Marvel continues to cement their cinematic dominance by having a fluid universe that is all interconnected. It is brilliant, really, to tie in all their movies and television shows into one giant universe. However, it often feels like an inside joke told amongst close friends that not everyone in the room gets. Even so, Thor: The Dark World is the latest installment in Marvel’s live action universe providing further development of this world.
The second Thor movie, The Dark World focused on Thor’s life post-Avengers by showing the Asgardian God conquering enemies in his world while his adopted brother, Loki, is imprisoned for his crimes in the previous movies. A strategically placed voice over from Odin in the very beginning of the movie sets up what the movie is going to be about: Dark Elves. Dark Elves that want the entire world to be cast in darkness. Creepy, Dark Elves. They use a fluid “weapon” called the Ether to attempt to achieve this, but Odin’s father managed to stop them and hid the Ether…on Earth (note: was informed it was another dimension). Found my Thor’s mortal love, Jane Foster, sets the movie and conflict into motion.
Marvel movies are simply good at providing eye catching action sequences and Thor: The Dark World was no different. While the first movie focused on a more human-like Thor for the majority of the film, audiences finally get to see Thor full out in impressive battles from beginning to end. The film spends more time in Asgard, too, which makes for a very interesting film. Asgard and its residents are awesome, simply put. Since most of the Marvel films have taken place on Earth, it was great to finally see the Asgard setting expanded.
Speaking of expansion, characters that played tiny roles in the previous film were given bigger roles. Lady Sif, Hiemdall, and Frigga along with others all fill much larger roles. The movie is also quite comedic which hindered it at moments. What seems to be a recurring problem with these phase 2 movies (see Iron Man3 review), the movies seem to misplace their comedy in scenes where fans just want a serious moment or high velocity action.
More of a personal gripe, all the connections to other properties seem heavy handed. One or two things to tie it in to the entire MCU is good enough, but so many often feel like beating a dead horse.
Overall, Thor: The Dark World was amazing. Performances from the cast (esepcially Hiddleston’s Loki), really made this movie incredible despite the few (more personal) gripes. The MCU continues to grow, as after-credits Easter Eggs suggest, with Phase 2 well under way. It will be interesting to see where Captain America: Winter Soldier will fit into the grand scheme, but sights have been set on next summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy, which is my most anticipated film because of my love for these particular characters – especially Gamora and Rocket Raccoon.