The second installment of Marvel’s Thor franchise is another generally exciting and well-produced film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe library. Although not one of Marvel’s finest works, the film holds its own and does enough with the story to make it an adequate sequel to Thor. I felt the first Thor film felt small in scale and was generally lacking in exciting action sequences.
Thor: The Dark World features more character development than the first installment and the action is painted on a much larger scale. With a larger budget than its predecessor(a reported $170 million compared to $150 million), you can really see the money on screen. The banter and dialogue between Thor and Loki are delightful to watch and the chemistry is definitely there. In fact, it’s safe to say that Loki steals every scene that he’s in and keeps the film from falling apart. Kat Dennings (as Foster’s intern) does a great job in injecting life, humor and wit into the film. The action sequences are fun (the climactic battle is a bit inventive) and definitely an improvement from the first film, but aren’t particularly noteworthy. In addition, Brian Tyler’s wonderfully crafted score is Marvel’s best so far. It just works. The theme song is epic, adventurous, and eloquent.
What didn’t work:
I didn’t buy the romance between Jane Foster and Thor in the first installment and I still don’t. There is definitely more character development between those two characters in this one but it still doesn’t feel anything substantial. It was widely reported that this film had a troubled production with several reshoots in place. Some scenes in this film feel disjointed and uneven. The main villain Malekith is a generic, largely forgettable villain with no defining characteristics or motives. I felt the first third of the film was boring due to the need to set up the story and the expositional component. In addition, Thor’s supporting cast of warriors are generally limited in their roles and I’d like to see them featured in the story in a more substantial way.
When all is said and done, Thor: The Dark World is a fun ride but ultimately its not a film that I’ll be watching again. Finally as with all Marvel Studios films, be sure to stay for the two bonus scenes when the end credits start. No spoilers here, but I will say that there is a mid-credits scene and another scene after the end credits. The first one features a scene directed by next summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy helmer James Gunn. Immediately you recognize a drastic change in tone and you will probably find the scene bizarre. This scene will have major implications on the Marvel Cinematic Universe moving forward. Although, if you are not familiar with the comics then the scene will probably leave you scratching your head. The last credit scene is more insignificant and a bit funny.
Journey to Asgard at OldStandby.wordpress.com