Thor directed by Kenneth Branagh, Thor: The Dark World directed by Alan Taylor
After a while, I’ve come back to my Marvel Cinematic Universe reviews, leading into Captain America: Civil War, and if you look at the list on the left, you would see that the two movies in sequence are these two.
Thor was released in 2011, and received mixed reviews. Some liked it, some didn’t, and it’s easily understood why one have polarising opinions about the movie. For one thing, it’s mostly set on Earth, and for a large chunk of the movie, Thor doesn’t even have his powers. Being directed by someone who usually does theatre dramas did bring a lot of questions to the table, but overall, I think it was the right decision.
Thor, as a movie, is actually pretty well done. I like the struggle that’s depicted from beginning to end, and the emotions. I liked how Loki was used, not in a large way, in order for him to take centre stage for The Avengers. I liked the performances from Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston, the latter of which is simply perfect. The premise of the movie could have made it out to be boring and without life, but I felt like it was really handled well. Not every superhero movie has to be all out destruction. This had a much more personal vibe to it, and made the story feel more intimate. Perhaps for someone who wanted to see much more than that, the movie falls short, but I understood the direction the filmmakers wanted to take. They wanted it to really be about two brothers and their deep emotions throughout the movie, towards each other, and their contrasting ideals and methods. And for that, and succeeding at it, I have to rate Thor as follows:
On a scale where M is the lowest, and R is the highest possible rating, with the highlighted letter being the rating:
I’m not exactly saying that it’s one of the best movies in the MCU, but it is a really good movie nonetheless. I do with I could say the same about Thor: The Dark World, though.
Don’t get me wrong here, it isn’t an Iron Man 2 level atrocity, but it isn’t a Winter Soldier either. The sequel is very different to the original, and some of that works, while some of it doesn’t.
It’s set on Asgard for a lot of the movie, which is good. But the plot is a little bit… Lucky? Everything that’s there about the plot is overly complicated. While I understood it, a lot of people may not, and ultimately the people who do understand it would be disappointed because it could have been used for so much, but it isn’t. Along the same lines, Malekith is up there with Whiplash as my least favourite MCU villain, mostly because there is no reason for him. There’s no motivation for what he’s trying to do, he just ants to do it. He does do one big thing in the middle of the movie though, and I’ll give the screenwriters points for having him do that, but for the rest of it, not so much.
Loki is used in an interesting way in this movie, even after everything that’s a part of the movie’s story is done. He’s more of an anti-hero in this, and I appreciate how far Marvel have taken Loki’s character, as compared to most of their other villains.
However, I think what’s needed to be noted, apart from the complex story, is that there are way too many characters in the movie, and they really don’t need to be there. Kat Dennings’ character was alright in the first movie, even though she wasn’t needed, and she wasn’t needed in this either. And in this one she has a partner too, who has no impact on the movie. Why was he in it? Beats me.
In any case, Thor: The Dark World, though subtly, introduced fans to a wider scope of universes and hinted at how far extended the MCU will be in the future. Still doesn’t change the fact that isn’t a mediocre movie.
Thor: The Dark World: MIHIR
Next on my Marvel run are both Avengers movies! I’m looking forward to those.