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Bad Movie Tuesday: Thor and The Dark Inconsequential World

November 19, 2013

Thor 2 poster Loki

Thor: The Dark World is fun but inconsequential. It is shiny, loud and competent. It has already cleared $500 million worldwide but I see it as a step back for Marvel. It is too safe and too similar to the original. There is nothing new and Marvel’s daredevil spirit is non-existent. Thor 2 feels like a something meant to appease Loki fans and keep the Marvel franchise churning.

There are no revelations, no memorable villains and Natalie Portmans character backslides into simply wanting a boyfriend. I prefer the much maligned Iron Man 2 over The Dark World.  Iron Man 2 has developed a bad reputation but it swung for the fences. It went off the rails but still allowed Sam Rockwell to talk about missiles that could blow up bunkers beneath bunkers. IM2 is an interesting case study of running off the rails. Thor 2 stays on track but is simply the same train going faster.

Thor 2 is more of the same. Hemsworth is shirtless longer, Kat Dennings gets more comedic moments, and Loki is now a full-blown rock star (he earned it). Thor gives people what they want but in the end feels worn. The tiredness is evident in the plot focusing on angry Elves wanting to bring the world back into darkness via dark matter, worm holes, property destruction and yada yada yada.

Villains in Marvel’s films have never been a strong suit. Dating back from Jeff Bridges and Tim Roth in Iron Man and Hulk they always been inconsequential. They are mere fodder for us to enjoy Robert Downey Jr. and crew. The frost giants, Mickey Rourke and Red Skull have never been engaging. However, Marvel  has avoided the bad guy criticism by excelling at off the wall casting, unique directing choices and likable characters.

Thor 2 plays it safe. Marvel hired Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor, cast Christopher Eccleston as the villain and attempted to expand the universe. The finished product is a good film that never excites. Loki is wonderful, Anthony Hopkins slightly overacts and property is destroyed.

Thor 2 is the first time a Marvel film has felt like filler. The stand alone story means nothing, the villains will not reappear and Thor has little character progression. They simply turned up character traits to 11 and gave viewers what they wanted. I’m surprised there wasn’t a guitar solo every time Loki appeared on-screen.

Thor: The Dark World has gotten me excited for Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant Man. They are two little known (to me) properties helmed by unique directors (James Gunn, Edgar Wright) and featuring wonderfully daring casting choices (Paul Rudd, Chris Pratt). They are reasons why I love Marvel’s gamble. They’ve never played it safe and managed to execute a perfect game plan.

Thor 2 is not a bad film but it is a bland film. It will do nothing to wreck Marvel’s name but I hope the safe/committee trend doesn’t continue as Marvel moves onto phase three. Bring on Guardians and Ant Man!

 

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. November 19, 2013 11:24 am

    I didn’t think this was such a bad movie. Sure, it was a silly one, but still a whole bunch of fun, especially if you don’t mind Thor already as it is. Good review.

    • November 19, 2013 11:26 am

      I agree. It wasn’t bad. It just felt too familiar. I like when Marvel takes chances. Thor 2 felt too safe.

  2. johnleavengood permalink
    November 20, 2013 12:54 pm

    Thor 2 would have been better if they used R-rated Dungeons & Dragons drow elves. I know an R-rating wouldn’t have happened. But it would have been great if those elves were REALY evil!

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