Friday, November 15, 2013

Joe Reviews: Thor the Dark World

Once upon a time I was a film critic. Due to the flow of life I am sadly no longer a film critic, which is a shame because after seeing Thor the Dark World all I want to do is tell people about this film and analyze what happened to give us…
So without further ado, I am reviewing Thor the Dark World.
When people ask me how Thor the Dark World was I find myself having trouble answering. Was it a good film? I guess, I was entertained. Was it a bad film? Well, no. The best I can say is that it’s a weird film. A very weird film.
The plot takes off from both the end of Thor and Avengers where Loki is locked up on Asgard for trying to invade Earth, and Thor’s love interest in the form of Natalie Portman is hanging out on Earth still broken up that Thor had to return to Asgaard and never returns her calls.Here's where we get my first problem with the film: According to Portman's wacky friend she's been spending most of her time moaping around and eating ice cream, the typical stuff women do in movies when they're heart is broken. THen later Portman tells Thor that she hadn't seen him in two years, so apparently Portman's been so emotionally distraught over the guy she met and dated over a weekend is never coming back. 
That's not romantic people, that's an unhealthy obsession. 
Anyway, we find out through the means of flashback that an evil race of dark elves once tried to destroy all light in the universe with their magic space goo and that the leader of these space elves is going to try and do it again, because now is the time of the great alignment between worlds where they’ll all be connected and he can destroy all light easily but then Natalie Portman accidentally absorbs the goo and Thor has to get it out of her before it kills her…
The film’s biggest problem is the plot.
The problem here is that the film is trying to keep both a magical Lord of the Rings feel while at the same time tie that to the science fiction Marvel universe stuff. I know it’s generally believed that magic isn't real and that what many considered magic in the past was actually just science, but trying to explain stuff that we would call magic now using science is confusing at best and annoying at worst. ***Spoilers*** We spend a majority of time in the first two acts on Asgard and other non-earth worlds and at the beginning of the third act we get back to Earth for a showdown with the dark elf guy when we meet up with Portman’s buddies who conveniently tell Portman that not only have they invented devices to stop the elves but that they know exactly where to find them because the ancient people built some sort of map. This is explained faster than it took you to read this sentence. Then off the heroes go to have this wacky Benny Hill style climax with the bad guys involving world travel and teleporting. These scenes have no context and were barely built up in the beginning of the movie, so the climax just feels like the film went off its anti-psychotics.
For what it’s worth, besides the mess of a plot, most everything else in the film works. The characters are fun if not incredibly deep, the dialogue has some funny moments as well as some serious stuff, and the scenes of Asgard and the other Norse worlds are epic and spectacular. We also either get treated to fanservice or disgusting pandering, depending on which side your on, to both Loki being Loki and Thor running around for three minutes for no reason whatsoever with his shirt off. 
At the end of the day, Thor the Dark World is not the worst movie I've ever seen, far from it, my complaints is that this is the first Marvel movie I’ve walked out of not eager to see it again anytime soon. I still say see it once if for nothing else than for the pure nonsense it delivers, but this is not a film that wants to feed your super hero need, or even really what else the Marvel universe has to offer. This is a film that wants to have fun, almost to spoofing levels, and where it fails in overall plot it makes up for in everything else. So check it out, it can’t hurt, right?
If you've
seen the film write in the comments below your thoughts on it.


  1. You know, when I saw it, I also walked out of the theater oddly underwhelmed. I agree that it wasn't a bad movie, but something did feel off. One of the critics I regularly read/watch is MovieBob, who liked it, but felt that things moved a bit too quickly, resulting in a film where nothing is given a chance to breathe or weigh in with any meaning. Stuff just . . . happens. And anything that is meaningful happens after the big fight is over and is not really a consequence of the good guys winning.

    I think that may be the problem. There's a lot of flash and noise (this one felt real Star-Wars-y to me), none of it really felt like it mattered or had any real life-changing purpose for the characters.

    Another thought is that we're just blockbuster-ed out. Maybe if this movie was at the beginning of Summer instead of in the Fall, it wouldn't feel quite so mediocre.

    1. Josh I think you're absolutely right. I think that while they were trying to go for something with the mom stuff and the Thor and Loki thing, on top of all the shenanigans they just had too much to juggle and the thing just didn't work as a whole. This actually has me a little worried for Captain America: Winter Soldier and Ant Man.

  2. Good review Joe. The type of fun, loud, action blockbuster we'd expect to see in the summer, but works fine as a last bit of joy and pleasure before we get all of these mega-serious, Oscar-bait projects in the next few months.

    1. That's for sure. And with all the super heroes popping up this summer it was kind of fitting that it was a super hero movie to send us off.