod- yeah exactly
ezio619 - 10/27/2013, 7:49 PM
I think having a somewhat lighter film will help because since the wolverine we have had dark and intense dramas that have been great such as gravity,prisoners,captain Phillips etc,while also having some duds such as escape plan and carrie and the counselor that having a simple,good film with a lighter soul behind it might benefit it
dougieisrollingthejays - 10/27/2013, 7:51 PM
Looking like Thor TDW will be the best all around movie, fallowed by wolverine, IM3 and MOS.
novaprime - 10/27/2013, 8:08 PM
Yesss Cant [frick]ing Waittt!!!
ezio619 - 10/27/2013, 8:09 PM
hopefully a lot more people will be positive on this then they were on IM3
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