Thor: The Dark World was a flick that, despite a few problems, manages to do exactly what a Marvel movie should do: It gives you a fun ride, makes the ridiculous relatable, and leaves us wanting more.
First the bad: Given the scope of the pic, and the number of characters, a few forced plot points here and there are a gimmie. But, for all the places in all of the nine realms for Jane and Thor to be after Loki “died,” placing them exactly at her car keys and a portal is a crazy stretch, even for a story with Viking gods from outer space.
The other thing, and much bigger thing, that bothered me is the villain. People that are doing bad things for the sake of being bad just aren’t as interesting as the messed up villains that see themselves as the hero. Loki is a greasy rat of a dude, but he’s somebody who had that cards stacked against him in the very beginning. And even if you don’t side with the guy, you can still understand where he’s coming from. But including him in the film, ironically, just makes the real villain even worse.
And now the good: Hemsworth and Hiddleston absolutely rock as the sons of Asgard. And it was fun to see Zachary Levi in a Marvel movie. The fights, the ship battles, most of the dialogue and pacing were incredible. And even though the audience was asked to believe this crazy situation was taking place, we WANTED to believe it thanks to the storytellers giving us enough relatable emotions to cling to.
As for the cliffhanger ending, normally they’re not my thing. Even with a film that has a planned sequel, it often feels like a cheat. But I would argue that the ending isn’t all that different than Franco giving the audience an evil grin at the end of Spider-Man 2. The main threats in both stories have been resolved, and this is just meant to communicate something else is coming. And it’s going to be bad. And it’s going to be a separate story.
Bottom line: If you dug the first one, you may be surprised by how far out the plot of the sequel goes, but I really think you’ll enjoy Dark World as well.
Superheroes in Prose Volume 7: I, Galaxy on sale December 25th.