So I never did get around to posting either of my reviews for Captain America or The Avengers as I had intended, but since this is the freshest in my mind, I’ve decided to post the review for Thor’s sequel: The Dark World. About four weeks ago (hahaha, oops), I got to go home and got together with my dear friend Kelly, my sister Kiera and my mum to watch the movie I had been dying to see for the past few months. I had regretted not seeing it in theaters since first seeing the first Thor movie (which I reviewed here). Saturday morning, however, we ran into a slight problem. We realized that all of the copies at Redbox were checked out. After a little bit of panicking, I decided to just go ahead and buy the DVD. So, that is how I came to own my first Marvel movie. (Which I am a little bit miffed about now, actually. The one I bought has two special features – an extended Captain America: The Winter Soldier trailer and one deleted scene. It doesn’t even have a commentary. If you haven’t noticed, I’m a bit irked about that.) Once I was in possession of the DVD, I literally counted down the hours and minutes until 7 o’clock when Kelly came over and we took our rather late dinner to the basement and put in the DVD and the fangirling began…
THE DARK WORLD
A MOVIE REVIEW
(WITH A REALLY EXCITING TITLE CAN’T YOU TELL)
ALL IMAGES, UNLESS OTHERWISE SPECIFIED WERE SCREENSHOTS TAKEN BY ME. ALL RIGHTS BELONG TO MARVEL/DISNEY.
CAUTION: THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK. CONSULT YOUR THERAPIST IF YOU ARE CONCERNED ABOUT ANY HEALTH RISKS OR SIDE EFFECTS THAT MAY TAKE PLACE AS RESULT OF SAID POSSIBLE SPOILERS.
“You must be truly desperate to come to me for help.”
For the first time since the Bifrost’s destruction and rebuilding, the Nine Realms are finally at peace. But Thor’s heart is not.
Loki is imprisoned in the dungeons, sentenced to remain there the remainder of his days as punishment for his crimes on both Asgard and Midgard. Thor has reminded the Realms of Asgard’s might, and earned their respect. Odin believes it is time for Thor to finally ascend to the throne. It is a time for celebration… but Thor finds celebrating more difficult than winning the battles he had fought. His heart strays back to Midgard, where the mortal woman he loves, Jane Foster, remains.
Jane is in London, trying to get on with her life since Thor left, when her instruments start acting in a way she hasn’t seen in years… not since New Mexico. Not since Thor.
She follows the readings and finds some happenings that certainly aren’t from Earth. Jane falls through a portal accidentally and finds a mysterious red force… then wakes up back on Earth, where she finds she’s been gone for five hours.
Back on Asgard, Heimdall, the Gatekeeper who can see everything in all Nine Realms, tells Thor he can no longer see Jane. Concerned, Thor goes to Midgard, where he is reunited with her. After a slap and an interrupted near kiss, Thor discovers the dark force has taken hold inside her and whisks her off to Asgard to figure what is wrong with her. Soon, Thor discovers it is more than Jane’s life at stake – but the safety of all the Realms. In order to destroy both the dark force, known as the Aether, and the leader of the Dark Elves, Malekith, who seeks the power for himself, Thor must team up with his treacherous brother Loki, who reminds him he must indeed be truly desperate to come to him for help.
The Good – Why You Should Watch It
Overall, I was very pleased with this movie. Not only is it good for a sequel, there are some things I like about it even better than the first one. Here are some of the reasons that made me kind of bounce up and down and squeal with fangirl pleasure.
I get rather nervous whenever movies change composers. I’m afraid they won’t carry the same themes and feeling of the first movie while creating its own place in the music world. But that is exactly what Brian Tyler did. He took some of the major themes from Patrick Doyle’s soundtrack and kept them, while at the same time making them his own. Not only that, he added new and even more beautiful themes that make me want to cry when listening to them. Loki also got a theme! Which makes me really happy, because I could never identify if he had his own theme in Thor or The Avengers. But this time he definitely does, and is perfect, haunting, sad, mysterious and makes you wonder whether or not you can trust him. Though his theme isn’t on one specific track, you can hear it in multiple ones, like The Trial of Loki, Shadows of Loki, An Unlikely Alliance and a little bit (I think) in Deliverance. My favourite track, hands down, however is the gorgeous and haunting Into Eternity.
It makes me want to cry every time. (That also might be because what happens in the movie during that scene. But it is definitely beautiful and heartbreaking.)
My second favourite track would either be Lokasenna (which in Old Norse translates as “Loki’s quarrel” or “Loki’s wrangling”, which I’m still trying to figure out what that Norse legend has to do with the movie… I’ll figure it out eventually…) or Deliverance. I can’t pick which to put here though… so I’ll put both. 🙂
There’s one large disappointment with the soundtrack though: The tracks aren’t in order of the way the scenes take place in the movie. It drives me insane when they do that. Why don’t they put them in order? Is it really that hard? Maybe it’s just me. But I like things to be in order.
Oh. My. Word. I loved the costumes of the first movie. I have died over the costumes of this one.
Can I have one of everyone please? I’ll resist the urge to spam you with too many costume pictures. But oh my GOODNESS. They are all so BEAUTIFUL. I drool every time I see this one of Frigga’s:
And yes, that is Queen Frigga. Mother of Thor and Loki, Wife of Odin, Queen of Asgard, and so much more. And one of my now top favourite female characters of all time. Which leads us to:
Frigga is one of the main reasons this point is here. I liked her in the first movie, but fell in love with her in this one. She’s a mother, and a warrior. Compassionate and firm. Perceptive and brave. Wise, and witty. You can definitely see Loki learned more than her way with magic from her – He has her fighting style and snark.
She’s just really awesome.
It’s not very often you can change actors for a character and I’ll be okay with it. It drives me up the wall, just about every single time. However, they pulled off an actor change very well, and I may actually like the new actor better.
Josh Dallas played Fandral in the first Thor movie, but turned down the second one due to his role in Once Upon A Time (He’s David/Prince Charming, in case you were wondering. Which I didn’t realize for quite a while…). This time, Fandral is portrayed by Zachary Levi – Who you may know as Flynn Rider/Eugene Fitzherbert from Disney’s Tangled. An interesting bit of trivia, Zachary Levi was the original choice for Fandral in the first movie, but had to pull out when his show Chuck extended its third season.
While not mirror images of each other, Dallas and Levi do look similar in costume. And Levi’s portrayal of Fandral is kept very close to Dallas’, which is definitely appreciated. Fandral and the rest of the Warriors Three also played a smaller part in this one, and while I kind of wished they had been in more, it also helped to keep the gap between the two actors smaller.
I think I may like Zachary Levi as Fandral better, one of the reasons being I have a hard time seeing Josh Dallas as anything but Prince Charming with a beard now… 😛 (Not while watching Thor now, though. Just while seeing him in pictures…) And I just really like Zachary Levi. There’s something about him that I like better, though I can’t quite put my finger on it. He has quite a few lines that made me laugh out loud. Definitely charming, and definitely reminiscent of Flynn Rider. 😉
Loki. Loki, Loki, Loki, wut Loki. I really cannot say anything about Loki without giving away major plot points. But let’s just say I’ve fallen deeper in love with him as a character, and also broke my heart into little pieces again. And made me want to scream and throw things at him and cry and give him a long hug.
And the rest of the characters (Gotta generalize at some point…):
I still love Thor, and while he didn’t have much drastic character change in this one, I’m okay with that. The changes were subtler. But I can’t mention them because of rather major spoilers. 😛 I still love his interactions and relationship with Loki, and it just makes my heart hurt most of the time.
I liked Jane a little bit better in this one, but she’s still not my favourite. Sif, I definitely like better, which I think is actually in part because of a really awesome fanfiction I read with her in it that finally gave her the development she deserves. Which has nothing to do with the movie’s portrayal of her, but. I definitely like her more than I did before.
One of the biggest complaints I had about the first Thor was the romance. I won’t re-complain about it here, but my biggest complaint was that it was too fast. It felt a little better here, mainly because it didn’t feel as forced.
The biggest problem I had about the romance in the last one was the big kiss at the end. It would have been much better if they hadn’t kissed at all in the first movie. It would have made the first interrupted kiss in this one more frustrating, and the big kiss on Asgard more important. (And as a side note, I could not stop thinking of Anakin and Padme’s kiss from Attack of the Clones then. Natalie Portman on a romantic balcony overlooking the sea passionately smooching a guy all over again…)
The thing that made me happiest about the romance this time around is the lack of a significant love triangle. It’s obvious (to everyone but Thor) that Sif has a thing for the prince of Asgard. However, she keeps it to herself for the most part. She sees that Thor obviously loves the mortal woman, and it is not her place to approach him. Which is another reason my liking for Sif has gone up a few notches.
While I don’t know that I necessarily ship either Sif/Thor or Jane/Thor, I do love the way Thor treats Jane. His smiles are some of the most adorable things ever, especially his smiles as he watches her. So as long as he is happy, I guess I can put up with Jane. Wouldn’t mind a little more development and empathy on her side though. Definitely wouldn’t hurt.
The Emotions and Humour
This movie was an emotional whirlwind. I went from crying to laughing in the space of a few scenes. And then laughing again and then horror and then crying again.
The banter between Thor and Loki were probably my favourite scenes of the movie. Not only did they have me laughing for a few minutes solid (and can still make me laugh just thinking about them), it reflected the relationship they used to have before everything went wrong. Which we didn’t get to explore very much in either Thor or The Avengers, because they weren’t together very much, and when they were, well…
Darcy, Jane’s intern, while honestly a kind of pointless character other than to add humour, still always manages to make me laugh, and I still love her. I’m actually just realizing that she didn’t get to meet Loki. Which I am now sad about. I don’t ship them at all, as some people do, but I would have loved to see a snark-off between the two, or Darcy tasering him or something. Ha. So much potential there. *files away ideas in fanfiction plot bunny drawers*
We finally got to see more of Asgard! It is such a beautiful place, and I was so happy to get to see more of the palace. I will resist posting a billion screencaps of its glory and leave you with a mere one:
(Okay, last one, sorry…)
(Okay, now this is the last one…)
The Bad – Maybe Not Why You Shouldn’t See It, But What Could Have Been Better
On a first viewing, I had very few complaints with the movie. It wasn’t until a second viewing and I realized a major thing…
All The Missing Scenes
There were SO. MANY. DELETED. SCENES.
And that makes me really, really sad and frustrated.
I mean this scene was really cute, and we got to see more of Asgard and more of Jane exploring Asgard, and I actually really liked Jane in this scene:
(Sorry for not being able to embed it here… Couldn’t find it on YouTube)
Or this one of Thor and Frigga discussing Loki…
Not only were there many deleted scenes (which were not on the DVD release and I had to find via YouTube), but there are many scenes that were filmed but have not been released as deleted scenes. Which is not okay, at ALL. I’ve seen gif sets and heard of a lot of scenes that I’m really upset about not getting to see.
There were scenes that were released in sneak previews and trailers that didn’t make it into the film, nor into any of the released deleted scenes I’ve been able to find. The primary one being this one:
(Clips at the very end)
I can’t express how angry I am about not getting that scene.
Okay, now I can no longer avoid spoilers.
SKIP FROM HERE UNTIL THE NEXT POINT IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT YET.
That scene of Loki screaming has to be part of his reaction to Frigga’s death. Which I NEEDED to see more of. I love what was given, but I needed to see more. At the very least seen it as a deleted scene.
Something else I felt needed a lot more to was Thor’s reaction after Loki’s death. He did not react as he should have. First of all, there was the really weird jump from Loki dying in his arms to suddenly Thor and Jane are in a cave… No Thor trying to take Loki’s body with him, no more desperate pleas for his brother to really not be dead (careful what you wish for), no Jane trying convince Thor they have to go on, no Thor creating a storm in his anger (would have absolutely loved that… and would have totally served Loki right when he woke up…)… They did not dwell enough on Thor’s reaction, in my opinion. His brother just died. Again. His brother just gave his life for him. C’mon, Thor, you know you love him and you would have been way more torn up over it than that. It was like once the scene had passed, it was all good. He didn’t even go back after the battle for the body to find it gone.
END SPOILER YOU CAN START READING AGAIN NOW I HAVE SOMETHING ELSE TO SAY DON’T SKIP TO THE NEXT POINT YET.
Anyway. Very disappointed over the missing scenes, and the lack of releasing them. And not only that, but while we’re on that topic, I am extremely frustrated and upset over the fact that there was only one DVD version released, which was an incredibly lame one with only two special features, as I mentioned before. What I didn’t mention before is the one-disc DVD is the only DVD release. If you want any substantial special features, you have to buy the blu-ray.
I’m not going to say how angry I am over what is so obviously a money making gimmick. What about the broke devoted fans who can’t afford to buy every movie on blu-ray? What about the people like me who don’t even own a stupid blu-ray player?
Okay, I’m sorry, I’ll stop now, I am just really, really not okay with this. I don’t even see that big of a difference in blu-rays and DVDs. So the picture’s clearer. Big whoop. Yay for another excuse to charge more money for something and oh, while we’re at it, let’s make it so the discs won’t play in a normal DVD player so people have to buy the more expensive one.
And now we’re moving on to a completely different rant and I will stop myself and move on… Sorry/Not Sorry…
The Completely Pointless Scene
Speaking of scenes, there was one scene that was absolutely and in every way completely pointless. A scene with the only point of showing Thor shirtless. Completely and utterly a waste of time. That scene could have been cut to make way for any of the scenes that got deleted. Any of them would have served a better purpose to the film.
While Malekith was not a terrible villain… he wasn’t great. Really at all, unfortunately. Christopher Eccleston did great with what he was given, but Malekith was really a very 2D villain. I have no idea what his motivation was, or even his goal really. To take over the world, I guess?
This time around, Loki was more the anti-hero/probably-shouldn’t-trust-him ally than villain. But he was still much better than Malekith, who needed more rounding as a character as well as a villain. All we got was it would be bad if he got the Aether. Why? We don’t really know.
The plot could have been stronger, and the story goal clearer, other than “Don’t let Malekith get the Aether and let’s save the universe while we’re at it.” Like I mentioned last point, I would have liked to see clearer motivations for Malekith, which would have added a more driving force to the plot.
For the title, the Dark World wasn’t in it a whole lot. I would liked to have spent more time there. I would also have liked more time with Thor and Loki teaming up – they had a great (and by great I mean painful) event that drove them together, but then weren’t together for very long. I would have liked more with them on the Dark World, being forced to work together. And bantering and threatening to kill each other every other sentence.
I. WANT. MORE. ASGARD.
Asgard is a beautiful world, and I want to explore it more in depth. I want to see beyond the few walls of the palace we’ve seen.
While the Earth scenes didn’t exactly bore me, I would have preferred less of them if it had meant more scenes anywhere else. Hopefully, the next Thor movie won’t take place much or at all on Earth. I enjoy Thor’s interactions with Midgard, but let those encounters stay in the Avengers movies. Otherwise, it’s just like every other superhero movie where the big city gets destroyed in the big fight at the end. With Thor, we have the potential to go ANYWHERE in the Nine Realms. So show us more Asgard, more Vanaheim, more Jotunheim, more Svartalfheim. Show us Nornheim, show us Ria, show us Alfhiem. Show us the places we’re told about but haven’t gotten to see. We see Earth enough. Show us something different.
The Dark World fits in the rating of “superhero violence” quite well. It earns its PG-13 rating, but it’s not overwhelming in any area, at least to me. There are explosions and battle scenes, of course. There are passionate kisses, but the romance doesn’t go beyond that. There’s the completely point- and shirt-less scene. There’s some swearing, slightly stronger language than the previous film.
There’s a lot of emotional pain and I would recommend staying away if you’ve grown any sort of attachment to the characters in the previous films they’ve been in.
I’m just kidding, this movie is all happiness and rainbows and fluffy bunnies, you should totally watch it, there are no depressing emotions that will wrench your heart out and shatter it into little pieces.
(… I’m not as convincing a liar as Loki, am I?)
I’m very interested to see where the next film takes off. This one ended with a big question… a really big one. More than one big one. Happily, a third Thor movie has been confirmed! Sadly, it will most likely be a few years before it comes out.
Have you seen Thor: The Dark World? What was you opinion? Leave a comment below and let me know!
Any of you planning on seeing Captain America: The Winter Soldier this weekend? I am BEYOND excited for it! Ah!
Hope you all have a great week!