One of the biggest blockbusters to watch out for in 2013 was Thor: The Dark World, which was a sequel to the film that launched Chris Hemsworth’s career in 2011. A lot has changed since then. The Avengers movie came out really great where both Thor and Loki appeared and the hype for the Thor sequel just kept getting bigger. It was well deserved because it was good, although it had a different charm from the original.
Two years after Thor went home to Asgard and the bifrost was destroyed rendering him unable to return to Jane Foster, a scientific anomaly piques the interest of Jane’s team in London, where the laws of physics go haywire inside an abandoned factory. Unknown to the humans, the event is connected to the alignment wherein for one particular moment, the nine realms are completely aligned, opening the door for the Dark Elf Malekith to take his revenge on Asgard and all the of the realms it reigns. When Jane unwittingly steps into one of the portals and becomes the host to the powerful dark force called the Aether, she becomes part of the new battle and Thor must do everything to save the woman he loves — and the rest of the realms, of course.
From the get go, there is a significantly different feel to the movie. The characters seemed to gel better this time, with their rapports well established by the first Thor and the Avengers movie. Chris Hemsworth seemed to be in full command and embraced his role as the God of Thunder with an authority that was not as established in the first movie.
While before, there seemed to be an underlying tentativeness in the portrayals, this time around, everything was smooth as silk. Anthony Hopkins as Odin was the main star to watch out for in the first movie but now, Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston, who plays his cunning brother Loki, are also on an equal level. The casting for these two were perfect, and I, for one, am a big fan of Hiddleston’s Loki. He stole the show in every scene he was in because he has that ability to make audiences wonder what he was up to in every moment. My favorite scene was when Thor sought Loki’s help and his vulnerability was revealed beneath the illusion. Dude has mad acting skills. Seriously.
Speaking of casting, I was not a big fan of Zachary Levi as Josh Dallas’ replacement for the role of Fandral. Levi’s goofy charm does not really come though for the ladies’ man appeal that was needed for the role. Bring Dallas back, please.
Storywise, Thor: The Dark World was very consistent with the original movie, where Thor talked about the nine realms and what it entailed to keep all of them safe from Asgard’s enemies, and this was a good thing for the movie because it provided a sense of consistency, despite the fact that a different team was in charge of the second movie. My big question throughout the movie though, was how Asgard was able to protect itself from its enemies for so long when its warriors all seemed outclassed by all of the realm’s foes, depending solely on Thor’s power and that of the skills of the Warriors Three. The ease in which Asgard was besieged was truly comical.
In terms of special effects, The Dark World seemed more effects heavy and there were noticeably Star Wars elements injected into the design of the Dark Elves’ spacecraft but it was well executed. As for the set design, considering the amount of colors that it utilized, it could have easily gone south and made the movie’s background cartoonish if it was not used properly. Luckily, the designers retained that edge that made it work.
One of my biggest complaints from the first movie was the costumes, and the good news was that the filmmakers seemed to agree and minimized the use of heavy velvet capes and made the Asgardian’s outfits more lightweight.
All in all, director Alan Taylor, who also directs for HBO’s Game of Thrones did a great job with the movie, injecting a sleekness to the film that made The Dark World a great sequel. It upped the ante from the first movie and made Thor’s adventure all the more suspenseful and exciting. I’m looking forward to Benicio del Toro’s appearance as The Collector (he appears in the after-credits) in the next Thor sequel or the second Avengers movie (where Thanos was revealed in the after-credits) as the storylines for the Infinity Gauntlet (the Tesseract and the Aether are Infinity Stones) could both be related to the two characters. And, before the marvel geeks get a heart attack, whatever happened to Odin?