Movie Review: Thor: The Dark World
So, my first movie review for the website. I gotta admit, part of me wants to be professional about this…then I realize I’m writing for a website called “nuking the cat”…so, you know…so much for professionalism!
Right! Thor: The Dark World. I’m not going to really go into the plot or any spoilers or anything like that…you’ve got the whole internet for that. If you don’t know what the movie’s about, go look it up…I’ll wait. Overall, I have to admit, of Marvel’s string of movies, Thor continues to impress me. I went into the first one with trepidation, hoping that Kenneth Branagh would steer it true…and he did. Might have overdone the “dutch angles” a bit…but nonetheless, good film. With his departure, well, I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to see the second film. Upon viewing it on blu-ray, I can honestly confess to that hesitation being a mistake. This second film continues in the footsteps of the first and expands on that, branching into the seven realms…of which I continue to believe Anaheim is one. Chris Hemsworth continues to fit the role of Thor very well and Natalie Portman continues to be hot and doesn’t do anything to mess up the illusion (I’d love to ask why she couldn’t do that for the Star Wars Prequel trilogy, but this is a review, not a rant). Speaking of said prequels, at least she and Hemsworth have some onscreen chemistry. They are funny together and you don’t really find yourself wincing when they share screen time. Other than that…not much to say.
Tom Hiddleston, as one would expect, continues to shine as Loki. I won’t say that the fangirl swooning is warranted...he has one hell of a screen presence. Funny one moment, threatening the next and then sympathetic in another. He plays a great range in this film and it’s all the better for it. Oh…and one thing…maybe they did this on purpose and maybe they didn’t, but in a film with the one and…well, I can’t say “only” because I’m currently watching the first season of NBC’s Hannibal and Mads Mikkelson is doing a wonderful job of reinterpreting the role…so maybe I should say the “classic” Hannibal Lecter, I found it worth a chuckle to take in the Asgardian prison design and think of Lecter’s quarters as we saw them in Silence of the Lambs.
I had read middling to negative reviews of Christopher Eccleston’s Maleketh, but I’m just not seeing it. I felt he played the character in such a way that even though he wasn’t as present as most movie antagonists are, the threat of him loomed regardless. I do have to admit though that when the attack on London commenced, given his past role as the 9th Doctor, I wondered if there was going to be some sort of conflict of interest for him. Come to think of it…I need to go back in the blu-ray and scrutinize the background to look for a blue police box (and to squelch any rumors before they happen, I just THINK that would be cool…it didn’t actually happen!).
One thing about the dark elves though…and this bugged me. Throughout the whole movie they’re shown as having this porcelain white skin, but when they show up on earth in the last thirty minutes…they pull a reverse Michael Jackson (translation, they got blacker). I mean, from the beginning of the movie, I understood that “okay, they’re ‘dark elves’ in the sense that they come from or want a dark universe, they’re not ACTUALLY dark.” Then they go and get ACTUALLY dark. I mean, sure, I can speculate: maybe they get darker the closer the Conjunction is to occurring, maybe they get darker once Maleketh gets the “Aether” or maybe since they have such fair skin that the UV radiation on earth gives ‘em really bitchin’ suntans the minute they step out of the ships. I dunno. At least some explanation would’ve been nice.
My next gripe can apply to both Thor movies…Kat Dennings. No, no, no…don’t misunderstand me, she’s got GREAT comedic timing and is very welcome in both movies. But she’s also got GREAT “tracks of land”. Seriously. Google search. Now. I’ll wait. (Confidentially, I feel no shame in writing that either since my girlfriend would drop me in a heartbeat for Tom Hiddleston.) Yet in the Thor movies, they choose to dress her up in the most concealing hipster getup. We’ll get into my intense hatred of hipsters at some point on this site…and I’m not asking them to tart her up any…but for the love of God…the woman has a great “va-va-va-voom” figure, and they hide it! That sir, or madam, or whoever, I simply CANNOT forgive.
Next, I’m one of those weird people that notices the music in a movie…and thank heavens for Brian Tyler. Hollywood, I know you’re not listening to me, but just as I want Guillermo Del Toro to make ALL OF THE MOVIES after seeing Pacific Rim, I also want Brian Tyler to score ALL OF THE MOVIES. I fell in love with soundtracks in the 80s, what I really feel to be the John Williams era. Scores were symphonic and filled with leitmotif. On top of that, the man who composed the music conducted the orchestra. While this is totally subjective, that kind of connection always made me feel that the score was personal. It had just that added touch. Then Danny Elfman came along and fucked all that up for the 90s. Hans Zimmer since then hasn’t helped with all his BRAAM…BRAAAAAM…BRAAAAAAAAAAM so-called scores. Both of those composers sit in the box while someone else leads the orchestra while they call down if it was right or not. Lazy bastards. Brian Tyler’s score for Thor 2 hints at the possibility of a return to what Williams did. There’s leitmotif. In watching the disc’s special features, you see Tyler himself leading the orchestra. And there’s not a goddamn BRAAAAAAAM in sight.
Lastly, since it is a Marvel movie, we have our after credits scenes. The first gets us ready for Guardians of the Galaxy. Having seen the trailer for Guardians before Thor 2 (so yeah, I know, I’m out of order) I was already pretty damn stoked for it (Rocket Raccoon bitches!!!). But this lead in…mentioning the Infinity Stones (yes fanboy, I can hear you “they are infinity GEMS and given how they are presented, there is no way they will fit on any gauntlet”…sigh…shut up) well…I’m getting all tingly in the…ahem…nevermind. We’ve seen Thanos, and now two infinity “stones”. And while we know that Avengers 2 will be the Age of Ultron, it’s hard to not think that the Gauntlet is coming!
Aaaaand wood. Ahem. Moving on.
And Benicio Del Toro looks to make a fine Collector.
The second after credits scene comes, well, after the credits, duh…and it gives us the emotional resolution of the movie. Meh. I’m happy for ‘em, I guess…but seriously, INFINTY GAUNTLET!
Oh, and while I said I wouldn’t spoil it, there are enough questions left dangling to give us a Thor Three. But given just the tongue twisting nature of that…let us agree to never call it that again. Thor Three. Sounds like someone with a burnt tongue trying to communicate…badly.
So, since all movie reviews come with scores, I’d give it 3 stars out of Thor. Er, four. Three stars out of four. Very solid movie, very pretty to look at, but not without flaws. If you’re a fan of the previous Marvel films and/or the first Thor, you’ll like this one as well.