For some unknown reason I was kind of excited for Thor: The Dark World. I didn’t especially like the first the movie and the whole super hero movie thing has started to overstay its welcome, but I guess I was psyched to give this particular franchise another shot because it just seems a lot weirder than all the other Marvel stuff. And weird is good! Ironman has done its snarky techy thing, Captain American had a little period piece vibe to it, Hulk has had a couple misses, but Thor seems like it could really get crazy weird if it wanted to with all that goes along with Asgard setting. The movie wanted to push it in this direction but ultimately kinda wimped out in the end.
We start out with a flashback of the main villian of the movie , Malekith having a battle with Thor’s grandpa. This was actually the kind of stuff I was hoping for the entire movie. Dark Elves walking around with their staffs that fire laser bolts a la Krull look pretty cool, especially when they are fighting the melee oriented Asgardians. Anyways we see the MacGuffin of the film put into place in the first 5 minutes, the Aether, basically a blob of energy that can bestow its owner with some badassery power.
Flash forward and we have Thor kicking ass on the battle field, fighting rock giants, flinging his hammer around all boomerang style and occasionally zapping marauders with lightning. Again this is the kind of goofy weirdness I want to see. His companions are all there, using their different fighting styles, triumphant music is playing, armor is gleaming, all good stuff. We learn that Thor has been restoring peace to the nine realms and he’s kind of emo about leaving Jane back on Migard.
Then the movie comes to a screeching halt. I mean like bad. The movie switches over to London where Natalie Portman and Kat Dennings proceed to kill any hope or joy for this film that was starting to germinate in your mind. Jokes fall so flat it gives you that cringeworthy feeling and I honestly considered walking out at this point. We’re treated to scenes like Jane on a blind date, the girls driving around in a Yugo, and the doctor guy from the first Thor and the Avengers running around in his underwear. The sad thing is all these dumb little jokes and scenes I’m sure focus test okay, because about half of the audience was laughing. But the other was turning to the person they were with as if to say “really???” Not trying to be a hater here but the way the Earth scenes drag down the rest of the movie is palpable and its a shame they had to get Earth involved at all.
Luckily the main players are whisked away to Asgard again and the movie starts to pick up a little were it left off. The Dark Elves are out for revenge and looking to claim the Aether, Thor is struggling between being the future king and his love for Jane Foster, Loki is stuck in jail but, surprise surprise might be the key to the survival of the Asgardians. Its all pretty good stuff except for the interruptions of the Earth scenes that hit like a ton of bricks every time they come up. Kat Dennings wasn’t too bad in the first movie but here she is basically now playing her character from Two Broke Girls, way too much attitude and just generally not funny. The doctor guy is a parody of himself by this point going for the cheap laughs and its just all kinda blah right down to the “climatic” battle that has Jane controlling space and reality using an RC car controller.
After the film the more I thought about it I realized I only really liked the parts with Thor in them. I guess thats good because it’s his movie but sadly there is a lot of other stuff in the mix that just isn’t all that fun. Maybe for a third movie just have Thor and his buddies go down to one of the lowest realms and battle some demons or something. Hell, even throw some armor on Portman and have her die in the second act or something. I think I read the film has already grossed half a billion worldwide so I’m sure we’ll get more Thor and I’m okay with that, just less of everything else please.