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MikePA's Movie Reviews (137)

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Thor: The Dark World 
Review: Thor The Dark World
2.5/4 stars

While it's certainly not one of the best or most memorable of the bunch, Thor: The Dark World, made by Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor, is an enjoyable and visually remarkable entry in the Marvel movie machine. It has its fun moments and a few truly great ones, but this whole ordeal ends up feeling like just another Marvel film. Now that The Avengers came out and basically raised the bar for the future of Marvel films, anything that's too inferior to that (and too similar, as a matter of fact) just feels a little disappointing. It's not that this is a bad film - it has its awesome moments - it's just it gives us much, much more of the same.

Let's start with what these movies are essentially all about - the effects. They're terrific. Rich in detail and vibrancy, the special effects put on display here are absolutely stunning. This may just be the best-looking Marvel film I've ever seen, in regards to the special effects and cinematography. It's all really well shot and showcases the world of Asgard so beautifully. On most occasions the CGI blends really well with the live action, especially during the action-heavy moments that take place on Asgard and various other worlds. The climactic set piece is pretty damn insane, as Thor and the baddie face off warping through London and other parts of the universe.

This leads me to one of the film's weaker elements - the villain. Malekith. Oh boy, does this guy suck. First off, he's horribly developed in an opening narration sequence which tells the story of a war between Asgardians and the Dark Elves. Think the opening sequence in Man of Steel - cool scene, bad development. Second off, he's shamefully underwritten, possessing weak motives and given even less screen time than Kat Dennings' pain-in-the-ass character Darcy. Third off, he has no chance to exhale any true menace onto the screen due to his lack of presence. That's a shame because he has such a dark Bane-like voice, he looks cool, and he's performed by a very capable actor (Christopher Eccleston).

Speaking of Kat Dennings, this leads me to yet another problem with the film. The human element of the feels so horribly forced and lacking in any true depth. Natalie Portman's character, as well as the majority of the humans, honestly just feel like background dancers amidst the two main stars, Thor and Loki. Their performances are fine but they're ultimately poorly served by the script.

Chris Hemsworth continues to prove that he's the only man capable of playing Thor, providing the wonderful and energetic performance that he's sustained all throughout his last two appearances. Tom Hiddleston chews up the scenery as Loki, a character who is nothing more than a supreme badass. He steals the show on several occasions and provides more laughs than this year's Insidious 2 (except these are intentional). If there is something well-written about the film, it is a personal plot thread between Thor and Loki. While it may be predictable to some, it's nicely done and at one point surprisingly touching and rather moving, easily being the film's best moment. Most of all, it sets high standards for Thor 3.

Thor: The Dark World has a lot of action but not a lot of heft. There's a lot to like, but in the end it'll feel like you've treated yourself to empty candy calories and not much more. That's the point, I guess, but there's much room for substantial improvement.

2.5/4


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