While Thor: The Dark World is not among my very favorites of the movies produced by Marvel—I’d place it in the second tier, alongside 2010’s Iron Man 2—I found it to be an enjoyable film, with great action, high drama, well-placed humor, and strong performances all around. I must admit, in the wake of last year’s The Avengers and last summer’s Superman reboot Man of Steel, this sequel to 2011’s Thor feels just a wee bit derivative. But for the most part, it manages to overcome that with charm and likable characters.
|Introducing Malekith, leader of the Dark Elves.|
Fortunately, the presence of Tom Hiddleston as Loki more than compensates for any disappointment I may have felt about Malekith. I think Hiddleston—who seems to truly relish his role—is Marvel’s secret weapon, and I would argue that he has become nearly as important to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Robert Downey Jr. Hiddleston’s Loki remains the most complex, multi-dimensional, multi-layered, and well-developed of all the villains in the Marvel films and I hope we continue to see him for years to come.
|Tom Hiddleston returns as Loki, Thor's devious half brother.|
The Dark World does what a sequel is supposed to do: it maintains tight continuity with what has come before, but it propels things forward and doesn’t shy away from shaking up the status quo. (Let me put it this way: don’t assume that every character who appeared in the first film is going to make it out of this one without a scratch.) Nearly all of the returning supporting characters are further developed and have something important to contribute—particularly Idris Elba as Heimdall, Ray Stevenson as Volstagg, Rene Russo as Thor’s mother, Frigga, Hopkins as Odin, and Jaimie Alexander as Sif.
In fact, there’s some key character stuff with Sif that is finally introduced here—I’d been waiting for it since the first film. It’s played somewhat subtly in The Dark World, but it’s there, and I was glad to see it. Hopefully it’s a hint of things to come in future films.
|Jaimie Alexander as Sif—more, please!|
In the interest of saving you a few bucks, I can tell you that the 3D didn’t really add all that much to the viewing experience, so I recommend seeing the standard version.
© All text copyright Glenn Greenberg, 2013.