Film Review – Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Thor: The Dark World

Title – Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Director – Alan Taylor (Kill the Poor)

Cast – Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Christopher Eccleston, Idris Elba, Kat Dennings, Stellan Skarsgard

Plot – Thor (Hemsworth) must return to Earth and rescue his human love Jane (Portman) after she stumbles upon a great power that the evil dark elves lead by Malekith (Eccleston) want. A fight for the very universe ensues.

“Some believe that before the universe, there was nothing. They’re wrong. There was darkness… and it has survived”

Review by Eddie on 14/03/2014

When the original Thor was released in 2011 It came out in a midst of wondering as to whether it would connect with audiences. Was the public ready to take to an actual hammer wielding God played by a then virtually unknown Australian actor in a setting that seemed ripe for parody? In 2014 the answer is an overwhelming yes with Thor and in a real world sense Chris Hemsworth becoming one of the most popular Marvel screen incarnations but with this popularity comes more expectation. The original Thor was a pleasantly entertaining surprise directed with a stately manner by Brit Kenneth Branagh so how does the sequel match up?

The worst thing about Thor: The Dark World is just how achingly predictable the whole plot line is and if it were not for that there is much to enjoy in this sequel that doesn’t take itself too seriously and features a rampant pace that is missing in many middling Blockbusters of recent times. Most scenes in the movie feel well paced and edited with barely a moment in between set pieces to catch your breathe. It’s perhaps thanks to Game of Thrones mainstay and now Dark World director Alan Taylor that the film plays out in such a manner and produces some at times highly impressive visuals and vistas. With all this highly polished production and behind the scenes wins going back to the story is what makes the movie sadly such a forgettable one.

Thor’s original casting was a major win in the beginning and again the leads in Hemsworth, Portman, Hiddleston and Hopkins all do a fine job with their respective roles with predictably banter between both Thor and Loki a particular highlight. Eccleston as the lead villain Malekith is sadly a complete non-event with what is perhaps the most lame and uninteresting Marvel screen villain we have yet seen (that is saying something when you look back to The Sandman). In concerns to the story it seems like an afterthought with the melodrama that plays out within it and there is never any real sense of the stakes as the film just doesn’t try enough to have that dread that worked so well with the Avengers or even the original Thor.

To criticise a story in a Marvel movie may seem trivial but to go with your bang for your buck you want your brain engaged also with a story that feels somewhat fresh and original and sadly despite spectacle and an easy going charm The Dark World misses this mark badly. In saying this characters within the film remain interesting in their own right and with such a brisk pace the film truly never outstays its welcome.

3 convenient cave time travel portals out of 5

P.S – as per usual with a Marvel jaunt make sure your stay through all the credits!

47 responses to “Film Review – Thor: The Dark World (2013)

  1. Good review. I really liked this film, but I do see what you mean. The end credits surprises are always great. It’s sad to see so many people leave the theater when the credits roll. I’ve even told complete strangers to stay and watch but they don’t listen. Make Mine Marvel. 🙂

  2. My biggest complaint with this film was the shameful misuse of Chris Eccleston. They could’ve done so much more with him. Other than that and yes, the predictability, I quite enjoyed it. I think being a dad and having a 9 year old son that loves Marvel, DC, and everything those world’s encompass I’m much more open to easier cinema entertainment. If it were for my son I’d probably pass on these films, but thanks to him I’m getting to relive that thrill of being a kid and seeing your comic book heroes come to life on the big screen. I quite like that.

    • So right man, you almost didn’t notice him in the movie at all! With a more useful gig for him it could of been some great sparks flying all around the universe.

      • There’s definitely some potential not being tapped into with Eccleston. Maybe he’s been in a lot more that I just don’t know about living in the US, but other than his 9th Doctor and the great role of the army Colonel in ’28 Days Later’, I haven’t seen him in anything great. Come on, Destro in GI Joe??? Yikes. There’s a menace there that could be tapped into. I’d love to see him work with someone like Darren Aronofsky, Terry Gilliam, Duncan Jones, or even Danny Boyle again.

  3. Portman was funny in the first portion of the movie but she was awful on Asgard. The scenes were cheesy & stupid meet-the-parents garbage. For the rest of the film she seemed bored. That was the worst part for me.

  4. Good review Eddie. I was a bigger fan of the first, but this one did a nice enough job at making us see why these characters are still fun to be around and worth seeing come around again.

  5. I hated it. I was so bored, as it didn’t capture me at all. In the end I couldn’t care less who died and who lived… Half an hour before it ended I kind of wished all the characters in the film died. 😦

    And that’s from someone who absolutely loved the first one. It was full of charm and fun. It was like Narnia all over again, where I loved no 1 and halfway through the second one I was ready to drown myself in the loo. *sigh* Maybe I have too high expectations after I’ve been smitten with the first…

    • It did have a fair bit to live up to after the first film and obviously Thor’s appearance in the Avengers. I must admit I am not sure how many more stand alone Thor films we need though, it could become a little stale.

    • They really did not only save the universe but the movie itself. Hemsworth and Hiddleston have a really great on screen and seemingly off screen bond that makes these films a whole lot better than they should be.

  6. I haven’t seen this movie, yet. I saw the first one, and I did like it. It was something a bit different to watch – okay, I admit it, I watched it, because Loki is handsome!!! – but I liked The Avengers more. I can’t wait for the second one!

    Great review 😀

  7. Great review Eddie. I agree about Chris Eccleston as the villain; completely superfluous to proceedings, a waste really. It is all a bit predictable too, as you mentioned, but damn, this was the up there with the most fun I had at the cinema last year!


    • Happy you had a lot of fun with it Adam, it’s a lot better than your average big budget blockbuster I reckon but I can’t help but feel Marvel are flogging a dead horse sometimes.

  8. A very specific review, i really liked the parts of the movie in which transformation of various entities through wormholes occurs. The worst thing about this movie is it becomes very predictable because of linear story line which makes this movie less enjoyable as sequel of Thor (2011). But beside story line the acting was solid, the production value was superb and the creative fight sequences were very appreciable.

    • Cheers Terry would be interesting to know how many felt this second one was an improvement over the first. One thing for sure is Hemsworth is a great choice of Thor.

  9. Completely agree that the plot is an afterthought and the villain may as well not be there, and that there’s no stakes. It’s not a great movie as such, but I I really enjoyed this. With most mainstream blockbusters getting darker, it was nice to see one which wasn’t afraid to have fun and didn’t take itself seriously. Nice post!

  10. I’m on the same page regarding Eccleston – I’m sure he might have been an interesting character once (in press interviews he kept talking about how much he was enjoying playing a complex villain) but I have a suspicion a lot of his scenes were left on the cutting room floor to make room for more Thor/Loki bickering.

  11. I think the Thor and Loki interaction scenes save this movie from being worse than the original Thor. The sequel might be a little bit faster paced, but it has some of the same problems.

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