Friday, 8 November 2013

My Thor: The Dark World Spoiler-free Review

When it was announced that Kenneth Branagh wouldn't be back to direct the Thor sequel I was distraught. But does director Alan Taylor's Thor: The Dark World (Thor 2 hereon) manage to do justice to it's predecessor?

This time Thor & the Asgardians face a new threat in the form of Malekith & his army of Dark Elves. Loki is imprisoned in the Asgardian prison for the havoc he caused in The Avengers, yet Thor will be forced to put his trust in his conniving step brother in order to end the menace of Malekith once & for all. Meanwhile his heart pines for Jane Foster who he has now been away from for two years due to the Bifrost Bridge being destroyed in Thor.

There's a reason why most fans' fears were alleviated on knowing that Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor would be at the helm for this film- you see the entire GoT influence in all the Asgard scenes & the family dynamics. This is what makes the film an interesting watch.

Chris Hemsworth, as he has before, perfectly embodies Thor not just in stature but also his acting & especially his dialogue delivery which really struck me in some scenes. He was truly born to play this part.

Tom Hiddleston's Loki is awesome as always. Almost every line of his manages to get a smile from you, if not a laugh & Hiddleston is just perfect for the role, having the ability to make a villainous character so loved that it's popularity even outshines that of the title character. It was good to see Natalie Portman's Jane help out in the end in her own way rather than just run here & there or wait in the sidelines.

I think Sif had more to do in Thor but Jaimie Alexander competently play the part of the tough female warrior yearning for Thor's attention. Anthony Hopkins as Odin is great as always, but thank God Rene Russo at least had something to do in this film as Frigga & have some significance! Idris Elba as Heimdall is also great to watch & to listen to his dialogue delivery as well.
Christopher Eccleston as the lead villain Malekith is menacing & he plays his part well but as a villain on the whole the character felt very forgettable- no fault of Eccleston, it's just that we've seen better villains in other Marvel movies.

Character interactions are a real joy to watch here- the amusing banter between Thor & Loki, the always-funny Darcy bringing the much-needed comedic relief & this time, with a new character Ian Boothby to join the fun. Even Jane Foster is likeable in this film! She manages to bring quite a few laughs in scenes with other characters where you'd expect it to be all serious. Also appreciable to see characters like Frigga & Heimdall, that weren't given much importance in Thor, have their own chance to shine here. My only disappointment in this regard is that the Warriors Three were more like the Warriors Free- the trio is hardly ever together in the film for much time & Hogun is practically discarded away for the entire movie.

The action is really good right from the beginning with the introduction of Thor, Sif & the Warriors Three. A main highlight for me would be an aerial action sequence which definitely has a very Star Wars vibe to it. The climactic battle could have been forgettable if not for the converging realms that add another dimension (see what I did there?) to the whole sequence that not only make it very unique & engrossing to watch but also amusing. It was GREAT seeing Frigga & Heimdall get a piece of the action, but next time it would be nice for Jane to kick at least some ass. Don't go Pepper Potts crazy a la Iron Man 3 but don't just make her a nerdy damsel in distress either.

The Visual Effects. Splendid job on Asgard, though it felt a bit repetitive of Thor. This time the VFX to watch was on Kurse, Malekith's right hand monster & all the large airships (don't feel like calling them spaceships or aircrafts) used by the Dark Elves. Overall great job on the effects- they didn't take away or distract from the story but helped make the surreal seem more real.

What about those gorgeous costumes! Thor's costume doesn't look much different from his Thor or Avengers garb, but then again, he hasn't really had a wide range of costumes in the comics either. Maybe for the next film the costume department could weave their magic & do something with his Marvel NOW! costume so that it looks different but less underwhelming than his already awesome-looking movie costume.
All the Asgardian finery just looks brilliant as always, standouts for me being the costumes for Heimdall, Loki (though it's simply his Avengers costume), Sif & Frigga (& then Jane's Asgardian garb that looks borrowed from Frigga). Special mention for the costume adaptations of Malekith & Kurse because the looks of their comic book counterparts would have no place in this film.

Though I wouldn't call Thor: The Dark World "awesome", it's definitely entertaining & fun to watch. It manages to satisfy all the nerdy needs that may have been left wanting more with Thor: 80% of Thor 2 takes place in Asgard or the other realms besides Midgard (Earth), characters that were blink-&-miss in Thor get some good action here, Jane Foster is not annoying & an awesome cameo that's a joy to watch! You should definitely catch it in the theater, especially if you're a Marvel or Marvel movie fan. I'd rate this film a 7/10.

The 3D didn't add anything much to it though, so you could catch the 2D version & enjoy it all the same. AND don't forget to stay right till the very end of the film (do you Marvel fans even need to be told this anymore?) for the mid AND end credits scenes! The end-credits scene has a neat ending & is hilarious as well!

So how did you like the film & what would you rate it? And what are you looking forward to in Thor 3? For me it's definitely Valkyrie, & Enchantress SO needs to be the lead villain for Thor 3 accompanied by her Executioner of course! 

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