Tuesday, November 19, 2013

'Thor: The Dark World' Movie Review

Marvel’s vast universe has opened roads to multiple comic-book movies that have so far been successful. Thor: The Dark World is yet another addition to Marvel’s line up of superhero movies.  With already three outings in the cinematic world, Thor’s role remains obscure—leaving his importance more comparable to a side-story. The first film in the Thor franchise was arguably a great set-up for the character but then again it was just a “start.”

Now that Marvel has another chance to cement and redefine Thor’s character, one would expect a strong sequel with more focus on what makes Thor so different from all the other superheroes. But, Thor 2 overlooks such concerns and follows the much used to action-concentrated style. But, the question is: how does it fare in that aspect?

Quite well. The first half of the film is close to perfection—making a perfect blend of mystery, darkness and humor. The second half becomes somewhat ambiguous leaving several character motivations and plot-lines undeveloped.

 Perhaps the two most memorable and witty sequences in the movie are the London subway scene in which Thor is forced to take the subway (“Which way to Greenwich?”) and the hammer hanging scene where Thor hangs his mighty Mjölnir on a coat rack similar to an umbrella. Other supporting characters also add humorous scenes but their role only sums up to another form of comic relief without any real character development. The effect is less than desirable but in terms of the whole movie, the few extra laughs do make things more fun. Furthermore, unlike many other action/superhero movies in which the “girlfriend” is just another romantic tool, Thor: The Dark World gives Natalie Portman’s character—Jane Foster—an integral role in the story-line. This definitely improves the stakes and suspense of the film since she is susceptible to real damage.

However, the most common mistake that the second Thor movie falls into is building a plot-line on a simple and half-baked villain. But, then again, that isn't all too bad as long as it is balanced with other interesting sequences. In this case, the adjustment comes from one of the few complex characters in the film—Loki. His conflicted and often comic personality adds an exciting twist to the film. While Loki’s relationship with his “mother” is one of the more effective parts of the movie, his true colors finally appear at the end of the film when the audience is kept on the edge of the seat—wondering what follows.

The most recent outing of the demi-god, Thor, is neither worse nor better than its predecessor. It excels in a few aspects but disregards some of the underlying issues. While that doesn’t hinder the over-all experience of the film, it surely doesn’t make it any better. With great special effects from the spectacular scenes in Asgard and the refreshing direction from Alan Taylor (director of one of the best episodes from Game of Thrones), Thor: The Dark World offers a more than satisfying albeit not fulfilling 3D experience. 

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