Thor: The Dark World

This time a quite on time review about Thor: The Dark World as I have just watched it in the cinema.

But before I start I’d like to say: Back in 2011 I refused to watch the Thor movie, due to my dislike for Marvels approach on the myths. I only did it because someone in The Forum claimed it would be essential for understanding The Avengers, which I’d really wanted to see. So I borrowed a copy of the DVD from Iron Eve and watched it the day before we went into the cinema.

And what can I say?

Looking at it as just a movie it was pretty entertaining.
I only had to not think about it as Marvels (crippled) version of the Norse Mythology, (otherwise I’d be pretty much like the comic artist Humon in this comic).

For the Marvel Cinematic Universe to move on they had to continue with stories about the supposedly demi-gods of Space-Asgard.
So one kind of had to at least watch it to see if there is any major link from this towards the next Avenger movie.
My reasons for actually watching it in the theater were kind of weak …

#1 Christopher Eccleston plays the villain: As I probably won’t get to see „The Day of the Doctor“ I at least wanted to see „my“ Doctor on the big screen.
#2 Tom Hiddleston reprises his role as Loki: Apart from the fact, that Hiddleston is a brilliant actor, the character is pretty fun, but more to that later.

So much for my motivation to see this movie … *cough*

But what’s the movie about?

(If you can’t guess from the meaningful trailer)

Unsurprisingly Thor: The Dark World or Thor 2 is the continuation of the events of Thor and The Avengers. The nine realms went into chaos after the Byfrost (The Rainbow Bridge of Asgard, that is used for travelling between realms) was destroyed and Thor and his Warriors Three and the Lady Sif have to sort it out after it was repaired, while Loki is put into prison underneath the palace. All the while life on Earth continues and we meet Jane Foster, Darcy Lewis and Dr. Eric Selvig again, trying to cope with live after everything that had happened. While doing that Jane discover an anomaly and is transferred to a different realm where she accidentally re-awakens an old power source called the Aether, which then inhabits her.

With it the Dark Elve Malekith awakens as well, striving to get a hold of it. Long before the current events his kind has battled Odins father Bor to gain control over it. He wanted to return the universe into the state of darkness it was before the light and the realms were created and for that he needed the Aether and a special constellation of all the realms, the so called convergence, when all realms are within a straight line, which is coincidentally close by.

So all the hammer-wielding hero needs to do to save the day: Free the imprisoned brother, save the girl and stop the elve.

The watching experience

As I don’t really have much time the upcoming weeks I spontaneously decided to go this week. Eve would have accompanied me, but didn’t get my message in time so I went on my own, which had the only downside that I couldn’t discuss it right away with someone. But that’s beside the point.

The movie was in 3D, again, but it could have worked just as well without it. Some scenes were nice to look at, but most of it was nothing special.
Additionally, it was pretty weird to read the 3D-subtitles used for the Elvish.

Which brings me to the point that you could at least hear Ecclestons voice throughout those scenes, while everything else was dubbed. The German dub is quite well done though, especially Peter Lontzek, the voice actor of Hiddleston in all three movies, does a great job as he manages to capture quite a bit of the original portrayal of the character.

Other than that it was not surprising how empty the cinema was (roughly 20 people), even though the movie had only started a week ago. Even less surprising was the number of men compared to women, the movie is after all aimed more at men and as by now most people knew that there always comes a scene after the credits quite a few waited for it.

The characters

Let’s start this part with Thor, so I am done with that. And yes, I don’t like him. But that has nothing to do with Hemsworths way of portraying him, which he does quite well, and more with the fact that I generally don’t like main characters. What we see of him throughout the three movies is just not enough to make him remotely likable for me. At one point in the story my brain even shortly went into a sing-song of „Thor is being clobbered, Thor is being clobbered“ before I told it to stop and quietly enjoy the scene. Still this movie had some nice scenes that made him a bit less shallow and a bit deeper, but those were more thanks to his interaction with Loki.
Also his movie relationship with Jane is just plain weird. I mean: They knew each other for like three days, from what I’ve read about the comics, this whole things makes a bit more sense, but movie-wise it’s far too rushed. But I better stop right here before I get completely Off Topic. Again: This is my dislike for the characters, NOT the actors. They still do a pretty good job.

Loki on the other hand is a completely different matter. For a semi-side character he is shown to have quite an emotional depth, though that might come from Hiddlestons portrayal of him, which I think is utterly brilliant. You kind of can see all the suffering he is put through, yet he still manages to surprise the audience with his actions. Apart from that do I simply like this kind of character and I already rambled enough about it in my post about Faust’s Mephisto – which also was my first encounter with a character of this kind. I also drifted into the topic again when I introduced our devilish character from the book I’m co-writing – and yes he is based on Mephisto not Loki.

As mentioned above my other reason for watching this movie was Christopher Eccleston playing Malekith the Dark Elve. Apart from the fact that I imagine Dark Elves to not be blond and pale, he had far too little screen time, but what little he had was quite interesting. You couldn’t completely understand his reasoning as the movie kind of rushed through that part and as Icewolf put it so nicely: One could ask if he exchanged his brain with a wet bread roll during his sleep as he simply tried to do the same thing again after his first failure. Only this time getting into trouble with the offspring of those that had defeated him the first time.
And it was fun to see him attack London, a city that Eccleston had saved as The Doctor before. 😀
By the way: Is the English version of his name pronounced with „th“? They kind of dropped the „h“ in German.

In this movie they tried to include the side characters a bit more.
We learn a bit about Hogun. We see a bit more of what Sif thinks about/feels for Thor. We learn how protective everyone is about him, with a quite funny queue-joke. And we learn that even though Zachary Levi replaced Josh Dallas it didn’t really make a difference. Though I buy the philandering Fandral a bit more from Levi.
What we also learn is that Dr. Selvig apparently didn’t take Lokis mind control as well as Hawkeye, but judging from the post credit scene of Thor the „god“ might have stayed with him a little longer than the Chitauri invasion. All of this resulting in quite some hilarious scenes. Another unintentionally funny scene was when Jane tried to date someone, who is none other than Chris O’Dowd, known as Roy from The IT Crowd, which was quite a nice surprise as I hadn’t expected him to be part of the movie.

One of the visually most beautiful scenes concerned Frigga, the (adopted) mother of Thor and Loki. We learn a bit more about her and her relationship with her husband and son(s). I don’t know how much Joss Whedon(, who is said to have re-written some of the scenes) had a say in those scenes but it looked pretty much like his writing …

All in all the characters gained a bit more colour throughout this movie, though Darcy still is pretty much only a comic-relief character.
And even Hugin and Munin, Odins ravens, had a proper cameo this time. 😀
And speaking of cameos: Stan Lee’s was pretty fun again, too.

General opinion

The movie again was fun to watch. It had pretty great humor and action, but also conveyed some parts with much emotions. It all felt a bit rushed at times (e.g. the Frigga scene) and was mostly carried forward through character interaction, but I can live with that. I don’t mind seeing it again this time with the original voices, as that is always a bit different.

However, I still prefer the Myth-version of the characters and stories. Marvel does well in creating a world that makes sense on its own, but it still has this weird aftertaste of wrongness. Especially as Marvel leaves out all the fun: The Horse, the Cross-dressing and the Monster Babies. 😀

Stuff I’d like to add

Apparently the movie was released in Germany/Europe before it was broadcasted in the States. Which doesn’t happen that often and quite surprised me upon finding out.

And „The Dark World“ is a „Kingdom“ in the German version, for whatever reason.

They also had a funny advertisement before the movie:
They showed a trailer for Call of Duty and started with a shot if a satellite called „Odin“ and who was the narrator? Odin >_< (Or at least his German voice actor.)


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