Last night my fiancé and I went to see Thor 2: The Dark World, the latest in Marvel’s superhero film collection. I went with mixed hopes – while the first Thor film didn’t really do it for me, I did enjoy Thor in The Avengers, and Hiddleston’s performance as Loki was spectacular in both. As it was, Thor 2 smashed all my expectations in a good way, proving to be a strong and really enjoyable film.
As with my previous reviews, I’ll keep this spoiler-free but that does assume you’ve seen the trailer / have some idea of the basic premise of the film. Basically, if it’s a revalation to you that Loki is Thor’s half-brother, this is probably a good time to stop reading until you’ve seen the films :)
First off, the plot provides a good continuation of the continuity. After the events of The Avengers, the Nine Worlds are in chaos, leading Thor and his friends to try and bring them back into peace. While he’s off battling around Asgard, Jane ends up accidentally stumbling through a portal into the Dark World during her research – resulting in her being infected by the malevolent aether, the darkness the Dark Elves need to bring permanent night to the Nine Worlds. Finding himself with no option but to ally with Loki, Thor must free Jane of the ether and stop Malekith from plunging his world into an eternal night. It’s a good story that develops well, offering plenty of turns and twists along the way. It also offers some very promising character development – one of my major issues with the first Thor film was that I felt Thor was never really developed much as a character, and so it’s good to see more of his depth here. We also see some very interesting developments in Loki’s character, which I won’t spoil but will say were a highlight of the movie for me :)
All of the actors do a great job, which pretty much goes without saying – we’ve seen Hemsworth and Hiddleston in the previous films, and they continue to give great performances. Eccleston also does well as Malekith, showing both raw power and constrained menace throughout the movie, which makes him a credible villain who you do believe can actually win. I haven’t really seen Eccleston since he did Doctor Who / 28 Days Later, and it was good to see him back on form in a prominent role. The Dark Elves weren’t truly spectacular villains, but they were certainly well-designed and worked well in the role of antagonist
My major complaints aren’t really issues with the film per se, but probably more just me being a bit of a geek :P I loved seeing Idris Elba reprise his role as Heimdall, but it would’ve been good to see more of him. Similarly, it’s disappointing that Excalibur weren’t even referenced given that decent-sized parts of the film were set in London. I’m not asking for Union Jack to turn up (though you would think that they could scramble some heroes in that time!), but even just a throwaway reference would’ve been nice. Maybe some Excalibur-branded jets, or an ‘Excalibur won’t be here for another 10 minutes’ ‘That’s 2 minutes too long!’ would’ve been nice. I can dream….
Back on topic, Thor 2 was a very enjoyable film that really built upon the established canon and set up some very interesting ideas for the next film. I’d certainly recommend you see it if you enjoyed the previous Marvel films, or even just fantasy / superhero films in general. If you’ve seen it, leave a comment and let me know what you think! :)