Film Review – Thor: The Dark World

With the Frost Giants defeated and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in prison, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is helping to return peace to the nine realms. However, after Jane (Natalie Portman) discovers an ancient force known as the Aether, Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), leader of the Dark Elves, hatches a plan to harness the Aether to return the nine realms to darkness.

The unique thing and the Thor franchise compared to the other Marvel films is that its hero comes from somewhere other than Earth. This presents its own set of pros and cons, but what it does ensure is that it has the opportunity to stand proud from its peers such as Iron Man and Captain America.

Thor: The Dark World takes advantage of other worldly locales more than the first film and it’s better for it as a result. We get to see some of the other realms, albeit briefly, and Asgard feels more fleshed out, starting to feel like a living, breathing world. This is no doubt down to director Alan Taylor who has also directed TV fantasy epic Game of ThronesWe still get a good chunk of the film set on Earth, however; this time in London. This split between the recognisable Earth and fantasy of Asgard is well balanced and adds excellent variety to the film’s locations.

One area where the film really excels is in its humour. Marvel films always have a rich vein of humour running through them but Thor:TDW turns it up a notch. It’s genuinely funny in places, with much of the humour coming from Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. His biting remarks towards Thor are frequent (maybe even a little too frequent) and more often then not will raise a giggle. Thor himself also some amusing moments, ensuring he’s not totally outplayed by his on-screen brother.

And it’s in the chemistry between the two brothers where the film really shines. Chris Hemsworth is a little held back by the nature of Thor’s character but still manages to inject a bit of personality into the role, particularly when he’s so obviously out of place during his time on Earth. Tom Hiddleston was undoubtedly the best thing about the first Thor film, and arguably also in Avengers Assembleand he’s similarly brilliant here. He manages to perfectly balance Loki’s smarmy yet scared persona masterfully; we see him goading Thor and hatching devious plots throughout, yet we also see a sadness and vulnerability that shows a deeper side to the character.

Unfortunately, this characterisation does not translate to the film’s villain. Christopher Eccleston’s Malekith is a frankly banal enemy devoid of personality or threat. This isn’t Eccleston’s fault, merely that of the character, and is a trend all too common with the recent batch of superhero movies.

Superhero films a ten a penny these days and it’s easy to become jaded by their familiarity and somewhat formulaic nature. Likewise, if you’re not a fan of the genre, there’s little here to suddenly change your mind (well, Chris Hemsworth maybe). However, thanks to some excellent set pieces and laugh out loud humour, Thor:TDW establishes itself as one of the best films in the Marvel series so far.

4 pigeons

4/5 pigeons

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33 thoughts on “Film Review – Thor: The Dark World

  1. jjames36 says:

    Well that’s a very positive review. I look forward to seeing this one.

  2. theipc says:

    Saw this this weekend and I really liked it. I thought it was pretty cool when they go flipping through all of those different realms. Oh, and politely placing one’s hammer on the coat rack.

    Good work!!

  3. CMrok93 says:

    It’s a very fun movie that’s pretty much the last really exciting blockbuster we’re going to get for a short while, as the ultra-serious, Oscar-season is about to get going really hard, really quick. Good review.

    • Thanks man. Yeah I don’t know what the next fun blockbuster will be, probably Captain America to be honest. I’m not sure this’ll get any Oscar noms, it’s not The Academy’s cup of tea I don’t think, but I’d give Hiddleston a supporting actor nom for sure.

  4. Great work Chris; however, it appears we had different experiences with this. It could be I was tired or something, but it didn’t work for me as much as I hoped it would.

  5. sati says:

    Glad you liked the movie! i loved both, even though first film is still my favorite. Thor movies are my favorite among Marvel films precisely because of the humor – they are both entertaining and funny.

  6. chris2508 says:

    Quality review. I’m still not sure about this one, I’m finding out that you either like it or hate it. Although you are right the two leads Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston are top notch.

  7. ruth says:

    Great review Chris, we’re in agreement on this one, though I wasn’t as generous as you in my rating. Poor Christopher Eccleston, he just wasn’t given anything to do! LOVE the Thor and Loki banter, man I could watch Loki being his mischievous self for 2 hours straight [hint, hint] Marvel should really do a Loki spin off!! :D

    • Thanks Ruth! I know what you mean about Eccleston. He’s a great actor but is just reduced to looking moody and a bit of fighting. And a Loki spinoff would be awesome! I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s in the pipeline as they’re sure to know how popular the character is.

  8. Nice review Chris, enjoyed reading even though I am one of the jaded masses and didn’t find much new to enjoy with this film.

  9. caragale says:

    Great review. I agree with pretty much everything you say. It’s a fun sequel that surpasses its predecessor. And I didn’t realize Alan Taylor had directed Game of Thrones! How cool!

  10. Aurora says:

    Thanks to you, can’t wait to see this!! Great write-up!

    Aurora

  11. Victor De Leon says:

    Nice write up! Looking forward to this one!

  12. Tom says:

    Nicely reviewed Chris. I look forward to getting to this soon enough. Wasn’t a huge fan of Thor, but I am excited about it’s follow-up.

  13. Nice write up, looking forward to giving this film a watch tonight. How did you resist using that Thor/Loki poster from China ? ;-)

  14. Dan says:

    Everyone keeps telling me this is better than the first film. I’m not a superhero film fan in general but I did enjoy the humor evident in the first Thor film. I’ll be checking this out with high hopes now.

  15. table9mutant says:

    Great review. Agree again! And know we both have crushes on Hemsworth. ;-)

  16. Mr Rumsey says:

    Great write up, I really would like to check this one out at some point! :D

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