I really enjoyed Thor, The Dark World, and I must say that I was surprised by the movie on several levels, which include the amount of humour used in the film, as well as the variety of the different action pieces.
Thor 2 basically picks up where Avengers left, with Loki being brought back to Asgard by Thor in order to be punished for the actions that we’ve witnessed during Avengers. Loki is imprisoned,and we get to focus next on Thor’s battles to preserve the nine realms’ peace. We get to see a lot more of the mythical world in this one, including some of the nine realms, and Asgard in particular,and the result is a fantasy vibe that perfectly fits the story and the characters. The overall tone of the movie is also grittier, and Asgard looks more believable, as we get to see more dark alleys, taverns, and undergrounds this time around, instead of shiny throne rooms.
We quickly understand that Thor is longing for Jane Foster, his earthly love interest, despite Odin trying to convince him to focus on Asgard and immortals. This gives us the occasion to follow Jane’s story on earth. It’s also the first of many comedic moments. Jane is trying to date and to forget Thor, but her date (set in London) is a total disaster. I was happily surprised by the perfect rhythm in the comedic moments, and there were constant laughter to be heard throughout the cinema. The movie keeps jumping between dramatic scenes, big action pieces, and these relief humoristic moments which play out perfectly. The dialogues are sharp; the directing is spot on, and the actors all seem more than happy to jump in the fun.
Jane’s friend, the hilarious Darcy Lewis (who gets a lot of chances to shine in this one), interrupts this disastrous date, to inform her of an astronomical anomaly. This background story running throughout the film involves an alignment of the nine realms, and I have to say it can be a tad confusing at times, but it doesn’t affect the overall pace of the film. Jane discovers a spot in London where gravity is doing very strange things, and she gets sucked into the dark world, where she is unwillingly going to set up a chain of events involving the dark elves.
I have to say the dark elves are not the best part of the movie, even if they do work as basic villains. They are just not the most interesting bad guys that you have ever seen. Their motives are pretty straightforward, they basically want to plunge the universe back into darkness, and, that’s it. After being in contact with a space odyssey looking artefact, Jane is infected with some sort of dark power, and Thor takes her to Asgard to try to cure her. This is when the dark elves, being woken from their sleep by Jane’s actions, decide to attack Asgard.
The action pieces are incredible, and you will be surprised by the variety within the action. There are sword fights, laser beams, but also Star Wars like aerial dog fights. The dark elves’ ships are very impressive, and we also get to see Asgard’s own ships, and the aerial battles are very well paced and put together. The balance between the futuristic aspects and the fantasy aspects of Asgard is perfect. On the ground, we get to see more of Thor’s lieutenants, and they each have their moment to shine in the battle.
Asgard is quickly overwhelmed by the dark elves, which brings us to the most interesting part of the movie (in my opinion at least). Thor decides to unite with Loki, as he is the only one who knows a secret path out of Asgard. Thor’s plan is to strike the dark elves in their own world. The unlikely association between the two estranged brothers works very well, and is constantly jumping between extreme tension and comedy. Thor and Loki keep teasing each other, and the two actors seem to be enjoying themselves tremendously. There is a constant suspense based on Loki’s intentions, and there are a lot of twists regarding them. There is a very emotional moment between the two brothers, and this moment pays out because it’s been built over the first Thor and the Avengers movies. It’s in this kind of scenes that we get to see the big pay-off for Marvel’s shared universe plan.
The last part of the movie takes us back to England, with Thor and Malekith’s (the dark elves’ leader) big fight. Needless to say it is very impressive, and reminded me of some of Man of steel’s finest action moments.
The after credits scene makes the link with Guardians of the galaxy and introduces us to The Collector, played by Benficio Del Toro, and I think that we are in for a treat with this character that comes out as both menacing and comical.
In conclusion, I would say that Thor 2 is a very ambitious movie, very well balanced in its use of action, drama and humor, with a lot of classic moments that Marvel’s fans will remember for a long time.