Monday, November 11, 2013

Movie Review: Thor: The Dark World 3D (2013)

Chris Hemsworth’s enormous sculpted body is back in all its Asgardian glory, but gone is the brash-then-humbled Odinson from the 2011 movie. In his place is a confident and responsible god of thunder, pining for Oscar winner Natalie Portman, because let’s face it, who doesn’t?

After the events of The Avengers movie, Thor has his hands full with peacekeeping duties in other realms, plus he’d broken the Bifrost/Rainbow Bridge back in the first movie while stopping Loki’s attempt to destroy Yodenheim (remember that? neither did I), meaning he hasn’t really kept up his correspondence with Jane Foster, PhD (Portman). Back on Earth, Jane is determined to get her some more of that godly goodness, so off she goes with trusty sidekick Darcy (Kat Jennings, once again a reliable comic relief character) to investigate a paranormal phenomenon…

Quiz time! Pick the correct cliché!

a) …and becomes host to an ancient evil bent on ending the universe.
b) …only to be trapped in a struggle between two opposing forces.
c) …and reunites with her one true love.
d) All of the above.

The entire cast from the first movie is back, with the exception of Josh Dallas, who was replaced by Zachary Levi as Fandral. He’s the foppish god who got stabbed with icicles 20 minutes into the first movie. Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) of SHIELD is not around either, because he has a TV show now, dammit, and he’s supposed to be dead anyway.

When everything inevitably goes to pot, Thor seeks out the help of his treacherous brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston, aka Hiddles to his legions of female fans), who knows the secret ways out of Asgard.

Quiz time again! Can Loki be trusted?

a) No.
b) Hell, no.
d) All of the above.

Thor: The Dark World is really a summer blockbuster movie. It’s brain candy. It’s not even as beautiful as Gravity. And, while I found the affection between Hemsworth and Portman to be believable, the script didn’t invest as much in their relationship as it did with the theme of the brutality of rulership. Also, the villain was poorly developed.

Bellyachin’ aside, I did enjoy Stellan Skarsgard’s performance. He’s played an important minor character in three Marvel movies so far, and I hope we see more. Meanwhile, Hiddles is as on-target as ever as the petulant, malicious god of mischief. The story makes room for lighthearted moments. And the villains’ costume and space ship designs are wonderful.

So, in conclusion: meh. I’d rather re-watch the first Thor (which I did). At least then the lead gets an actual character arc. Or better yet, I could watch Gravity again.

This post brought to you by almonds. Almonds: if you feed your hamster the bitter kind, it will die from the cyanide compound! Remember: sweet almonds only for the little furry ones!

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