Who would’ve thought that the first film of this Avengers saga, Iron man, would’ve developed into this huge juggernaut of a franchise that crossed over so many beloved characters most of us comic book geeks know so well. From the moment that Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury shows up to talk about the Avengers Initiative, we all knew Marvel Comics took the cake and seized the comic-book-to-movie idea, improved upon it, and made dreams of many geeks and nerds come true. Not only have they created a one-of-a-kind multifaceted series of interrelated films, they’ve also perfected the little after credits scene that some films add as an Easter Egg of sorts, but made it important as it represents a cliffhanger of what’s to come next.
Well, the Marvel Universe is far from slowing down when it comes to these films we’ve been getting since 2008 and Thor: The Dark World is definitely keeping the train on the tracks.
The sequel to 2011’s Thor, Thor: The Dark World, directed by Alan Taylor, opens with a little history of a universal war between the Asgardians and beings called the Dark Elves. The Dark Elves try to obtain a powerful weapon called the Aether which will bring the universe into darkness, but the Asgard warriors put a stop to them, leaving the leader of the Dark Elves, Malekith
Although we had Iron Man 3 to kick off what Marvel Studios called Phase Two of films leading into the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor: The Dark World is what really feels like the start of it. As a fan of these series of films, knowing well what’s to come, it’s very exciting and still hard to grasp that it’s really going to happen. But once again, it’s a damned shame that more Marvel characters can’t be pulled into this world—which I’ll call the REAL Marvel world—because it’d be so awesome to get Spider-Man, the X-Men and the Fantastic Four involved into this. The bottom line, however, is that it’d be great, but Marvel doesn’t really need them. Because, as you can see, Sony is trying to create some sort of Spider-Man universe as they’ve announced spin-offs and hinted about an ongoing plotline (probably the “Sinister Six” saga) throughout multiple movies. Fox seems to be going that direction as well with the X-Men franchise and we all know about the Warner Bros. plans for a Justice League film.
But let’s stick to Thor: The Dark World for now.
As a stand-alone film, it was quite a spectacle, showcasing Thor as the mighty warrior he is and how he and his fellow Asgardian combatants are there to keep peace within the Nine Realms. Instead of keeping most of the film on Earth, as it was in the first movie, we get more of the Asgard landscape and scenery, looking as mesmerizing as ever. The funeral scene in the Asgard Ocean is quite beautiful, giving us a good balance between the splendor of the scenery and the depressing interval for the characters.
Chris Hemworth, returning as Thor, is really making this character his own, not hamming it up, but playing the part seriously. Because, how easy could it be to telephone the part in as you realize you’re playing a guy who runs around in a cape and beating up pretend monsters with a big hammer? He takes the mythology earnestly and gives us a Shakespearean-esque hero we can all cheer for, and I think he realizes what these superheroes mean to most of the fans who are devotees of the comic books these movies represent.
Tom Hiddleston, as Loki, pretty much takes over any scene he’s featured in. He undeniably provides the balance this film needs for the audience to step back and see a little flippancy in the story. We still understand he’s the villain that caused all the chaos in New York within the Avengers film, as we see reactions from each character he comes into contact with who was
Yes, overall, the film is grand in scale—especially all the scenes in Asgard—and the action is intense. The special effects are pretty spectacular with the ideas behind them well thought out. I love those grenades the villains throw around that create small black holes that suck their enemies in to implode or explode them—really cool. One cameo to look out for is a nice walk-on and sudden entrance of another hero (but it’s not really him) which is awesome, yet funny, as it takes place in Asgard and totally out of place. Another surprise appearance (well…maybe not a surprise), who is a staple in most Marvel films, is a cameo of Stan “The Man” Lee in a hilarious scene that made me giggle.
So, what’s my final “bit” on Thor: The Dark World?
The saga continues, giving us a sense of hope that the heroes will all be around and sharing the same space of the world and universe with one another! It’s an awesome display of how each movie works with the next, yet stands alone as a single superhero film! You do need a bit of knowledge from each subsequent film—or at least The Avengers—but I think if you’re jumping into this film, you’ve already invested yourself in the whole kit and caboodle. I think every generation needs a big fantasy world, like what Star Wars or The Matrix gave us, and Marvel is definitely giving us the 21st century equivalent of that. If you haven’t seen the three Iron Man movies, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America stand-alones, and, of course, 2012’s The Avengers…then what are you waiting for? Pick them up, watch them in order of release dates, and then finish it up with Thor: The Dark World. It’s a superhero world that will never be matched!
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