Review: Thor: The Dark World

Series: Marvel Cinematic Universe: #8

Series: MCU Phase 2: #2

One problem that comic book universes in general and the MCU in specific have always had is that of scale. How in the world do you have a man in a suit, a literal ‘god’, a rage monster, a super soldier, and a couple … regular people ever interact on the same scale? For the most part, it’s hand waved away. Everyone is paired up with an opponent of roughly the same power level and we move on with our lives.

No where those is this contrast more apparent than in the Universe of Thor. The people of Asgard are supposed to be gods. They live thousands of years. We’ve seen them shrug off some pretty crazy weapons. And yet here they are, dying to spears and falling rocks. It just doesn’t make any sense.

I mean, there are any number of brilliant CGI shots of the weird world of Asgard, and it at least has a much bigger scope than the first Thor, but it still feels … hollow. It’s a pity, because I enjoy Thor’s super powerful fish out of water story well enough in the combined movies, but this is not my favorite of the combined films.

So it goes.

It’s always interesting to re-read my older reviews: see below)

Original 2013 review:

The first Thor was a bit disappointing.

There, I said it.

It could certainly have been worse, but it really felt like the entire movie served solely to set up Thor12 for the Avengers. It wasn’t terrible, it just … was.

Thor: The Dark world3 makes up for it.

It takes Asgard and the nine realms in all their CGI mono-environmental glory4 a step further. It shows that even if the Asgardians are gods, that doesn’t mean that they’re immortal5. It brings a bit of the science-fantasy edge to the Marvel Universe, nicely contrasting with the science of Iron Man and Thor and the blind patriotism of Captain America. It’s a neat world, and could probably even stand on it’s own6.

That’s not to say that there weren’t a few problems though.

Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) still doesn’t make sense. They had one weekend together7, then didn’t see each other for years.

Then there was Christopher Eccleston as the big bad Malekith. He was just … sort of there. Pretty much completely interchangeable. Sure, he can kick some Asguardian butt, but so can The Incredible Hulk. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

Still. Pretty good. Pretty dang good. Of the Marvel Movies this year, I still liked Iron Man 3 better, but only just. They’re both certainly worth a rewatching in a year and change when Avengers 2 comes out.

  1. And Hawkeye (comics) ↩︎

  2. And Phil Coulson ↩︎

  3. What’s with the colon’ated titles? ↩︎

  4. Seriously? An entire frozen world? ↩︎

  5. Although exactly what will kill them remains somewhat unclear. ↩︎

  6. Although the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe makes it all the better ↩︎

  7. Seriously. Thor takes place over three days. ↩︎