Thor: The Dark World is a big step for Marvel Studios. The movie marks the first of several projects that is not an origin story, The Avengers or Iron Man. Everyone loves a good origin story but these next films will determine if the individual Marvel movie style can continue. First up to bat: Thor.
Picking up directly after the events of The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World brings us back to Asgard where Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is imprisoned for his attempted conquering of Earth in The Avengers. Also, it is revealed that his brother Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) visit to Earth in The Avengers was part of an ongoing war he is waging to bring peace to the nine realms. Thor is continuing this crusade in beginning of The Dark World but he is interrupted when his mortal love, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), discovers an ancient evil known as the Aether and the Dark Elves awaken to steal the Aether for their own diabolical uses. Thus begins the epic.
To keep it short and spoiler-free, the movie is fun. It tops the first Thor in action and humor. Marvel movie creators have fine tuned their wry sense of comedy where characters are nonchalant in the face of danger and it still cracks people up. Where it stumbles, though, is in character development. The movie is just so full of plot that it has no choice but to throw it all at the audience as quickly as possible. This, unfortunately, results in a lack of simple seemingly insignificant scenes that actually build emotion and connections between the characters. A good example would be the Dwarves’ slow but entrancing singing scene from The Hobbit which threw in a dash of culture and brotherhood between the adventurers. There are scenes like that but it feels like half of them are missing or more time could have been dedicated to them. Hopefully, a director’s cut will amend this.
This rush also affects Loki. Loki is a great trickster, master of illusion and deception. Hiddleston has nailed the part down to a menacing glare and he has secured a seat as the main villain. But due to the film’s speed, the audience doesn’t have enough time to grow to trust him enough to be shocked by his next move. It feels more like a waiting game to see what he’ll do next. Despite the fandom for Loki, the movie decided to push him to the side for a one note, evil for the sake of evil, Malekith, leader of the Dark Elves (Christopher Eccleston). Perhaps they’re waiting use him in Thor 3. They certainly gave a very nice setup for the next chapter in a twist that will make everyone, once again, eager to see what will happen next.