Movie Review: Marvel in top form in Thor: The Dark World
Director: Alan Taylor
Writers: Christopher Yost (screenplay), Christopher Markus (screenplay)
Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins
Synopsis: Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.
Alan Taylor, mostly known for TV, gets the directors chair for Thor: The Dark World and brings us Thor in some new and fun ways. This version of Thor is much more complex and darker than the first time we met the God of Thunder. The visuals are just as amazing and the main characters get a little more interesting. The camera work is solid, especially when shooting the aerial combat scenes we get. There’s also another great shot when we first see Loki and Thor together where Loki is being sarcastic and the camera work almost operates as another character. Not to mention, Taylor throws in some great cameos there. The pacing is very good and there’s a great mixture of Thor in action and dialogue that sets up the story. Some of what Taylor is doing can come across off as confusing, especially to new fans but overall what Taylor does is entertaining and fun.
The story pretty much picks up right after The Avengers as Thor is now back in his realm making sure that all the realms are at peace. We are introduced to a new alien race that is an old enemy of Asgard. Their secret weapon is eventually found by Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and all the worlds collide (literally) as Thor and Odin try to find a way save Jane and destroy this secret weapon. At the same time, Loki is now in an Asgard prison because of his actions in The Avengers. However, after an attack on Asgard and a tragic incident, Thor must now rely on Loki to help him destroy the enemy. The conflicts created here are interesting and well explored. Much of the dialogue and scenes between Thor and Loki are very funny and well crafted, showing realistically what a brother-brother relationship looks like, but amongst Gods. The story is also very science-y and is heavy on the dialogue that is sometimes hard to keep up with. The main villain isn’t that interesting and isn’t explored enough to really care about much. Overall, it’s still a fun story and the gripping relationship between Thor and Loki keep it engaging.
Chris Hemsworth has become a defining character in the Marvel universe and hammers down this character well (see what I did there). He’s fantastic as usual and brings a wittiness to the character we haven’t see much of yet. His action shots, especially with the Hammer are really good. Portman on the other hand is more hit or miss. The character could be written better but for what she’s doing she’s okay. Portman really didn’t want to reprise this role and it’s easy to tell in some scenes but overall brings it when it mattered. Tom Hiddleston is unbelievable as Loki. And by unbelievable, I really mean it’s hard to believe how believable he is as that character. He’s got all the charm and evilness that makes this a fun character. Anthony Hopkins is also great as Odin. I thought he was fantastic in the first Thor movie and again, he’s perfect as the Asgard King. The rest of the supporting cast, including the awesome Idris Elba, is very good even though they have little to do overall.
This is perhaps the best Brian Tyler score yet. Tyler’s scores in the past haven’t been bad but they haven’t been stand out worthy either. Patrick Doyle’s score for the first Thor is really good and stands out on it’s own very well. Tyler doesn’t use the same themes here but the theme he does come out with is very good and brings a good element to the film. It’s not too distracting but it’s also fun to listen to inside and outside of the movie. Without giving anything away, I do want to mention there’s an Alan Silvestri theme that plays out in a cameo appearance that’s really awesome. The crossovers have even gone into the scores as well. I love it.
Thor: The Dark World is a great continuation in the Marvel Universe and it’s a better direction than Iron Man 3. It’s entertaining and the relationship between Thor and Loki is great. It’s a good step up from the first film and introduces some new characters. The average fan may have a hard time with this though and some elements are tough to care about but overall it’s still very enjoyable. Also, if you see it in 3D, there’s some awesome footage you’ll see of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.