Thor: The Dark World Movie Review
Marvel Phase 2 is off to a questionable start. After the overrated Iron Man 3 comes Thor: The Dark World, which reunites the shirtless, chiseled and oiled almost-god with the human chick he was attracted to, because she looks like Natalie Portman. Some bad stuff happens. Thor wins. Audiences? Sort of.
Thor: The Dark World starts off slowly, with an introduction to an ancient, long lost evil that is eerily reminiscent of the opening sequence in The Fellowship of the Ring. The movie drags for quite a while as new director Alan Taylor plods through a bunch of bland scenes involving Asgard, Natalie Portman conveniently finding portals into other worlds and talking. There's not much action.
The movie improves significantly once some weird aliens who want to destroy the entire universe (to what purpose is unclear) invade Asgard and Thor is forced to team with troublemaker Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to save the day, because apparently none of the other almost-gods are capable of doing so.
The action in the second half is entertaining and fast-paced, though Taylor, who has made very few movies in his career, keeps things more generic than I would have liked. The invasion sequence is fine but unremarkable, and most of the others involve a lot of punching and grunting. Every action movie should have one defining sequence and Thor: The Dark World doesn't have one; I wanted to see Thor just completely kick ass, or do something really cool. At least Rene Russo gets to strut her stuff.
Nonetheless, both Chris Hemsworth and Hiddleston are as good as ever and inject much-needed energy into the inconsistent production. The movie thrives in the many comedic moments (primarily thanks to Kat Dennings), and by the time the closing credits roll around, Thor: The Dark World has delivered an adequately entertaining experience.
Overall, Thor: The Dark World is fine, but for its long term strategy to work, Marvel needs to hold itself to a higher standard. At least, for the ladies, Chris Hemsworth takes off his shirt.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.