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Thursday, November 7, 2013

MOVIE REVIEW THOR: THE DARK WORLD



Thor (Chris Hemsworth) returns to do battle with Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), the vengeful leader of a primordial race that seeks to destroy the Nine Realms, in this big-budget comic-book adventure set after the events of Marvel's The Avengers. With even Odin (Anthony Hopkins) unable to protect Asgard from the approaching darkness, the god of thunder reunites with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and prepares to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to save the world from certain destruction. Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, and Tadanobu Asano co-star. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Director: Alan Taylor

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Anthony Hopkins

Release Date: Nov 08, 2013

Rated PG-13 for some Suggestive Content and Intense Sci-Fi Action/Violence

Runtime: 1 hr. 51 min.

Genres: Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Review:

Thor: The Dark World is a strong sequel that expands the scope of everything while bringing a slightly different flavor than the original. Alan Taylor takes over the directing reigns from Kenneth Branagan, delivering a grittier and occasionally darker take on this character and his world. It’s a welcome change of pace, aided by some incredibly choreographed actions sequences, the final act being the most fun, which really up the spectacle quotient. Some of these sequences feels more like a Star Wars prequel/sequel, one you’d actually want to watch, than the original’s straightforward fantasy slant. Thor: The Dark World hop scotches across from genres, moving freely between fantasy, sci-fi and back to superhero. The strange thing is that these changes are rarely jarring with the film hitting its mark more times than not. There are a few minor quibbles though. The film occasionally gets bogged down with its plot, giving us too much exposition when it isn’t needed, killing some of its forward momentum. Those moments pale in comparison to the Earth based scenes which stick out even more than they did the first time around. Natalie Portman still feels terribly out of place and her obnoxious plucky character is mostly obnoxiously plucky. Kat Dennings and Stellan Skarsgård are given very little to do in supporting roles, mostly serving as comic relief. Thankfully Hemsworth and Hiddleston once again deliver the goods. Hemsworth was born to play a superhero and here he’s given just enough meat to make his performance interesting. Hiddleston deftly moves back into Loki’s skin giving us another taste of his dynamic and multifaceted frienemy. Christopher Eccleston is underused and underwritten as the primary villain. He isn’t given much to work with; his character is nothing more than a plot device and a forgettable one at that. Issues aside there is plenty to enjoy for the devout fanboys (Marvel cameos and post credit scenes) and causal fan (Chris Hemsworth without a shirt in 3D) alike. In the end, it delivers the kind of spectacle, action while maintaining a strong sense of fun.

B+

10 comments:

  1. Good review Dan. A very fun movie that reminds us why these superhero movies matter so much in the first place, even if they don't feature everybody and everyone that makes them so epic all of the time.

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    1. Totally agree, it's a lot of fun and exactly what I'm looking for from this genre.

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  2. Can't wait to see the Dark World, and I am glad that you enjoyed the movie. I doubt I will be disappointed.

    -James

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    1. I think you are going to love it James!

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  3. glad that it sounds like it was at least fun. and i'd just pay to watch loki and thor.

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    1. It's a lot of fun, delivers exactly what this kind of film should.

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  4. I loved this movie and it just proves why the Thor films are the best of the Avenger individual films. If it weren't for the continuity of Avengers, Thor's story should have been filmed as one trilogy ala the LOTR films. He is the most epic and complex of Marvel's heroes and having the advantage of being a real human myth from a millenium ago. He is no Johnny on the spot modern creation like Capt. America.

    The chemistry was fantastic, Hemsworth and Hiddleston are utterly brilliant. Loved the secondary characters like Darcy and Eric and Frigga. Renee was badass fighting Malekeith. I agree that Natalie was out of place. She is a good actress, but her one flaw had always been her utter lack of being able to express passion and love for a partner on screen. It obviously makes her awkward to do so. It also didn't help that the writers were so ham fisted in their treatment of the Jane Thor love story. There were too many emotional moments glossed over. But, Hemsworth definitely carried the romance, you believed those longing looks in his eyes, could feel the power ofThor's love for Jane.

    Hiddleston was off the charts as Marvels greatest villain, Loki. This guy is so deeply layered and complex, devious, vulnerable and filled with love and rage. He's arrogant, psychotic, a lost little boy. No other villain comes close for me. Hiddleston really should get awards for his performance.

    The FX were phenomenal, the pacing excellent. I thought given the scope of the subject, Thor's films are always too short. They should all be three hours at least. They are mythological unlike the wham bam simplistic fun tales of Iron Man or Hulk.

    Great review

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  5. I've always enjoyed the myth based superheroes, one of the reason I loved WW, Thor works for me on that level in addition to the superhero stuff. I really wish we would have had more from the supporting Asgard characters, I found them a lot more interesting than the Earth based ones.

    I like Natalie a lot but you're right she just has a problem with expressing emotion in FX based films. I kept think of the Star Wars prequels in particular. Hemsworth and Hiddleston are just fantastic in their roles. I could have watched another hour of the show as well.

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  6. Finally got to watch and review it, and as I expected, I loved the movie. Easily one of my favorite movies of the year.

    *Spoilers*
    The Dark World reminded me a lot of a Star Wars film as well. I wouldn’t mind Taylor actually directing one of the Star Wars standalone films. Also Evans cameo was positively hysterical!

    -James

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    1. It reminded me quite a bit of Star Wars but a much better quality version of the prequels. I think Taylor would be a fine choice for one stand alone films, he's got the perfect skill set.

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