In commemoration of the upcoming CAPTAIN MARVEL (2019) as well as AVENGERS: ENDGAME (2019), I’ve decided to take a trip down memory lane and revisit ALL of the films relating to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
- IRON MAN 3 (2013)
- CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (2014)
- GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2014)
- AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (2015)
- ANT-MAN (2015)
Click the following links for:
Cast: Chris Hemsworth (EL ROYALE , HUNTSMAN 2 , HEART/SEA , CABIN/WOODS , and upcoming films MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL  and DHAKA ), Natalie Portman (VOX LUX , SONG TO SONG , JANE/GUN , Star Wars Episodes I , II , and III , and the upcoming LUCY IN THE SKY ), Christopher Eccleston (WHERE HANDS TOUCH  and THE OTHERS ), Zachary Levi (THE STAR , TANGLED , and the upcoming SHAZAM! ), and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje (SUICIDE SQUAD  and CONCUSSION )
Director: Alan Taylor (TERMINATOR GENISYS )
Writers: Christopher L. Yost (MAX STEEL ), Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (PAIN & GAIN )
Producer: Kenneth Branagh (ORIENT EXPRESS , and upcoming films ARTEMIS FOWL  and DEATH ON THE NILE )
Composer: Brian Tyler (ESCAPE ROOM , RICH ASIANS , POWER RANGERS , NOW YOU SEE ME 2 , and upcoming films WHAT MEN WANT  and FIVE FEET APART )
Cinematographer: Kamer Morgenthau (CREED II , REBEL/RYE , TERMINATOR GENISYS)
Editors: Dan Lebental (CHIPS ) and Wyatt Smith (MARY POPPINS 2  and RICKI/FLASH )
This is my honest opinion of: THOR: THE DARK WORLD
A year after the attack in New York, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is sent to spend the rest of his life in prison, and Thor is tasked with venturing out into the cosmos to bring peace to the nine realms that have descended into chaos. Successful in his campaigns, he still thinks about Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), whom he hasn’t seen in two years. But Odin (Anthony Hopkins) has urged Thor to move on and officially take the throne of Asgard. However, back on Earth, Jane has stumbled upon an ancient and dark secret. She is possessed by a powerful… power, known simply as the “Aether,” that in the wrong hands, could spell disaster for the entire universe. And the wrong hands that are seeking the Aether are the ancient Dark Elves, lead by the ruthless Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), who were all thought to be extinct. Informed of her peril, Thor returns to Earth to grab Jane and brings her to Asgard in hopes that she can be helped, despite the Dark Elves moving in to recover her.
Oh wow. Two for two, this movie really didn’t age well. To anyone who might call this the worst of the MCU, I might have a hard time disagreeing with that. Actually, no, I take that back. I disagree profusely and maintain that IRON MAN 3 is far worse. That movie was an insult to Tony’s character. DARK WORLD is just boring.
The movie doesn’t even start off all that bad. We get a quick intro to the film’s McGuffin, a nice intro to Loki’s imprisonment, (and learning that Asgardians live up to 5,000 years), and a really fun sword and shield battle scene. I still giggle when Thor goes full Raiders of the Lost Arc and quickly destroys that Kornan. And I do enjoy Jane’s discovery of the portals that also causes gravity to act wonky.
Unfortunately, the movie’s positive qualities basically end here.
The movie makes a big deal that the realms are in chaos, but we only see one fight? Lame. This would have been a fun opportunity to explore other realms, but we don’t get to see shit. I get it, Asgard is the Garden of Eden of the Marvel universe. Good for them, but other worlds deserve better treatment too. Even the title world “the Dark World” is utterly boring. If the Dark World is so important, why is there nothing in it? It’s a sand world. And yet, this place was supposed to be the penultimate civilization before Asgard came along. Nothing like that is presented when we see it. And don’t give me the excuse of, “war destroyed the Dark World,” no, convince me that you wouldn’t want to see ruins of a great civilization. Those ruins could have had a deeper effect on Malekith to make him more three dimensional. But nope, desolate backgrounds is all that we get. Awesome.
Speaking of Malekith… yup, time to complain about the villains again. I have no idea how far down the ladder he is in terms of bad villains, but insofar, he’s the most pathetic. Not only is a cardboard cutout character who is just an asshole for the sake of being an asshole, but he himself barely does anything to warrant a threat level. Most of everything that gets accomplished on the Dark Elves’ side is mostly done by Algrim/Kurse (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje). You wanna know just how pathetic he is? He doesn’t even win in a fight against Thor’s mom, Frigga (Rene Russo). It doesn’t help that he talks like a spoiled child demanding his toys be returned him. “You have something of mine, child. Give it back.” Literally, that’s the line. Such a… pants-soiling line. <<<SPOILERS>>> [ Hell, the only reason Malekith doesn’t die the confrontation with Frigga, or gets sent to a prison cell forever is because Algrim/Kurse shows up to kill her instead. There’s a special kind of incompetence when your primary villain’s side-kick does all the work and is more threatening. ] <<<END SPOILERS>>>
The humor also really falls short. Selvig going nutso-crazo, the insultingly unfunny lines given to Kat Dennings, who I really like as an actress, and even Natalie Portman is used at her worst. Of course, I don’t blame the actors. No one could have made this material juicy. But it still doesn’t help them. Every once in while there’s a fun line, but for the most part, it’s a pretty stale script.
Are there any other saving graces besides parts of the beginning? Eh, just one. The climax. I give credit to even the least of these movies, the climactic fight scenes at the end are always a nice spectacle. Thor and Malekith teleporting from one realm to another, taking cars with them, falling onto the roof of a skyscraper and falling the length of it, all the while Mjolnir is trying to get back into Thor’s hand, but always narrowly missing. It’s both creative, a visual treat, and some pretty fun humor. I’ll even admit that I continue to enjoy Loki and his complexity. I give the lackluster writing some credit, they do a good job with him. His anger toward his father, him trying be an ass to his mother, but clearly not enjoying it, thumbs up for him.
Beyond that, nah, this is also one of the weaker MCU films. Second worst in my book. I give it credit that it’s not nearly as infuriating to sit through as IRON MAN 3 was. At least we get to see Thor do Thor things. It’s underwhelming, but it’s there. But that doesn’t save it from being an near unbearable bore-fest. Sadly, this is necessary to the overall MCU viewing experience, as RAGNAROK does reference events from this flick, but I won’t lie, this isn’t as much fun as it should be.
My honest rating for THOR: THE DARK WORLD: a weak 3/5