Thor: The Dark World (2013)

“What I’m about to ask of you is treason of the highest order. Success will bring us exile and failure shall mean our death.”“What I’m about to ask of you is treason of the highest order. Success will bring us exile and failure shall mean our death.”

“What I’m about to ask of you is treason of the highest order. Success will bring us exile and failure shall mean our death.”

The Asgardians are back in a new adventure in space… with hair extensions, obvious extensions that is. Phase two is officially under way with the second hero of our Marvel trinity. Universally, this film is not a fan favorite among the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe to say the least. In listening to most that give their Marvel Cinematic Universe rankings this film is generally at the bottom and to be honest, the more I see this film while doing a full rewatch I tend to lean on the side of dislike more than like. It doesn’t mean that this film isn’t important to the larger universe.

This film introduces us to a new infinity stone, only, we as the general audience don’t know they are infinity stones yet. For those of us who are nerds and geeks who study these films as an art know that we are watching the infinity storyline play out one film at a time, hypothesizing on where the next stone will pop up. If you’re keeping track like I am, we are now up to three stones (Space, Mind, and Reality) only there is absolutely no mention that the stone we see in this film is the reality stone until a future Avengers movie. It would be nice to have some clarity.

Some time ago, Odin’s father king Bor and the Asgardian army go to war with the dark elves and their leader Malekith over a dark force known as the Aether. Malekith wants to use the Aether to destroy the nine realms but, is defeated and decides to sacrifice his own army to escape. In present day, Loki is taken before Odin to answer for his crimes against Midgard. Thor is off world aiding lady Sif and the Warriors Three on Hogun’s realm Vanaheim. Thor has brought peace to the nine realms after the reconstruction of the Bifrost was destroyed a couple years ago.

Back on Earth in London, Jane Foster is on a really awkward date as her intern Darcy interrupts her to notify Jane of their equipment acting strange. Darcy, Jane, and Darcy’s intern Ian travel to an abandoned factory where the anomalies have been taking place. Jane gets transported to a different world where she encounters the Aether and the strange substance fuses into her bloodstream. Thor visits with Heimdall who alerts Thor that he cannot see Jane currently in the universe. This prompts Thor to visit Midgard to find Jane. The police are called but end up on the wrong end of the force that the Aether brings when aggravated.

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) decides to bring Jane (Natalie Portman) to Asgard to have her looked at. Odin (Sir Anthony Hopkins) recognizes the dark substance running through Jane as the Aether warns of a terrible prophecy that will result in Jane’s death. Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) gets awakened by the presence of the Aether only to turn Algrim (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) into a Kursed, sent to Asgard as a prisoner to then create a distraction by starting a prison riot. Malekith arrives on Asgard to look for Jane but Frigga (Rene Russo) played a trick on Malekith to hide Jane from the invaders.

Algrim kills Frigga protecting Jane forcing Malekith to flee Asgard without Jane and the Aether. Odin orders Thor not to leave Asgard but reluctantly enlists Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to help leave unnoticed. Loki, Thor, and Jane ask for Heimdall (Idris Elba) Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) and the Warriors 3 (Zachary Levi, Ray Stevenson, Tadanobu Asano) to aid in their escape to distract Odin and the Asgardian army. Loki leads Thor and Jane to Svartalfheim where they plan to use Jane to lure Malekith. Loki tricks Malekith to draw the Aether out of Jane while Thor uses his might hammer to destroy the substance.

Thor fails as Malekith absorbs the Aether sending the Kursed Algrim after the brothers. In a last ditch effort Loki gets killed while stabbing Algrim saving Thor’s life. Jane and Thor get transported back to London where Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) reunited with Darcy (Kat Dennings) and her intern Ian (Jonathan Howard) after being institutionalized for the trauma suffered in the battle of New York. The group learn that Malekith will strike at the convergence point in Greenwich unleashing the Aether on the 9 realms. Thor fights his way back with the help of his human allies scientific equipment destroying Malekith and stopping the Aether from destroying the realms. Thor returns to Asgard to deny his birthright to become king vowing to be a better man. As he turns to leave, Odin suddenly dematerializes into Loki who now sits on the throne of Asgard.

This one puzzles me. This is the 8th film in the infant Marvel Cinematic Universe and one of the patterns we are starting to see unravel is the prominent misuse of the villains minus Loki and maybe the Red Skull. Besides those two, each villain is a poor man’s carbon copy doppelganger of their respective heroes. The villains lack motive appearing to have a clear disconnect with what they want to accomplish and why they want to accomplish it. Is it bad writing, story mapping or lack of ideas? We may never know. Its clear Marvel has played it safe so far not knowing if their vision will be successful, but they have to follow the home run they gifted the world in The Avengers with more than a bunt and a single. The villain Malekith is terribly forgotten as he should be.

The thing keeping the Thor series alive is the absolute infectious chemistry Chris and Tom have together. Sometimes we actually forget they aren’t brothers. That’s the flipside of this coin, Marvel knows how to write its heroes, we see that throughout the infinity saga. Along with Iron Man 2, this being the second film in the Thor trilogy have both been the weaker films. Not sure how that managed to happen with our lord and savior Kevin Feige overseeing the projects, but I’d bet that majority of people have these two films at the bottom. One thing that absolutely had the ball dropped on is the character of Jane. That’s not a knock on Natalie’s skill as an actress at all, she’s utterly fantastic, the writing and plots used for her don’t work, she’s severely underutilized as a character.

There is something about seeing how beautiful Asgard is to want to never leave it. Where this film fails is the large amount of time spent on earth. Some of these scenes were completely unnecessary. Yes, we do get our 8th Stan Lee cameo as a patient in the hospital that Erik Selvig was in. Another thing that is puzzling to me at least is the continuity. In Avengers, Coulson assures Thor that “Jane is in a safe place, very remote” that place is London? That’s not a particularly good hiding spot from Loki. In fact, they barely mention Thor’s absence from Earth, Jane is supposedly furious, but Thor’s explanation is fine by her. The delivery and acting is just off in that scene.   

Like with previous MCU films this one offers two end credit scenes, one mid and one post credits. The mid one is the more important one as we get more connective tissue of the universe at large. Lady Sif and Volstagg bring the Aether to a man known simply as the Collector. The collector is a being we will see again as he collects only the rarest of items from across the galaxy. This is where we get our first mention of infinity stones. Volstagg makes a comment that it is unwise to keep more than one infinity stone close to each other. The tesseract being protected on Asgard. We also get a better more awesome opening Marvel Studios sequence as the logo appears in 3D with pages from the comics making up the letters. This sequence will change a few more times throughout the infinity saga. If I were to rate Thor: The Dark World, I’d rate it a 2.9 out of 5.

So, tell me guys, have you seen Thor: The Dark World and if so, what do you think about it? Do you agree or disagree with me? Comment below or send me an email and let me know what you think.

Thor: The Dark World is written and directed by Alan Taylor is Rated PG-13 and has an 66% on Rotten Tomatoes. Thor: The Dark World was released on November 8th, 2013 and has a runtime of 1 hour and 52 minutes. Thor: The Dark World can be streamed on Disney Plus.

If you guys like what you’re reading, please subscribe and check out my Patreon to support the blog in different way.

*I do not own these photos used in this article; all rights reserved to the copyright holder*

Thor will return

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: