Review: THOR: THE DARK WORLD (2013) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Review: THOR: THE DARK WORLD (2013)

Despite some wobbly first hour, THOR: THE DARK WORLD grows more fun and entertaining once Thor and Loki join forces. 

When IRON MAN 3 began the second phase of Marvel Studios after the post-AVENGERS success on the early summer of 2013, everyone were hoping a lot. While I admitted that IRON MAN 3 was daring enough to play around with the plot, it didn't work well for me. Basically, IRON MAN 3 ended up somewhat as a disappointment. That was the initial fear when I first saw the trailer for THOR: THE DARK WORLD. It looked good enough as a comic-book movie blockbuster but at the same time it could end up just like IRON MAN 3. But upon finally watching it, I'm relieved that THOR: THE DARK WORLD is so much better than the misguided IRON MAN 3.

THOR: THE DARK WORLD begins with Odin's (Anthony Hopkins) narration as he recalls the battle between the Asgard and an evil race known as the Dark Elves. During the war which is led by King Bor (Tony Curran), he and the Asgardians manage to foil the Dark Elves' plan on using an energy force known as Aether to conquer Asgard. As a result, the remaining survivors of the Dark Elves, led by Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), are suspended for centuries and the Aether is buried somewhere deep down in a secret place.

Cut to the present in Asgard, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and his Asgardian warriors find themselves occupied on the battlefields against their enemies. Meanwhile, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is now sentenced to prison after his evil plan squandered at New York in THE AVENGERS (2012). Things start to go wrong when Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) discovers something extraordinary at an abandoned factory back on Earth. During her investigation, she gets sucked into a vortex and enters into another dimension in which she is infected by the Aether. Because of this, Malekith and the rest of the Dark Elves are awakened. Their mission is to locate Foster in order to obtain the Aether at all cost. As the war begins to strike again in Asgard, it's up to Thor to save the day.
Alan Taylor's direction is mostly efficient that balances the fantastical element, action, drama, romance and comedy in a slick package. In fact, this sequel has some of the funniest set-pieces ever seen in the recent Marvel movies. Most of the fun of course goes to the scene-stealing performance from Tom Hiddleston's Loki. He's always fun to watch for whenever he's on the screen and much more so once he join forces with Thor. Speaking of Thor, Chris Hemsworth is as solid and charming as always. The rest of the supporting actors are equally commendable including the sweet-looking Natalie Portman and a hilarious turn by Stellan Skarsgard as Dr. Erik Selvig. Even some of the characters from the first THOR (2011) are given ample chances to shine through, such as Anthony Hopkins as Odin and Rene Russo as Frigga.

All the production values are first-rate, and so does the elaborate special effects that are visually appealing and spectacular.

The climactic finale at the Greenwich, London in which Thor battles against Malekith. Along the process, the scene is also entertaining in the way how the filmmakers make fun of the concept of multiple dimensions.

The first hour of the movie is rather haphazard, while some of the action sequences are edited too fast for us to enjoy the moments. Christopher Eccleston, who plays the main villain Malekith, is bland and disappointing. Overall, I wasn't really too fond of the Dark Elves.

THOR: THE DARK WORLD is undoubtedly a worthy sequel to Kenneth Branagh's THOR. Likewise, remember to stay tuned for not one, but two teasers within the end credits.


Charlie Green said...

Nice review Casey!

caseymoviemania said...

Thanks a lot, Charlie. I'm glad that the sequel to "Thor" still retains its winning combination of charisma, wits, comedy and good action.