THOR: THE DARK WORLD - EF Preview-Review

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.

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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