There’s an old Norse saying: “When the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars then peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars.” At least I think that’s an old Norse saying. I might be confusing it with something else.
In Thor: The Dark World Chris Hemworth once again dons hammer and cape of the Odinson, Thor. This time, the fate of the entire 9 realms is in his hands. A phenomenon known as “The Convergence”, the alignment of all 9 realms, approaches. This once-every-five-millenia occurence causes all sorts of bizarre spatial and gravitational side effects on each realm, which offers the evil Dark Elf Malekith a chance to put them all at risk.
I just got back from Thor: The Dark World and I gotta tell you, I’m a bit giddy. I absolutely loved this movie. I went in fairly cold. I had seen one or two trailers, but hadn’t really heard much about it, except that Natalie Portman was being kinda douchey about a change in directors. I didn’t even really know who the “Big Bad” was going to be. Turns out that doesn’t matter, because even if I had known, it was someone I’m not the least bit familiar with. As far as villains go, Malekith and his sidekick Kurse get the job done. They want to turn the universe to darkness or something. It doesn’t matter. They’re doing evil, and its up to Thor and all his best buddies to stop them.
And that’s what I ended up really enjoying about this movie. For me, it had a real old school comic-book feel. The story doesn’t really matter. Bad guys are doing evil things, to get to the mystical Curse of the MacGuffin. The super-powered action is there. The campy comedy is there. The movie might be subtitled The Dark World, but thematically, (aside from a few notable exceptions) it’s arguably the least dark comic book movie since Batman ’66. As someone who’s more than sick of today’s dark & gritty, reboot-astic super hero landscape this is a welcome change.
As much as I loved the movie, though, I have to acknowledge that a lot of the things that I found to be strengths could easily be seen as weakness. The story is very weak, and the real entertainment comes from the action and interactions between characters. The movie is Bro-tastic. If there aren’t two dudes bonding on screen, something’s getting smashed. The film’s only real weakness to me, was that while every female character is strong and empowered, they all still end up feeling tacked on to the story to drive the weak plot. Natalie Portman’s character, in particular, despite being strong willed and afraid of nothing, does little other than serve as a MacGuffin Delivery Vessel and Generic Love Interest.
But again, that doesn’t matter because ‘SPLODE. And this movie even gets that right. When the violence is initiated by the good guys, precautions are taken to limit casualties. When the bad guys wantonly destroy a major populace, there’s an actual moment of tribute and reflection on the loss.
Also, you can’t talk about this movie, and not mention Tom Hiddleston’s Loki. This is a guy that’s just fun to watch. Obviously, this is his third time out as Loki, so it’s expected that he nail it… but he really steals the show whenever he’s on screen. I think there’s rumours of a Loki movie coming at some point, and I definitely think that should get made.
If you like Super Hero movies, or just big, fun, popcorn movies… go see this. It’s fun. It’s got great action, and even a few surprises.
P.S. The included trailer for Captain America: The Winter Soldier may be the best trailer I’ve ever seen.