Thor: The Dark World
I am not a comic book guy. I am not a big superhero fan, either. I am one those folks who still believes 1978’s SUPERMAN is and always be the best superhero movie ever made. The superhero genre made a resurgence with the release of 1989’s BATMAN. With the advance of special effects the films became larger in scope with story and characters taking a back seat to big action sequences. With the exception of THE DARK KNIGHT trilogy, which took a real world approach to its story, the majority of the superhero films are style over substance.
The original THOR was released in 2011 as a part of the “Phase One: Avengers Assembled” group of films that consisted of IRON MAN, THE INCREDIBLE HULK, IRON MAN 2, CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER and THE AVENGERS. Each film was a box office success given the loyal fan base that these characters have. I found the original THOR to be an average film—not as good as some of the previous films in Phase One. Thor just is not an interesting character to anchor a film; he does not have an alter-ego, he is not a part of the mortal world, and he can be, well, preachy. The audience can have a difficult time relating to him, leaving him to be dull and uninteresting. This film is no different.
THE DARK WORLD picks up after the events in THE AVENGERS and the film reminds of us of this at least six times, referring to “the event in New York”. It seems that love interest Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) has been unsuccessful at moving on and is still carrying a torch for Thor who is back on his home planet of Asgard. His brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is imprisoned by his adopted father Odin (Anthony Hopkins). There is talk of something called Aether but I honestly have no idea what it is and why it is important but it seems to be very bad stuff. From there things happen, stuff blows up, there is endless talk of the Nine Realms and all of it went over my head. As always I take notes but in this case I need notes for my notes.
My opinions on films are not based on the reactions of other people, but I saw this film with its target audience and they did not seem too excited by the film. The lukewarm reception could be due to some technical difficulties that caused the screening to start almost an hour late. The film just was not a lot of fun and with its convoluted plot at least for me I was unable to become engaged in the story. There are some good comic relief moments provided by Foster’s assistant Darcy (Kat Dennings) and Dr. Erik Selvig. There is also a funny cameo by one of the Avengers that drew some cheers from the audience.
The film will probably be a hit with its core audience but casual viewers should avoid this one. Once again the 3D format is gratuitous and should be avoided at all cost. As is true with most of the Marvel films, these films always have post-credit scenes; this film is no exception. There are two on this film, so be sure to stick around if interested. The credits also proudly proclaim that THOR WILL RETURN. I am sure he will. I just hope he returns in a much better film