"Thor: The Dark World" Review

The Thor sequel is finally here! And it's...pretty silly.

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By slimybug - 11/8/2013
Yes, spoilers aho!

(Also, it appears my CBM account is having some trouble loading pictures, so we'll have to do without!)

Film sequels have been around for a long time. Science fiction sequels have been around at least as long as Son of Kong in 1933. But in 1977, Star Wars popularized high-concept science fiction adventure like never before, and in 1980 and 1983, it's sequels set the modern precedent for a film trilogy.

Historically, the second films in series tend to be darker, with more gravitas, going deeper into the mythology, and into the characters. The first film introduced us to these people and their relationships The second film should flesh them out, testing them, putting them in a bigger and worse situation than before, and bringing us further along the arc that is planned for them.

Besides The Empire Strikes Back some other sequels that have followed this formula are...

1981: Superman II
1982: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
1986: The Karate Kid Part II
2003: X2
2003: The Matrix Reloaded
2004: Spider-Man 2
2008: The Dark Knight

Thor: The Dark World tries to emulate this to an extent, but fails on many levels. It is by no means a horrendous movie, but it also had the potential to be far greater than it was.

The first problem the film suffers from is a lackluster villain. Roger Ebert once said "Superhero movies live and die on the quality of their villains." Ironically, this was said in his Thor review while criticizing Loki (whom we all loved). I can only imagine what he would say about Malekith. But I think I can imagine quite well.
Malekith has to be one of the most flat, one-note villains I have ever seen in a film. With about four lines said in English, the filmmakers make no attempt to turn him into a charismatic villain or a memorable part, which is sad considering it's the Ninth Doctor himself, Christopher Ecceleston, playing the part. He is simply there to initiate the necessary universe-destroying plot to give Thor something to do.
Adding to the villain himself, the entire villainous plot is not only incredibly generic and cornball, but quite hard to understand. I suppose because we're in the middle of a "once in five thousand years" alignment of planets, he's going to use it to turn the universe dark again. What does that even mean, he's going to turn out all the lights? It's an extremely mundane, cliche, and hokey villainous design, and doesn't hold much interest to an audience, especially coming from such a flat character. Most of the enjoyment simply comes from the characters of Thor and Loki.

Which brings me to my second problem, which is, in fact, the use of the characters. Now, the one real emotional point the film actually hits is the death of Thor's mother, Frigga. And among the film's highlights is the scene where Loki and Thor escape Asgard together. This relationship is clearly the heart of the movie, and what the filmmakers wanted to get across.
But what about Jane? One of the biggest complaints about the first film was the underdevelopment of the romance between her and Thor. Well, not only does it not get much better here, but Jane is still completely underused as a character. A plot device reintroduces her into Thor's life, and he has to shuttle her around between realms, but there is never any real meat to her part, or reasons we see that she makes him a better man (which they state at the end of the film). Heck, in the aforementioned scene, she literally faints to give Thor and Loki more screen time together. It's a complete waste of Natalie Portman's talents, and does nothing to advance the relationship that is at the crux of this film series.

Lastly, the film suffers from a severe overdose of comedic relief. Like, Transformers level severe. Watching Stellan Skarsgard run around naked and Kat Dennings shout one liners is entertaining to a point. But when it starts to creep into every ten seconds of the third act, it tends to annoy. Watching Thor and the villain jump between realms is entertaining, but it is constantly interrupted by Darcy being funny and falling for her intern. This just adds to the silliness of the villain's plot, as well as the silly solution that the characters come up with to stop it, and it makes the entire third act feel more like that of an action comedy like Rush Hour than a Marvel Studios film.

Ultimately, Thor: The Dark World fails as an upstanding sequel to the first film, and as a middle chapter in a trilogy. It makes me feel like Marvel Studios is really dropping the ball with "Phase Two." They put a lot of thought and care into making some truly great origin stories for these characters, but they don't seem to know how to make very good continuations. Which makes me very worried about Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
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16 Comments
Dumegg - 11/8/2013, 12:50 PM
Dude.... Shut the F$&# up!
MrNiklander - 11/8/2013, 12:58 PM
Most reviews I have read are always complaing about the same thing.@Dumegg what is your problem it's his review if you dont like DEAL WITH IT
Pheezmatic - 11/8/2013, 12:58 PM
LMAO...what a biased review...with clear intentions...of wanting attention..pfft lol
Dumegg - 11/8/2013, 1:05 PM
Niklander- practicly everybody including me who saw the
Movie said it was great. I disagree with him. he, in my opinion
Is a troll. If you dont like my post... DEAL WITH IT!
80sFace - 11/8/2013, 1:24 PM
@Dumegg - I don't think he's trashing the film. I saw it, enjoyed the heck out of it, but I agree with his points. I think there's a better film in the footage they shot. They cut scenes that sound like added depth to the story (more Malekith) and kept scenes they could have cut (most of the Darcy stuff).

Not their best film, but in the giant tapestry Marvel's weaving I think it's a worthy chapter. I just hope they hear audience feedback and learn from it for the next films. Less cheese and more of, say, the assault on Asgard -- which was $#@! awesome.
Dumegg - 11/8/2013, 1:48 PM
Dude... To call the film silly is an over exaggeration. Plain and simple.
And while there may be a few element that could have been better,
The movie by no means is silly. I saw it last night. It was great.
Was it pefect? No.
So, i think slimybug wrote this piece of shit to troll.
Noctis198 - 11/8/2013, 4:09 PM
@Dumegg Amen to that
TheBatman1 - 11/8/2013, 4:31 PM
@Dumegg Just because he has a different opinion than you means he is a troll? What is wrong with you? So what, he didn't enjoy the movie as much as you, that doesn't mean he is a troll
Dumegg - 11/8/2013, 6:51 PM
Hey batman1 - the title of his review says it all, " silly ". He put that in the
Title of his review just to troll. Hell, you dont even have to read it to know
His bias opinion. When the first review hit this site, i think its was "ror" who
Wrote it, he said their was to much comedy. Did i hop on and call him a troll?
No, because he was delivering His non bias opinion on a movie review.
To me, slimybug wasnt interested in writing a non bias movie review.
my issue is not with his personal opinion. He can think its great or it sucks.

Its no secret around here that I hate FOX studios and their garbage
Director/ writer. So how about I write a review of DOFP when it comes out?
Who the FRICK would want to read That? Some bullshit Bias review writen by
Someone who wanted the movie to suck before he even walked into the door.


CapitanAmerika2 - 11/8/2013, 11:16 PM
Slimybug would not know a good movie if it pimp slapped him. This movie was great!!!!
DatNerdyKid - 11/9/2013, 5:26 AM
@Desrow I like your style
ACMilan - 11/9/2013, 9:36 AM
I found the film incredibly disappointing in many areas, but stunning in others. I grew up loving Thor, enjoyed the first one, and came away moderately satisfied for the sequel.

There were many positives and many negatives. The visuals of this film were absolutely stunning; the costumes, sets, cinematography, look and feel, etc. were all an improvement on the first film. We as an audience felt engaged in the 9 realms, the world of Thor, and the visual effects of the film.

The problem of the film was the editing and the final cut. It is insanely clear that those rumored issues between Mr. Taylor and Marvel were very real because the film was not flushed out whatsoever. Erik, Jane, Darcy, Ian, and Loki had far too much screen time, while the Warriors Three and Sif were relegated to C characters. I would love to see an actual screen time breakdown in this film. I have to imagine that the Warriors Three were on set for about 45 minutes on a Thursday and then left.

The comedy, as many have mentioned, was extremely forced. There were certain comedic scenes that were fantastic and organic, which is what the first one gave us. The comedy scenes where Thor takes the tube, hangs up his hammer, etc. are fish out of water jokes and were akin to "ANOTHER!" or "I need a horse!" They felt real and natural. The worst scene in the movie was Loki backseat driving Thor; it was too long, forced and so clearly a green screen that it took me immediately out of the film.

The other major issue I had with the film was the repetitive action. It felt overly punchy with very little difference between scenes. Whomever choreographed it should be replaced.

All in all, the film was solid, but a complete disappointment given my expectations, love for the characters, and overall desire. I'm going to see it again to confirm my opinion.
slimybug - 11/9/2013, 12:26 PM
@ ACMilan, interesting that you should note the cinematography, as I felt that may have been a weakness. I am not a student of cinematography, so I couldn't put my finger on it, but the opening, for instance, felt like it should have been much more exciting (like that of the first film) if it was shot better.
Kyos - 11/10/2013, 8:37 AM
While I ended up liking the movie quite a lot I can't disagree with the points brought up in this review.
EpitomeofAwesome - 11/10/2013, 7:10 PM
My favorite MCU movie, excluding Avengers
Coldblood6 - 11/15/2013, 3:22 AM
Sadly I have to agree. MARVEL really seems to be dropping the ball with Phase II. And this is coming from a die-hard MARVEL and MCU fan.

Waaaaayyyy too much out of place and silly comedy in IRON MAN III and THOR: TDW, amongst other flaws.

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