Thor: The Dark World - Avengers: Infinity War Marvel MCU Marathon
So, now we are on Thor: The Dark World and, as always, there will be spoilers.
In the second phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Marvel Studios started to look at giving their superheroes different genres so it wouldn't seem like every film was a superhero film, even though they all featured superheroes. Thor: The Dark World was Marvel's attempt to pick up on the mythological elements of Thor and make this a fantasy genre film. And, they hired a director from one of the best fantasy driven television shows Game of Thrones. The only thing is that Asgard is not Westeros.
Personally, I think this concept could have worked, but they also chose to revisit Midgard and Thor's romance with Jane Foster. I have no objection to Thor (Chris Hemsworth) having a romance. I mean, in the comics, Jane Foster does exist and they did love each other. But, Natalie Portman's Jane Foster is so annoying. Perhaps its because I have been reading Mighty Thor that just finished an incredible run featuring Jane Foster as Thor. I wrote about her before. She, to me, has become one of the greatest women superheroes of all time. So, when I see her in this film, I cannot imagine her becoming the Thor that I have come to love.
Honestly, there really wasn't any reason for Thor to go to Midgard at all. Darcy (Kat Denning) was completely irritating in this film. Where she was funny (although bordering on annoying) in the first film, she was just over the top in this film. And, then she hires the dumbest intern. And, to top it off, they turned the only interesting human character in Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) into a raving lunatic. If you're going to make it a fantasy film, just make it a fantasy film.
Now, getting back to my point about Asgard not being Westeros, Asgard, in this film, didn't feel like the comic book. In Thor: The Dark World, Asgard just seems so dull and drab. Its so brown and feels more like we're at King's Landing in Game of Thrones. That might be fine for a Lord of the Rings movie. But, to me, the look of Asgard should pay homage to the great Jack Kirby. It was majestic and golden and beautiful filled with people of hearty humor and a love of battle. Vanaheim seemed like a village from Game of Thrones and Svartalfheim looked like it was something out of Aliens, particularly their space craft.
This film is also a post-Avengers movie and shows Loki (Tom Hiddleston) being brought back a prisoner to Asgard. This is Loki's 3rd film and, unlike other Marvel villains who tend to die within the film, he has had a chance to develop. And you can tell how much Hiddleston enjoys playing the character. Both he and Hemsworth have, by now, really developed a rapport. In the comics, Thor and Loki have the same kind of relationship built on love and distrust. Their relationship is where Thor movies are at their best. You really want to root for them to work together well, but Loki can often not help himself. And, Hemsworth and Hiddleston really pull that balance off effortlessly.
This film revolves around an ancient powerful artifact called the Aether that can reinvent the universe. Malekith, a Dark Elf from Svartalfheim, wants to reinvent it to where the Dark Elves are in power. As we now know, the Aether is an Infinity Stone. Actually, the mid-credit scene is perhaps the most important part of the film as it introduces the concept of the Infinity Stones when Sif and Volstagg bring the Aether to the Collector. The Asgardians already have the Tesseract and think it unwise to have two Infinity Stones together.
I was glad that Frigga (Rene Russo) got a larger role in this film. I loved her relationship with Loki and that he got his magic powers from her. And, I'm glad that she got to kick ass before she was ultimately killed by Malekith's right hand monster Kurse. This is the way a true Asgardian would go out. No fear! Her funeral scene was powerful and touching. I actually liked her love story with Odin (Sir Anthony Hopkins) way better than Thor's and Jane's relationship. Too bad the roles for Sif and the Warriors Three were diminished, especially given their fates (or at least the Warriors Three) in Thor: Ragnarok.
The battle at the Convergence in London was marred by the constant jokery of Darcy and her intern. There was enough humor in that scene with Thor and Malekith and other things flying in and out of other realms that they didn't need Darcy to lighten the mood. With all due respect to Kat Dennings, I hope her character never returns to the MCU. And please never bring back the intern.
The end of the movie shows how the events of Thor: Ragnarok begin. Loki impersonates Odin who gives Thor permission to be with Jane Foster so Loki can take over Asgard. Now we know he had exiled Odin to Earth. Anthony Hopkins's performance is actually quite nice. His pose holding the staff just makes him look majestic. And, it reminded me of the kind of Shakespearean drama from the original movie.
Stan Lee Cameo: Mental hospital patient who wants his shoe back.
This film is definitely toward the bottom of my list of MCU films, but there are definitely redeeming parts that are enjoyable, including Thor's and Loki's relationship and Frigga's being a bad ass. Its also an important film if just to introduce the Infinity Stones. So, it is worth watching if you have time.
Next up, Captain America: The Winter Soldier!