There were a lot of criticism for Thor not having his powers for most of the first film, while others seemed to have liked that approach. This film is indefinitely for the people that wanted to see Thor live up to his potential. However, this isn’t really a good MCU film. What Marvel has done up to this point is provide a certain tone that resonates throughout the rest of its films. Although this film doesn’t work on nearly all fronts, there are some intriguing aspects about the film.
One of the strengths of this film is definitely Thor. Chris Hemsworth’s performance is second to none and he does a fantastic job, yet again. People were skeptical going in seeing Thor for the first time, but after his first film and “The Avengers,” Hemsworth continues to portray this character so well and he remains to be another casting treasure that the MCU has acquired. He had some quips in his two previous portrayals but this is the film where his humor does shine and works every time. Tom Hiddleston once again delivers as Loki and him and Thor are easily the driving force behind this film. His acting in this film is so good that the subtle moments with him and Thor is the best parts about this movie. Odin back is a pure treat and there’s nothing else to say other than Anthony Hopkins is one of the greatest actors to ever live, and we get him in the MCU which is incredible.
We get Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster, yet again, who remains to be one of the wasted characters in the MCU thus far. The filmmakers tried to build on their relationship and to spark that chemistry in the first film but in “Dark World” it seems too obvious and that they’re trying too hard. Not only her, but the rest of the scientists seem wasted as well, however this is the best we’ve seen Stellan Skarsgard’s Erik Selvig.
The action in this movie is so well-choreographed and it was interesting actually seeing Thor use more of his abilities that we didn’t see in the first film. Also, watching the dark elves get the upper hand by invading and attacking Asgard was quite entertaining. The final battle between Thor and Malekith was okay for the most part, but felt a little mediocre at times just like most of this film. The action probably would have felt even better if the audience actually cared about the characters and the overall narrative.
Director Alan Taylor, most famous for “Game of Thrones,” felt as though he didn’t know what this film needed to be. The tone of this film is all over the place, and never really knows what it wants to be. The film jumps from random scene to random scene and there wasn’t really an even flow throughout. Since it’s the first time and Infinity Stone is mentioned, there may have been some studio interference and may have been a back and forth between director and studio where they had set boundaries that the Alan Taylor couldn’t get out of.
Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins was initially tapped to direct this film, but left because she felt that she couldn’t direct a film Marvel wanted her to do rather than her wanting to do her own “Romeo and Juliet” story that was initially intended. Here’s what she had to say:
I pitched them that I wanted to do Romeo and Juliet. I wanted Jane to be stuck on Earth and Thor to be stuck where he is. And Thor to be forbidden to come and save Jane because Earth doesn’t matter. And then by coming to save her… they end up discovering that Malekith is hiding the dark energy inside of Earth because he knows that Odin doesn’t care about Earth, and so he’s using Odin’s disinterest in Earth to trick him.[Credit: Cinemablend: By Connor Schwerdtfeger]
Overall, “Thor: The Dark World” is truly a mixed bag. It’s not the worst superhero film by any stretch of the imagination, but there are some cringe-worthy dialogue and poorly executed plot points and lack of a good script that held back this film. Looking back and revisiting the film, there are a few good elements that stand out, including the back-and-forth between Loki and Thor, but a lot of this film is forgettable.