Is Thor: The Dark World Really All That Good?

Wade —  November 12, 2013 —  Comments

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A good film is like cottage cheese. Even when it’s spoiled, there’s still much to enjoy. Saying this, I do my best to never give away any important movie plot points on my blog. That is unless it’s The Notebook. I have no qualms telling you THEY BOTH DIE AT THE END.

With this exception, I usually try to provide precise, insightful, spoiler-free thoughts on the movies you want or (who am I kidding?) don’t want to see. The same is true for Thor: The Dark World, a brand-new film from Marvel Studios that probably broke your local theater this past weekend.

Dark World tells the continuing saga of Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the godlike superhero who finds his home on the planet of Asgard. Reeling from the nearly fatal attack on New York City in The Avengers, Thor is off bringing order to the other realms under his control. Everything turns upside down when Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), our hero’s love interest, comes across a weapon that just might destroy the universe as we know it. Battling a foe known as the Dark Elves, Thor is forced to turn to an old enemy to save both his world and ours from complete destruction.

There you go. The expiration date on the cottage cheese hasn’t passed yet.

I must say, I enjoyed The Dark World and think Marvel fans will welcome it with open arms. But, much like it’s predecessor, the movie has its ups and downs.

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Let’s go ahead and get the bad out of the way first.

  1. Coincidental Storytelling: Dark World’s story arc contains a few too many coincidences. When the characters keep stumbling into plot points, you start to think that maybe the writers are just getting a little bit lazy.
  2. Chris Hemsworth’s Abs: That guy really needs to workout. How embarrassing!
  3. Overlong Exposition: The front end of the film is exposition heavy at times, causing Dark World to stall at points.
  4. The 2012 Complex: Is there a reason most of our blockbuster films obsess over the end of the world? Intimate stories provide powerful character development. Why can’t Thor simply settle for helping elderly women cross the street? Thor 3: The Faulty Crosswalk.

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Now that we have the bad over with, here are a few qualities that make Thor: The Dark World worth seeing.

  1. Two End Credits Scenes: Dark World doesn’t just have one scene tucked away in the credits, it has two! That’s an infomercial kind of steal! For a great write-up on the especially pertinent one, check out Den of Geek! (spoilers).
  2. Natalie Portman: If you tell my wife I wrote this, I’ll deny every last word.
  3. Fantasy Mash-Up: It’s a chore to jump from fantasy mythology (Asgard) back to reality (earth) and not come across cheesier than Pizza Hut’s stuffed crust pie. Dark World does this seamlessly and makes the transition look easier than it should. Hats off to director Alan Taylor.
  4. Humor: The film is very, very funny. One of Marvel’s most humorous to date. Kat Dennings, who plays Jane’s research assistant, and Stellan Skarsgård, Dr. Selvig, gets some of the best laughs.
  5. The Surprise Cameo: I’m not going to tell you who, but a familiar face makes an appearance. And it’s awesome.
  6. The Dark Elves: I wouldn’t want to see their faces in a deserted alley.
  7. Loki: Let’s just be honest with ourselves. Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is the best part of the Thor series. He’s funny, unpredictable, and hard to hate. You don’t get that kind of character development from your abs, do you now Hemsworth?

As you can see through simple mathematics, the good outnumbers the bad. And, you don’t have to worry about eating spoiled cottage cheese.

3 and ½ Stars out of 5

Did you enjoy Thor: The Dark World? What was your favorite part?