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Thor: The Dark World Review.


Marvel have kick-started some box office dominance now. With last years’ box office smash The Avengers and Iron Man 3 this year, the sequel to Thor looks to follow in the same vein in optimising blockbusting effects, visuals and sharp wit over depth and substance. It makes good viewing that much is for sure however Thor: The Dark World is a world away from the characterisation and depth of its 2011 predecessor.

The film kicks off demonstrating some of Asgard’s notorious enemies known as the Elves as they were banished in the midst of a conflict between the Asgardians’ and the Elves. The Elves to complete their dominance would rely on a precious matter called the Aether-a powerful element in which when the realms coincide with their orbit, the matter is able to tear through space and alter space itself. Back on Earth and Jane continues to look up to the skies to see where Thor has gone.

Thor is reliant on defending his kingdom instead of taking the throne while his brother Loki remains in imprisonment. Meanwhile, Jane, as part of her research comes across a portal because of the realms coinciding with each other. This leads her directly to the Aether in which becomes part of her, awakens the evil Elves and code a massive intergalactic battle between the elves and the Norse gods that are the Asgardians.

Each of the Marvel films that form the Avengers has a personality to call its own. Iron Man is all show and bravado. Capt America is lionhearted and iron-willed. Thor is while brash warm hearted and very much reminiscent of a warrior from the middle-ages. That personality that really lifted the original film has been washed away in the sequel. While Thor: The Dark World is a good watch it is unfortunately inferior to its predecessor bar a few things.

Firstly, Loki and Thor are a bit more developed in the sequel-mainly because of the events of the Avengers prior to the film which set-up their character dynamic nicely-and an enticing ending to boot. Loki is by far the best character in the film because he conveys so much meaning, deception and character which overshadows the passionate dynamic of Thor. I am sure this dynamic between Hemsworth (Thor) and Hiddleston (Loki) will continue.

It should be mentioned that the visuals, effort into the set pieces and the atmosphere of the film is on song. Compared to the inconsistent nature of Iron Man 3, Thor: The Dark World is far more enjoyable and worthwhile to the universe of The Avengers. I want to go back to that ending for a moment and in not spoiling anything, it is a bold ending in which elevates the excitement for The Avengers sequel.

With that said, the film struggles in the shadow of its predecessor and that is largely attributed to the change in director. For you see, Kenneth Brannagh directed the original which was a surprise at the time and the film had elements outside of the traditional popcorn movie stuff you go to see. This time, everything has been ramped up from the spectacle to the visuals and effects. While at times good, it was for me like a fancy dance at points.

The story is so-so throughout bar the brilliant ending and it seems to be just going through the motions at points. It makes a good cinema view but the more you think about the film figuratively, you find how precise, laughably silly and pretentious the film is-at points. I must stress that the film for its worth does its job and if Brannagh were directing second time round, I think that grounded characterisation would still remain.

What is good?

+A surprising and enticing ending.

+Some staggering set pieces and effects.

+Calm atmosphere that does not do an ‘Iron Man’ on itself.

What is bad?

-The bigger spectacle detracts from the real heart of Thor.

-Weaker than its predecessor.

-The scientific dynamic is mostly lost and requires the most precise circumstances.

A slightly difficult film to rate. On the one hand it does not improve on its predecessor and opts for the bigger is better approach which comes off to mixed results. Yet, the film is solid, consistent and a good film to watch. I recommend that if you are in tune with the Marvel universe, get round and watch it-you won’t be disappointed but you won’t be calling it better than the original either. ***


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