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Chris graduated from Georgia State University in 2009 with degrees in Journalism and Creative Writing. He has spent a lot of time working with the media. From engineering radio broadcast for most of Atlanta’s major sports teams to shooting high school football games behind a camera, Chris has a lot of media experience. Besides that, he loves soccer, detective shows, and a buffet list of 'nerdy' things that would embarrass his wife.

Does Lightning Strike Twice for Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World?

It’s easy to forget that there was a time when a comic book movie was lucky to make a profit at the box office but now these movies are considered flops if they don’t make back their production budget in a week! Thor: The Dark World is the latest Marvel/Disney love child to dominate the box office headlines, and is well worth the price of admission.

Sometimes it’s hard to rate a comic book movie as a stand alone film, especially with all of these movies serialized and interconnecting the way the have been over the past six years. However like any film, the basis for whether it’s good or bad always lies between the opening and credit roll. Regardless of the buildup and star power, a good movie needs to be able to captivate you with it’s story, convince you with it’s acting, and either satisfy you with it’s ending, or leave you wanting more. Thor: The Dark World pulls off these tasks, and with flying colors in most cases.

Thor and Odin

Thor (Hemsworth – Left) and Odin (Hopkins – Right) look over the realm of Asgard (Image Credit: Marvel Studios/Disney)

Thor: The Dark World is the second post-Avengers sequel for Marvel Studios after Iron Man 3. However, it is the first sequel to Marvel’s 2011 box office success, Thor. The movie stars Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman, Rene Russo, Idris Elba, Kat Dennings and Christopher Eccleston. The story follows Thor (Hemsworth) as he tries to bring order to the chaos his, now imprisoned, brother Loki (Hiddleston) unleashed in the aforementioned movies. Working with Odin (Hopkins) and other Asgardians, he manages to bring piece to the nine realms and seems to earn his place on the throne of Asgard.

However, while those around him celebrate, Thor leaves himself isolated as he pines for his earth-bound love Jane Foster (Portman). While Odin wants him to focus on the world he has before him, Thor stages nightly visits to Hemdall’s (Elba) post where he can watch over Jane as she searches for a way to find him on Earth. But it is in her searches that Jane accidently comes into contact with an ancient force called the Aether, and upon doing so, awakens Malekith (Eccleston) and his ancient race of Dark Elves.  These elves, long thought to be vanquished by Odin’s father, want to use the Aether to plunge the nine realms back into darkness.

After Asgard is invaded, it is up to Thor, Jane (the woman he loves the most) and Loki (the person he trusts the least) to team up to stop the determined Malekith from destroying the universe.

Loki

Tom Hiddleston as Loki (Image Credit: Marvel Studios/Disney)

Not too many spoilers right? No worries, I’m only here to review the film. I want to start by saying that it is not the Oscar-Winning cast members (Portman and Hopkins), nor the veteran actors (Eccleston and Elba) that carried the movie the most – instead, it was the two who were relatively unknown back when the first movie came out. Hemsworth’s Thor and Hiddleston’s Loki are the perfect compliment to one another. They not only project their characters’ struggles, but also bounce back and forth as if they were truly beloved brothers at odds.

Tom Hiddleston has received a ton of praise for his performances as the God of Mischief in his three outings. However, I don’t believe that many people thought that Hemsworth could carry a franchise or play the marquee character as he has with Thor. There is never a moment where you, the viewer, will feel as though he and Hiddleston are not the Asgardians they play for the camera.

The rest of the performances are solid as well. Anthony Hopkins owns his role (as he does in just about every film…save The Wolfman), and the rest of the supporting cast does well to carry their weight – Rene Russo and Idris Elba especially.  Zachary Levi was probably at a disadvantage, coming in after the original Fandral dropped out but he does decent enough.

A mysterious menace? (Image Credits: Marvel Studios/Disney)

The only weak link for me would be that of Malekith, but not because of his acting. Instead, I think it was how the final edits were made that really hurt the character. While he was menacing at times, it was very easy to forget his strength and his motivation. Yes, yes, he wants to plunge the world(s) back into darkness…but is that it? If Thor: The Dark World has one true flaw, it’s that his part of the plot is pretty basic. With that being said, the movie pulled off the simplicity perfectly–but I still felt they missed an opportunity to add more depth to Malekith and the movie. In my opinion, the main protagonist should always have layers. Loki had layers, but he isn’t really the main protagonist in this movie (more like an anti-hero). In fact, it’s his layers and the relationship with Odin and Thor that will really captivate the audiences in the theaters.

As for the ending, the audience will certainly feel that they have been cheated a little bit. There are a ton of emotional ups and downs during the climax of the sequel that will surely make you gasp but without going into too much detail, the very end of Thor: The Dark World will definitely leave everyone wondering how much more they can take. Is it a happy ending, or is it a dark one? Take my advice and go see one of the most epic  and entertaining Marvel Studio movies, joining Iron Man and The Avengers as one of their best pieces of work.

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3 Comments on “Does Lightning Strike Twice for Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World?”

  1. Karen Datangel November 21, 2013 at 4:09 pm #

    Great review, Chris. I was such a big fan of the first movie and when it comes to franchises, sequels usually suffer a sophomore slump. Even with the change in director for Thor: The Dark World, I actually thought this one surpassed the original. A lot more character development, action, and humor and you get to see more of the other worlds. Definitely my favorite superhero film of the year!

    • Christopher Hill November 22, 2013 at 12:51 am #

      I was worried with the changing of directors too! I know it won’t make as much as IM3, but I think that Thor will be the best worked 3 movie collection out of them all.

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    […] and men. Women and girls are part of the club now, and not just because they enjoy Wonder Woman, Thor, or Black Widow. The modern comic book fan lives in an age of wonder—where the stories we’ve […]

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