What I’ve Been Watching: Thor: The Dark World

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Thor: The Dark World is the sequel to Thor, or more accurately the latest film set in the Marvel universe, which like Iron Man 3 continues its story following on from the events of Avengers Assemble.

It’s hard to think of another film series like that which Marvel has tried to create in recent years. Arguably the X-Men universe comes close with Wolverine and X-Men:First Class spinning off from the original trilogy of films, however, there’s something more purposeful and sure-footed about everything Marvel is doing.

It probably says something that financially the least successful character of the series, The Hulk, is also the most well known. Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America were not household names prior to their big screen outings, and certainly far less popular than A-Listers like Batman, Superman or Spiderman. However, Marvel has made us think of them as big players now, and this is the context in which Thor comes bounding onto our screen.

Thor: The Dark Age is in many ways a difficult film to review. At times it gets so lost in its own mythos it should cause the audience to stop caring. However it always seems to have something up its sleeve to keep us coming back, whether that’s a piece of sharp dialogue, some stunning visual effects or Thor just pounding stuff with his hammer.

The story, like the first Thor film contains more strands than Rapunzel’s hair, however it bounds along with enough fun and adventure that it’s not that important for us to keep up. Ultimately it comes down to some bad guys (Dark Elves) wanting to get their hands on an ancient artefact so they can plunge the whole universe into darkness. Jane (Natalie Portman) accidentally gets her hands on the artefact, which causes Thor (Chris Hemsworth) to need to protect her. Meanwhile Loki (Tom Hiddlestone) is locked away in jail safe from wreaking havoc. However, it isn’t long before Thor needs to turn to him for help in defeating The Dark Elves.

There are definitely lots of things wrong with Thor: The Dark World. I’m not sure why anyone would think having Loki on your side is a good thing. I’m not sure they did a great job with Jane’s character, whose development seemed to have got stuck after she introduced herself as a doctor in the first film. I’m not sure why Thor doesn’t have time to send Jane a text, (or at least the occasional snapchat to show her which is the latest enemy to succumb to his mighty hammer). However, I kinda forgot about all that stuff when I was watching that film.

I was too distracted by Darcy and her new intern Ian throwing stuff into gravity wells; or Selvig running naked round stone henge; or Loki …. doing anything really. Let’s be honest, he totally steals the show here.

I also have to credit the art direction of the film, which manages to give each of ‘realms’ it depicts a unique look and feel that really brings Thor’s Lord-of-the-Rings-meets-Star-Wars universe to life.

In short, and much like Avengers Assemble, there’s that great mix of high stakes and plain, simple fun that makes this film a good place to hang out in for 120 minutes. What more can we ask for, and what more did we expect?

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