Sunday, September 7, 2014

'Thor: The Dark World' Review -- Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 2

(Photo Source: Marvel)
Okay, it's been a long, long time since I've posted any reviews on this blog. Better late than never to start catching up, right? The last review I did was for Iron Man 3, the first Phase 2 film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now it's time to visit Thor: The Dark World.

Thor: The Dark World
(Marvel Cinematic Universe: Phase 2)

Ever since I watched the first Thor, I couldn't wait to see the sequel since Thor ended up being my favorite of the solo MCU films. Expectations were obviously high as a result coming into The Dark World.

Well, #2 starts off with two battle scenes, a great way to hook viewers in. And Loki is locked up. There was never any doubt about his return, since he's the fan-favorite and all. Thor calls upon Loki to help him. After everything that Loki has done, Thor has to unfortunately rely on him.

There's an attack on Asgard: Maliki and his goons kill Thor's mother. Later on, Thor, Loki and Jane escape via the bad guys' ship, then transfer to another ship in order to take a secret path to a different world. Loki stabs Thor and cuts off his hand. But in a great twist, it's all a ruse to make Maliki think that Loki's on the bad side. Loki is stabbed during the fighting, though the film doesn't seem to make a big deal out of it, nothing too dramatic or over the top, which I thought was strange.

When Thor and Jane get back to Earth, it's not the end because Maliki comes as well. Which leads into the climax, where they're traveling between worlds during the battle and Maliki is ultimately killed.

In the final scene, Thor and his father are talking. When Thor leaves, his dad turns into Loki. I'm not sure if I fully understand this part. Did Odin die? I don't know.

Jane's friend, Darcy, played by Kat Dennings--I still love the humor that she provides to these movies. I'll echo what I said in my review of Thor, that I love the way her lines are written. This being a sequel, maybe some of the strengths could be diminished, as we've seen countless times with sequels. And I'll get to that when it comes to the movie as a whole, but for Darcy, just as great as always. (There's other bits of humor in the film as well, including when Thor hangs his hammer on a hook.)

It was also great seeing Sif return as well. (As Marvel fans know, there was a crossover episode of Agents of SHIELD with Thor: The Dark World, and Sif made an appearance. I'll obviously get to the Captain America crossover when I review that film, but I think it's great that SHIELD is able to stand on its own as a series, but also create opportunities to tie everything in with the films; it makes this world even more expansive than it already is.)

I always look forward to the Stan Lee cameos. Here, he's in a mental ward. His line--"Can I have my shoe back?"--is fantastic!

The special effects are top-notch and the sets are spectacular--I wasn't expecting any differently, of course.

And finally, we come to the mid-credits scene. Sif and Volstagg take this stone to the Collector to be kept safe. The scene ends with him saying, "One down, five to go." Hmmm...I wonder what this is all about?

The post-credits scene sees Jane looking glum and down, then Thor appears and they kiss. Another scene has this monster animal thing chasing birds. Text comes on the screen that says, "Thor will return."

Okay, before closing out this review, I have to bring up my overall thoughts on this film. I said at the start that expectations for this film were high for me after how great Thor was. So...did it live up to the first film? Unfortunately--and I hate to say this--it did not. I don't know if I can pinpoint exactly what made it not as good, but it just felt like they made a sequel just to make a sequel. (Loki, I guess, is one thing to bring up on this front--I don't really see the point anymore of continuing to bring him back time and again. It seems like it's only because he's a fan-favorite.)

And I don't normally criticize a movie for being too short, but at an hour and 40 minutes, it seemed really short. Maybe if they had made it longer, they could have had more opportunities to strengthen the storyline.

I will say, though, that it wasn't a bad film by any means. I still enjoyed it, and it was great to see another Thor movie. The special effects, like I said, were fantastic, including all those action scenes. But when you put it side by side with the first, it doesn't match or improve upon it. And I can't believe I'm saying that. Whenever the third movie comes out, I'll still look forward to it, but I just hope adjustments are made to make it even better.

At the time of posting this review, the next Captain America film, The Winter Soldier, has already come and gone, and it'll be out on DVD soon, so I'll watch it sometime this fall so I can continue my MCU reviews.

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 2 Reviews:
Iron Man 3 | Thor: The Dark World | Captain America: The Winter Soldier | Guardians of the Galaxy | Future Release: Marvel's The Avengers: Age of Ultron

Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 1 Reviews:

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