The first Thor movie was had a cut-and-paste plot, none of the characters were interesting, and it wasn’t enjoyable. Thor had plenty of cool moments in the Avengers, but he was limited by his split screen time. Thor: The Dark World manages to take the weak base of these two movies and make a movie that is engaging, riveting, and most importantly, fun.
In classic superhero style, there is an awesome hero to root for, plenty of cool new villains for him to beat the crap, and a lighthearted, enjoyable story to boot.
This film also blends a combination of sci-fi and fantasy in to the core of the film.
The first Thor touched on mythological roots and hinted that what we perceive as magic is in fact science, it never really took those elements to heart. The Dark World incorporates a science element with futuristic weaponry as well as visionary, plausible sounding threats. Then, a Game of Thrones style story and Lord of the Rings type visuals blend in to make this movie even more unique.
Although Thor: The Dark World is miles ahead of its predecessor, it still falls short in more than a few categories.
Thor: The Dark World tries to be funny. Thor: The Dark World is not very funny. While there are a couple (and I do mean a couple) genuinely funny moments, the uncreative campy jokes and offhand comments constantly fall flat.
The people who deliver these jokes aren’t much better.
Throughout the course of the movie, many side characters are going to be introduced. You’re not going to care about any of them. Thor’s right hand men; boring, 1-dimensional, underused. The human scientist counterparts; weak, cookie cutter dialogue, stereotypical. Even Natalie Portman, who has shown great acting ability in the past, ends up portraying an uninteresting character who seemed forced into the plot.
There is one exception to this catastrophic character development: Loki.
“Satisfaction is not in my nature,” says Loki. “And Surrender is not in mine!” retorts Thor.
Loki brings out the best in the characters around him while as being the most varied, relatable, and interesting character overall. Critics should hand it to Tom Hiddleston for the element of unpredictability he adds to the plot.
Thor, of course, also stands out. He embodies all the character development he went through in Thor and The Avengers while also finding new room for growth.
It wouldn’t be a superhero movie without all the action though. Thor benefits most from its cross genre distinction in its assortment of fight scenes. There are Star Wars style ship-to-ship battles, fantasy inspired battles with swords and shields, and Man of Steel-esque multidimensional battle royales. None of these feel out of place and keep the audience at the edge of the seat.
After watching Iron Man 3 snub most of the characters and the connected world theme of Avengers, it was refreshing to see Thor feature plenty of references to the rest of the Marvel universe. No first hand knowledge of the comics or other movies is needed to enjoy Thor: The Dark World though.
And don’t forget to wait after the credits because there are 2 scenes that roll after the credits do, as per Marvel standards, etc.
Thor isn’t a perfect movie. It’s not a must watch, life changing event that you will look back at on your deathbed. It’s a fun trip to the theater and more than worth the price of admission.