"You must be truly desperate to come to me for help."
Marvel Universe Season 2 Episode 2
The second phase of the Marvel universe began this summer with Iron Man 3 which was a film I enjoyed very much, but really hasn't seemed to stick with me. I'm afraid the same problem can be said about Thor: The Dark World, which was an entertaining movie but I don't think I'd enjoy it as much on a second viewing. Most of these films are fun and exciting as you experience them for the first time, but the magic seems to vanish for me after a few weeks. Perhaps The Avengers was so great that these sequels don't seem to live up to the standard set by Joss Whedon. I still had a great time in the movies and enjoyed the sequel to Thor considering I wasn't blown away by the first film either. By now Thor knows exactly who he is and doesn't have to prove anything to anyone, so we get to see him in action with his might hammer quite a bit. At times the film has a sort of Star Wars vibe to it mixed with The Lord of the Rings (with Jane reminding me of Frodo), but the final action scene suffers from something we've seen in way too many superhero films recently: buildings getting completely destroyed and blown up. It also mixes some elements near the end that we've seen in Jumper, but all in all the film succeeds thanks to the great chemistry between Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston. The way they played off each other and interacted was the highlight of the film, and Hiddleston was extremely funny here. I wasn't a huge fan of his in the first Thor, but after The Avengers I began to enjoy his performance, and his character in this sequel is better than ever. I wasn't blown away by the action scenes, but I did like the smaller comedic and light moments which the film had to offer. The film is entertaining enough to garner at least one watch.
The film picks up after the events of The Avengers with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) back in Asgard serving his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) trying to restore peace to the nine realms that his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) has altered. Loki is sentenced to prison after his mother Frigga (Rene Russo) insists he shouldn't be killed. It turns out to be a good decision because Thor will need his service after the city is attacked by a race of beings known as the Dark Elves. Their leader, Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), is searching for a weapon known as the Aether which had been taken away from him thousands of years ago by Odin's father. Since the aether couldn't be destroyed, the Asgardians had to hide it. In the meantime Jane (Natalie Portman), who hasn't seen or heard from Thor since he left two years ago, along with her assistant Darcy (Kat Dennings) discover an anomaly very similar to the one that had brought Thor to Earth in the past. When she goes to investigate she is sucked by some sort of wormhole and ends up right next to the place where the aether had been hidden. After Heimdall (Idris Elba) warns Thor that Jane has disappeared, he goes after her, but somehow Jane has awaken Malekith which is what provoked his attack in Asgard in the first place.
Thor: The Dark World is pretty generic and follows a similar formula of most superhero films. That is the reason why so many scenes remind us of other scenes we've seen in other action films. I was never at the edge of my seat during any of the action scenes, but I did have a great time with the light and funny moments. Some people actually enjoyed the action sequences in this film, but it really didn't do anything new for me. The highlight of the film for me was Tom Hiddleston and the scenes he was in were probably the most memorable of the movie. Jamie Alexander, Zachary Levi, and Ray Stevenson all return for their supporting roles here as Thor's soldier/warriors but their characters aren't really developed too much. It is strange to see a summer blockbuster film in November but I guess that the timing was right considering all the superhero films that came out this year. Thor doesn't stand out (and I guess none really did this year), but it is still an entertaining movie. This Marvel universe is growing so fast with all these films that at times it feels like a TV series. So I guess it was a good idea that they brought in the Game of Thrones director, Alan Taylor. He has made an enjoyable film.