Thor: The Dark World

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Eons ago, Bor, the father of Odin, clashes with the Dark Elf Malekith, who seeks to destroy the universe using a weapon known as the Aether. After conquering Malekith’s forces, including enhanced warriors called the Kursed, on their home world of Svartalfheim, Bor safeguards the Aether within a stone column. Unbeknownst to him, Malekith, his lieutenant Algrim, and a handful of Dark Elves escape into suspended animation.

In present-day Asgard, Loki stands imprisoned for his war crimes on Earth. Meanwhile, Thor, alongside warriors Fandral, Volstagg and Sif repel marauders on Vanaheim, home of their comrade Hogun; it is the final battle in a war to pacify the Nine Realms following the reconstruction of Bifröst, the “Rainbow Bridge” between realms, which had been destroyed two years earlier. In London, astrophysicist Dr. Jane Foster’s intern, Darcy Lewis, now with her own intern, Ian, takes Jane to an abandoned factory where objects have begun to disobey the laws of physics and disappear into thin air. Separating from the group, Jane is teleported to another world, where she is infected by the Aether.

The Asgardians learn that the Convergence, a rare alignment of the Nine Realms, is imminent; as the event approaches, portals linking the worlds appear at random. Heimdall alerts Thor of Jane’s recent disappearance, leading Thor to search for her. When she inadvertently releases an unearthly force, he takes her to Asgard. There, Asgardian healers say they do not know how to treat her. Odin, recognizing the Aether, warns Jane’s infection will kill her given enough time, and that the Aether’s return heralds a catastrophic prophecy.

Malekith, awakened by the Aether’s release, turns Algrim into a Kursed and attacks Asgard. During the battle, Malekith and Algrim search for Jane, knowing she contains the Aether. When they fail to capture her, they escape, killing Thor’s mother, Frigga. Despite Odin’s orders not to leave Asgard, Thor reluctantly teams up with Loki, who knows of a secret portal to Malekith’s world, where they will use Jane to lure and confront Malekith, away from Asgard. In return, Thor promises Loki that he can have his revenge on Malekith for killing their mother. With Volstagg and Sif stalling Asgardian soldiers and Fandral assisting their escape, Thor and Loki commandeer a Dark Elf spaceship and escape to Svartalfheim with Jane.

On Svartalfheim, Loki tricks Malekith into drawing the Aether out of Jane. However, Thor’s attempt to destroy the substance fails, and the Aether-empowered Malekith leaves with his ship as Loki appears to be fatally wounded while killing Algrim. Thor, cradling Loki in his arms, promises to tell their father of his sacrifice. Following Loki’s apparent death, Thor and Jane discover another portal in a nearby cave and reunite in London with Jane’s mentor Dr. Erik Selvig — who was briefly institutionalized due to the mental trauma he suffered during Loki’s attack on Earth — as well as with Darcy and Ian. They learn that Malekith plans to unleash the Aether to destroy the universe, and that he will do this in Greenwich, the center of the Convergence. Thor battles Malekith, but a portal separates them, leaving Malekith unopposed. Thor comes back in time to help his mortal comrades use their scientific equipment to transport Malekith to Svartalfheim, where he is killed before he can destroy the universe.

Thor returns to Asgard, where he declines Odin’s offer to take the throne and tells Odin of Loki’s sacrifice. As he leaves, Odin’s form transforms to that of a grinning Loki.

In a mid-credits scene, Volstagg and Sif visit the Collector and entrust the Aether to his care, commenting that, with the Tesseract already in Asgard, having two Infinity Stones so close together would be dangerous. As they leave, the Collector remarks, “One down, five to go.” In a post-credits scene, Jane and Thor reunite on Earth, while somewhere in London a frost monster from Jotunheim, accidentally transported to Earth during the final battle, continues to run amok.

REVIEW:

One thing that has come from the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been the increased attention to certain characters that weren’t known as well, such as Iron Man and the forthcoming Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant Man. Also, they have brought respect to characters that has become nothing but a joke, such as Thor (need I remind you of Adventures in Babysitting)? Thor: The Dark World brings the breakout star of the MCU into a darker tale, but an enjoyable one, nonetheless.

What is this about?

The God of Thunder strikes again as he fights to save the Nine Realms from mysterious villain Malekith, who plans to make the entire universe go dark. Meanwhile, Thor must find Jane Foster, who’s been targeted by the evil denizens of Svartalfheim.

What did I like?

Loki. Talk about a breakout star, if you look up that definition in the dictionary, you’re sure to find a picture of Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. This summer, there was a clip of him at San Diego Comic-Con where he was hamming it up and the crowd was going wild. He obviously loves this character, but the time will come when audiences will grow weary of him. In preparation for this day, they kept Loki in the film, but pulled him back immensely.

Girls night out. Thor, and pretty much all of the MCU films, can be said to be guy’s films. With that in mind, one should notice that the women get a bit more focus here, particularly Natalie Portman, Kat Dennings, and Renee Russo’s characters. I wish we could get a lot more of the beautiful Jaimie Alexander as Lady Sif, though. Perhaps in the third film, unless the rumors are true and she becomes Wonder Woman.

Portal. Once again, Marvel has outdone themselves with the climactic battle. This time, as a fellow amateur critic put it, they play a game of “Portal Kombat”, which is quite interesting and doesn’t get old. As a matter of fact, I found myself wishing it would go on for another 10-15 minutes, but they way Thor was getting beat up, I doubt that could have lasted.

Learn. It seems like everything that critics were complaining about in the first film, the filmmakers took notice of and fixed. For instance, the biggest complaint was that too much time was spent on Earth, but in this one about 75% of the film is spent on Asgard which is what we all wanted.

What didn’t I like?

Tease. Some of the characters from the last film that had small parts were supposed to have bigger parts, such as Heimdall. True, he does get a slightly increased roll, but other than one scene where he single-handedly brings down an alien ship. Other than that, he just has a few extra lines.

Pacing. I mistakenly listening to a review of this before watching the real thing and I wonder if that inadvertently brainwashed me because this review mentioned that the film slowed down without Loki. Indeed it does seems as if things go a little slower without him, especially when you consider how things pick up when he seems to lift the mood of things and give us some vintage Loki moments upon his release from prison, including allowing a quick cameo from a certain “Star-Spangled Man”.

Thor: The Dark World is darker than its predecessor, but still had laughs and fun to be had, something that couldn’t have been said about its fellow MCU entry this year, Iron Man 3. Now, the question is, does this stack up to its predecessor. Do the Dark Eleves work as a new threat? Should this be seen in theaters? Well, to answer those questions…yes, yes, and most likely. I wasn’t blown away by this, but I haven’t been blow away by anything this year, I still enjoyed it for what it is. I would most definitely check it out ASAP!

4 1/2 out of 5 stars

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2 Responses to “Thor: The Dark World”

  1. Mystery Man Says:

    Reblogged this on Mr Movie Fiend's Movie Blog.

  2. […] World resolution. Thor: The Dark World was not universally loved. It seems as if Marvel wants us to forget about it with as little […]

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