Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Running Time: 112 minutes
Directed by: Alan Taylor
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Chris Eccleston
The sequel to Thor and The Avengers, the film starts off in present day where Jane Foster (Portman) is seen waiting for Thor (Hemsworth) to return after what happened in New Mexico two years ago. However, Thor has been occupied to bring peace to the nine realms ever since his return to Asgard. As Jane investigates an anomaly that is similar to that that brought Thor to Earth, she is sucked into a wormhole. It was then that Thor returns to save Jane, his own world and Earth from the enemies known as Dark Elves, led by Malekith (Eccleston), with the aid of his trusted companions and his half-brother, Loki (Hiddleston).
I think what surprised me about this sequel is the way the story was shot and interpreted by the director, Alan Taylor whose background in filming mainly revolved around dramatic television series. To a certain degree it felt different, there were more close-up shots of the individual characters, there was more focus on the emotions the characters were going through at certain moments, and a fair amount of focus on the details of the set (irrespective that it was a studio-built set or a live set in London/Iceland), as well as the costumes. It was in some ways quite refreshing to view a Marvel superhero film in this manner. BUT don’t get me wrong, the film was still very much dominated by CGI effects and action scenes, so there was the best of both worlds in that sense for those who love action movies/superhero films, and also for those who love the more emotional/dramatic side of movies.
Apart from that, I thought the storyline resembled that of The Avengers and the Iron Man trilogy whereby there were more comedic moments than the previous installment, yet it maintained the complexity of the superhero world/the world of Asgard and the remaining eight realms and so on. I think the comedy was a nice touch to it since it really brought audiences of various ages together and give the movie a more light-hearted feel. Furthermore, I thought the CGI effects were commendable in this one, there were several Matrix moments, and at moments it just reminded me too much of Star Wars and Star Trek. The costume and set designs were inspiring and simply wonderful; the attention to detail and the effort put into developing them was evident on screen throughout the film.
Lastly, the acting, usually I would say the acting for superhero films are just so-so, but lately with Amazing Spiderman, Dark Knight Trilogy, the actors seem to have up their game on-screen. I thought Tom Hiddleston’s take on the God of Mischief aka Loki definitely stood out and stole the screen whenever he was on (this was not only based on my own opinion but also on the audiences’ reactions toward the scenes). The other roles that stood out for me in the film was Rene Russo as Frigga (Thor and Loki’s mother), Stellan Skarsgard as Dr Erik Selvig, Idris Elba, Jaimie Alexander, Zachary Levi and Ray Stevenson as Thor’s trusted companions.
Overall, Thor: The Dark World definitely lived up to fans’ expectations after the summer blockbuster The Avengers, and Iron Man 3, I’m really excited to see what they have installed for the sequel to Captain America and The Avengers. Last note, if you haven’t already notice this about Marvel films since Spiderman, do stay until the credits are done rolling for an extra scene!
Rating: 7 out of 10