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Monday, August 11, 2014

Movie Review For Thor:The Dark World

Premise:A cosmic alignment leads to the release of an ancient enemy determined to destroy everything in the universe.

Cast:Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Christopher Eccleston as Malekith, Rene Russo as Frigga, Kat Dennings as Darcy, Idris Elba as Heimdall, Adewale Akinnuove-Agbaje as Algrim, Stellan Skarsgå as Erik Selvig, Ray Stevenson as Volstagg, Jaimie Alexander as Sif, Tadanobu Asano as Hogun, Zachary Levi as Fandrall, Chris O'Dowd as Richard

Director:Alan Taylor

MPAA Rating:PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, and some suggestive content

Genres:Fantasy, sci-fi, action

Notes:Takes place after the events of Thor and The Avengers. Images taken from IMP Awards and Rotten Tomatoes and belongs to Marvel.

Pros:Deals with Loki better than the trailers would have you believe. Thor is much more likable than last time. Minor characters. Several things that will make you say "That's awesome." Asgard is gorgeous.

Cons:Generic villain. Goes overboard on the humor. Odin. How it deals with Selvig. Some plot holes and inconsistencies.


Another evil alien. Another super-powerful artifact. Another battle for our hero.

Like Iron Man 3, the trailers don't give you an accurate impression of what actually happens in the film. However, in this case, that's a good thing. There's no significant love triangle. Loki isn't busted out as soon as the dark elves appear.

Some of the humor I was okay with because it seemed like friends just joking around. Other times, it just made the movie take itself less seriously than it should. And I don't like how they handled Selvig. He loses his mind and instead of dealing with what he went through in Avengers, it just plays it up as another joke.

There were a lot of awesome characters to be had. First, there's Thor himself, who has matured since his first film. He's no longer childish about battle. There's also Frigga and Sif as the lady warriors, and Heimdall. Darcy I didn't like as much this time around. Her intern was kind of funny though. But Odin was kind of annoying. While Thor and Jane's vastly differing lifespans are a reason to reconsider their relationship, there doesn't seem to be a point to continually telling him to find someone else since I doubt he'll listen. And for Loki fans, this time he goes from making a misguided though well-intended mistake to outright hating his son. I'm not excusing Loki's actions, but what loving parent would do that?

I've heard mixed reactions to Jane Foster in this movie. She spends a lot of it as someone who needs to be protected. There's also hints that she has been neglecting her research. But at the end, she turns into the awesome woman of science that helps save the day, so it does get better.

The trailers made it look like they were going to bust Loki out as soon as it started. Actually, it's not until things get desperate and there's no other option that they do. So it's handled in a way that isn't illogical. This time around, Loki is pretty sarcastic and still a plus. And arguably, his presence is necessary because Malekith isn't that special or interesting as a bad guy. He wants to destroy the universe and return it to darkness. That's it.

Several things here just made me or my friends say "That was cool." In the last movie, it seemed like it was always nighttime in Asgard; this time, we see it during the day, and it's beautiful. You also get to see what Thor meant when he said magic and science are the same where he comes from.

There are a few plot holes, stuff that makes you think "Why did that character do that?" or "How did they miss that?" And Thor is the only superhero trying to protect the universe from being destroyed. SHIELD doesn't even show up. It might be a little more understandable if it happens at the same time as Iron Man 3, but it's still there. There are also a couple of smaller inconsistencies on how elf technology works.

Overall, it's much the same as previous films. If you enjoy Marvel's approach to movie making (like I do), it should be entertaining. If not, this is unlikely to convert you.


Sex:Dr. Selvig runs around nude in Stonehenge, getting on the news (his butt and groin are pixelated). He also forgoes wearing pants because it helps him think. Thor gets in an obligatory shirtless scene. Jane goes on an awkward date. When they get around to talking about exes, he mentions his former girlfriend sleep with a lot of other guys.
Loki uses his illusion powers to make Thor look like Sif, then remarks "Brother, you look ravishing." (I can easily see that line out of context being used in many a slash video.) Odin disapproves of Thor's relationship with Jane and tells him "You'd be better served by what's in front of you", referring to Sif. Characters kiss.

Violence:As with the first movie, there are lots of battles. Last time, Thor was a swing-first-ask-questions-later kind of guy. This time, he gives his enemies the opportunity to surrender peacefully. When they decline, things get messy. In an anti-climatic showdown between a rock beast and the prince of Asgard, the former gets smashes into pebbles. Sif takes an arrow through her shield to protect Thor. Heimdall leaps onto and damages an enemy craft. Fighters attack Asgard.
A substance infects a character, is said to be killing her, and sends anyone perceived as a threat flying. A woman falls into a portal. People are stabbed and burned. Hands and arms are chopped off and necks snapped. A man's face is ground into a force field. Lightning strikes and scars Malekith. A particular disturbing scene shows an enemy appearing to melt and compress. A monster chomps an elf. Odin states that Frigga is the only reason he didn't execute Loki. Less disturbing is the fact that Jane slaps Thor twice and Loki once, causing the latter to remark he likes her.

Language:"Sh*t", "G*d", "d**n", "cr*zy", and "h*ll".

Drugs/Alcohol:Celebrating Asgardians drink. Jane's date, mistaking Darcy for a waitress, ask if they could get some wine. The response is "I'd love some." Selvig takes drugs for his mental problems, which he later tosses.

Spiritual:Loki defends his crimes on Earth by saying he planned to rule the humans as a benevolent god (sure, that's what you were going to do). Odin tells him they aren't gods, they grow old and die just like humans. Loki retorts "Give or take 5000 years."
Frigga is called a witch. Selvig says his insanity was caused by having a god in his head. At someone's funeral, a cloud of blue energy (their soul?) floats into the air. Heimdall's power is seeing almost anything going on at the present. Jane has a vision of Malekith's plan.
The dark elves are said to predate the universe itself. Their goal is to return it to the darkness they once lived in. A prophecy states that before the universe ends, the dark elves will rule again.


So what did you think?

© 2014 by M.R.R.

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