Thor – The Dark World

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Rating: 4 of 5 ★★★★☆ 

I was expecting this movie to be good. I liked the first one a lot (with only a few qualifications) and I liked the character even more in The Avengers. So, yes, I pretty much expected The Dark World to be good. And even then, I was impressed.

Because this is one of those movies that’s the ideal in the tentpole-blockbuster-extravaganza films because it’s a character movie first and all of those other things second.

The relationship with Thor and Jane Foster is better than the first movie. Even though I still don’t think they have much chemistry we got to see them work together and fight for each other and that all worked well enough. Though, there isn’t a lot of depth to their relationship or substance. But I think at this point the characters are solid enough on their own that I don’t quibble about the relationship, even though it’s really not great.

Loki is still the most interesting character because he shows the widest range of emotion and different dimensions of himself.

seriously, spoilers »
I loved seeing him in his grief, when he drops the illusion for Thor and he’s so torn up. That was a great moment.
I think the problem is that Thor is such a self-contained character, as appealing and noble as he is, you don’t get to see in him the nuances that Loki gets to play. He gets to be very funny in this movie, but not really intentionally so.

And there is a whole lot of funny in this movie which is delightful and sets off the dark tone of the battles very nicely.

That being said, it isn’t as if the other characters have nothing to do. Thor is most interesting when he’s with Loki. Their dynamic is just such a precarious balance of love and animosity and as it waivers back and forth it’s engaging. And

again, spoilers but about the same thing »
I was pretty surprised by Frigga’s death. It worked well for the story in forcing all the other characters to deal with it. And she got to go out in such a strong, noble way but it was still sad and kind of shocking. Which, I guess is what it was supposed to be. But I feel like, even with the funeral, no one really got to visibly deal with it the way Loki did. Maybe because Odin is the king and Thor is, well Thor, they only show power and anger and that doesn’t leave room for a distraught sort of grief. But looking back, giving them even just a moment would have given the characters more depth and dimension which would have served them well.

I really enjoyed the roles the women got to play in the story. Frigga has a great fight scene and is a very commanding queen. Jane is more interesting as she plays a central role in this story and she’s considerably less annoying than last time around. Sif and Darcy are also fun and have their moments. It’s always good to see strong women that are central to the story in a big adventure like this because that’s so often not the case.

The story, overall, works and the first tag at the end hints at how it will tie in with Guardians of the Galaxy (and the Super Hero Squad Show my nephews would be quick to point out). Which is good. But it’s not a movie that relies on the story or the plot logic, the focus really is the characters (and the fights) and the story is just used to move them and change them (and make them fight) which it what makes is such a very good movie.

Plus, you know, it’s Thor and he’s my favorite.

Writing:★★★★☆ 
Characters:★★★¾☆ 
Performances:★★★★☆ 
Directing:★★★★☆ 
Production:★★★★½ 
Overall:★★★★☆ 

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