A group review for something other than a comic! No way, but yes way. Not all of us could see Thor 2 over the weekend, but those of us that did are here to present their thoughts on the film. There are some spoilers in the last few reviews, but I guarantee that the first is spoiler free so you can read that before running away holding your ears. Here's what the film is about in case you couldn't piece that together already:
Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.
I walked into Thor, The Dark World excited for the continuation of the Marvel Universe on-screen. After the movie ended, I felt let down. With a safe plot in which none of the major characters fear death, an undeveloped villain, and an anti-climactic ending, the movie added nothing to the mythos of the character or the Marvel Universe plotline.
Outstanding actors flounder with no solvent story to act to, and the only thing going for the film is the outstanding effects. A little kid in the theater kept oohing and aahhing at the events of the film. He was entertained, but anyone slightly older than him will find this movie forgettable.
Let us first start off with the good. You really can’t go wrong with Chris Hemsworth, especially when he takes his shirt off. The cast of him as Thor is perfection at its core. Then you have Natalie Portman in which you wish she would take her shirt off. The two on-screen have some great chemistry. But ok let me get back to the superhero stuff. The action is packed in with this installment. The battling scenes are fun and visually amazing (btw did not see it in 3D). You would think there is only two ways to use a hammer, going down and across, but this movie proves that Mjolnir is as badass as Thor.
I thought shoving Loki’s appearances would become quite obvious in the movie, but I thought it was played nicely. I was pleased with his performance, and the heartfelt brotherhood between him and Thor was probably my favorite part.
The negatives. Where the hell was Sif? She gets a movie poster, but we barely see her. The previews were misleading thinking that she gets in the way of Thor and Jane. Even so, she wasn’t in the movie all that much. It was disappointing and a total cop-out in my opinion.
Also, when the first Thor was made I feel like there was no pressure to please too many people. Surprisingly, Thor ended up to be a favorite Marvel movie by many. I think part of that magic came from the tiny jokes that lead to some unexpected laughs. So when the writers sat down to make this movie they tried to force that magic all over again. The jokes are so overdone, and you catch onto this five minutes into the movie. It is annoying. I still laughed some, but found myself most times frustrated.
All and all, I would still recommend the movie. It has lots of action, and also leads up to some big reveals about Thanos. It leads perfectly into another Thor or Avengers.
Of all the so-called Phase 2 Marvel films heralding the Avengers sequel, Thor: The Dark World has been my least anticipated. Like many others, I’ve always found Thor to be a one-note beat; not ironically, a blunt object without much pathos.
Still, I went into this with an open mind, and I’m glad I did. As a pure popcorn movie, it scratched my action itch with a pretty sound hammering. Saying that, the fight scenes were marred by an ill-defined nefarious plan that didn’t really inspire and some exceptionally phoned-in acting (c’mon, Hopkins). Chris Hemsworth is still pretty damn hammy; but then again, I guess the role calls for it, so I’m gonna give him some leeway.
Tom Hiddleston is the reason to watch this movie. I know: shocker, right? Sure, he’s a funny trickster with great timing, and he still plays that role to smarmy perfection, but in Thor 2, we see much more of his sorrow, guilt and, at times, reluctance, with Loki even playing the hero. Sure, he’s motivated by his own selfishness - a murderer raging against a murder - but the exhaustion he shows after the tantrum he throws on learning of his “mother,” for example, is as palpable as Loki usually is smooth.
Finally, I’ve heard others complaining about the “Star Wars-ing” of Asgard, but I actually thought the Golden Realm was well done, and enjoyed seeing its viking-tech approach, particularly when set against the incursion of dark elf-tech (since we’re just making shit up now). The elf soldier masks especially were pretty dope. Altogether, it brought home the idea that these are actually advanced alien/inter-dimensional societies seen as gods and fairytales: an outlook I’ve always preferred in this Marvel mythos.
Altogether, with a mid-credits scene that gave me throbbing nerd wood - not necessarily because of Benicio del Toro’s Collector, but rather what he was “collecting” - I’d give this a solid ... Thor-out-of-five (I’m so sorry) and thought it was a fun, if mediocre distraction.
Is Thor: The Dark World a plot driven masterpiece? Will it compete with the likes of 12 Days a Slave or Gravity at next year`s Oscars, vying for a spot among those films that attempt to leave you shaking in your seat or thinking big, new thoughts? Absolutely not. Will it have you at the edge of your chair with a “holy shit this is awesome” gaping mouth for the duration of its 120 minutes? You bet your sweet ass it will.
Thor TDW is no Oscar bait by any means, but the amount of sheer imagination and spectacle here was enough to make it one of my most enjoyable theater going experiences this year so far. Sure it’ll get knocked for not having a complex enough plot, even though the story functions on the scale of a myth and I never thought it needed any more explanation than it did, this way it felt like you were seeing a tale from Olympia or something play out on screen. But so much works, Eccelston kills it as the dark elf Malekith whose mystery and darkness makes him formidable every time hes on screen. Hemsworth again personifies the thunder god Thor onscreen as you’ve always wanted to see him portrayed and Tom Hiddleston`s Loki? Well, he’s Tom Middleson’s Loki. Enough said.
What really got me though was just how damn awesome the creative team did on world and character designs. The eerie masks of the accursed dark elves, Malekith’s holy-shit-this-guy-is-evil design, the spaceships, even Asgard itself all look wonderful here. I’ve only ever seen fights like these, worlds this big and strange and enemy designs this dark and frightening play out in the inside of my head. Seeing stuff this cool, loud and gnarly looking is, for me, a step in the right direction towards the kind of epic, kick-ass fiction I’ve always wanted to see onscreen. I haven’t been this breathlessly radded-out since watching Superman battle other Kryptonians in Man of Steel this past summer. Forget all the fuss about this or that, go to this movie, enjoy the spectacle, and allow yourself and your mind to be transported back to your childhood playroom and the action figures you’d create worlds and battles with there. Whens the last time you felt that wonder and glee? As self-respecting nerds, we owe this to ourselves.
I saw this version of Thor 2 and it was way better... not as many ass shots as you'd expect, but still better.
Score: Hammer Time!
Director: Alan Taylor Writers: Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, Don Payne, Robert Rodat Production: Disney/Marvel Studios Run Time: 112 Minutes