Monday, November 11, 2013

Thor: The Dark World review

I just got back from seeing the latest Marvel movie, Thor: The Dark World. This is the second post-Avengers film, right after Iron Man 3, and even more so than that film, the consequences of Loki's schemes resonate even more with the main characters - mainly because Loki plays a prominent role in this one, just as he did in the first Thor movie.

I think that Thor is a tough character to get right. I'm really enjoying Jason Aaron's take on him over in Thor: God of Thunder, and personally, I think that what works well with it is the fact that it doesn't shy away from Thor being an actual GOD instead of an alien as these movies portray him to be. (But there's precedent for that interpretation in the comic books.) He seems to be a character who works better when he's a foil for other characters, but I think that this movie managed to find a somewhat compelling arc for him.

I don't think that anybody who doesn't like superhero movies is going to be won over by this one. I even understand why the reviews are lower than they were for the first film, despite my opinion that this one is a bit better, but at least as good. Some people are getting burned out, but I don't think that the loyalists like me are going to have that problem. We know what we're getting into, and while this might not break new ground for the genre, it delivers on everything that you're probably looking for.

The best moments in this one involve Thor's relationship to Loki, and it was smart of the filmmakers to utilize him in this sequel. With this being their third film together, there's been a real progression. Thor might not be as smart as Loki, but he's also not as dumb as Loki believes him to be. There's a nice conversation that the two have when Thor goes to him for help, and it's believable not only why Thor would enlist his brother's help but why Loki would help in the first place.

Another thing that works better in this one is the effects. When the characters traveled to Jotunheim in the first one, I was constantly thinking about how I was watching computer effects. They utilized some actual locations with this one, so that wasn't a problem this time.

Just like the last one, there's a lot of humor. Thankfully, most of it comes naturally out of the story and doesn't come at its expense. There are also a couple of really good cameos that add some laughs. (Is it a spoiler if I say that one of them is Stan Lee? Not at this point, I don't think.)

Overall, if you liked the last one, you'd like this. I know a few people who didn't care for it, and I don't think that this installment is going to win them over. Fans will be pleased that it has a solid resolution while still setting things up for the next installment. (Not so much for The Avengers: Age of Ultron. I'm curious as to how they're going to get all of them to come together yet again.)

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