Thor: The Dark World (2013)

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Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Post  BoG on Sat May 02, 2015 3:26 pm

The sequel to the 2011 Thor film and follow-up to The Avengers (2012), this introduced the Dark Elves threat to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the whole theme seems to revolve around the concept of darkness, though for no other reason than to possibly make the audience uneasy about all the dark hints and probable deaths. The prologue takes place thousands of years ago, when Odin's father, Bor, defeated the threat; but, the Asgardians erroneously thought the threat destroyed when it had merely gone to sleep. In the present, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is in Asgard's prisons after his actions in The Avengers and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) & and his fellow warriors are wrapping up the final skirmish in bringing order to the "Nine Realms," the entire framework which makes up all the mythological realms bordering Asgard. Unfortunately, at this time, an event known as The Convergence happens, which means all the various realms, including Earth, become temporarily connected via mystical portals. On Earth, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) - naturally - finds one of these portals in a warehouse in London, falls through, and gets infected with this dark energy.

Heimdall (Idris Elba), who sees all, informs Thor of Jane's troubles and this is how the two reunite. In the meantime, the release of this energy has awakened Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), leader of the dark elves. His lieutenant, Algrim (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), is transformed into the hulking Kurse, a being of limitless physical strength. They soon attack Asgard, resulting in death for many warriors and the queen mother (Rene Russo); some of this, Jane's visit to Asgard, minimally adapts a famous storyline from the comic books, mainly issue #136, when Jane finally rejects Asgard and the prospect of being a goddess, though no such possibility exists in this film version, just her fragility amid the splendor. Defying the decree of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), Thor teams up with Loki to confront Malekith and Kurse, as well as helping Jane. This - apparently - results in more death, but all is not as it seems as we find out at the conclusion. The ending leaves a couple of surprising and dangling plot twists which, I guess, will be resolved in the next Thor film (Thor Ragnarok or something, which does not bode well).
The villains in this plot were adapted from the Thor Marvel Comics stories of Walt Simonson, who took the reins of the story/art late in the title's history, in the eighties. So, the filmmakers chose to ignore all the rich material created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby in the sixties. I found that to be curious and annoying, probably because I was never impressed with Simonson's output, a more lightweight and dull approach compared to the Lee-Kirby output. Kurse is naturally an impressive foe, possibly even more powerful than the Hulk, but the rest of the elves and their fake alien language just bored me. Also back to torture my senses was Kat Dennings as Jane's assistant, Darcy, ever a clown. Stellan Skarsgard is also back as Jane's mentor, but his role is also now clownish. This was all a sample of the humor injected into the Marvel films but it's not always successful and sure seems out of place in an otherwise dark story. There's only so much that can be done with the Thor-Jane romance, as within the confined structure of films released only every couple of years, they give new meaning to the term long distance romance.  Hiddleston as Loki again shines as the devious villain with a sorrowful side. Thor returned in Avengers:Age of Ultron (2015). BoG's Score: 6.5 out of 10
Dark Trivia: cameo by Benecio del Toro as the Collector in the end credits, which leads to his role in The Guardians of the Galaxy (2014); Chris Evans cameos as Captain America, though this is just an illusion of Loki's; Stan Lee cameos as an inmate in a mental ward
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