31 Oct 2013

Review of Thor: The Dark world. Or pants are compulsory

I was lucky enough to be gifted with two tickets to the pre-release of Thor: The Dark world.  I wasn’t incredibly enthusiastic, but my girl was, and the promise of seeing the movie first was exciting.  We fortified ourselves with wine and sat down in the Titan XC cinema in Reading to watch.

After the battle in new york (Avengers) Thor has returned to Midgard. But the destruction of the Bifrost Bridge has brought chaos and war throughout the nine realms.  Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is leading the Asgardians in battle to restore order and peace, which he does so successfully, but his heart is with Midgard and the mortal Jane Foster.
Loki (Tom Hiddleston) has been imprisoned for his crimes against Earth by Odin (Athony Hopkins). His life was spared after his mother Frigga (Renee Russo) pleaded with Odin to spare their adopted son that she loves so much. Now he rots in a dungeon below Asgard.

Back on Earth Thor has been away for two years and Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) is trying to get on with her life.   She is in England at the request of Doctor Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) who has discovered the alignment of the nine realms, and the danger this alignment poses to Earth. 

As the alignment of the Nine realms approaches, it is watched by Nelson Mandela (Ildris Elba) the guardian of Asgard. But hidden even from him an ancient enemy of the Asgard stirs, wating to return and threaten Asgards authority,and the very existence of the nine realms.

ENSUE Stan lee action.

Thor: The Dark world is a well-constructed movie.  It manages to carry action, humour and a little poignancy surprisingly well. The direction by Alan Taylor and good performances by Hemsworth, Portman and Tom Hiddleston, who plays Loki, keeps the pace flowing and the audience entertained.  The humour is well placed and entertaining, but does not diminish the story in anyway.  Little elements like Loki’s choice of disguises and Dr Selvig thinking better with his trousers off were great comic moments.  The chemistry between Hiddleston and Hemsworth as conflicted brothers is good, and Loki adds a degree of wit and humour to balance Thor’s brooding.
Dude less of the brood
But while he does brood at times Hemsworth is able to play the hero, the conflicted son, and the roguish warrior equally well.  He is a talented thoughtful actor with the build of an 80’s action hero. Which brings me to the last element of his and the movie’s appeal. Not only does Thor have good action and humour, it also has Hemsworth in a gratuitous bathing scene. Oh yes the gasps and delighted murmurings from the ladies (and the gentleman in the front right of me) told me that the female demographic thought their money was already well spent.

Just a quick note to add the Skargard, Ildris Elba, Renee Russo and Anthony Hopkins were also very good, as you would expect. 

Marvel has really learnt a lesson that Warner Bros should learn, fight scenes can be epic, but also need to balance with the pace of the movie, and do not require the destruction of an entire city. If you compare the big fight in the end, with the one in Man of Steel, it is shorter, funnier than and just as violent as you would want.  You will not be bored.  Oh, my favourite fight scene, Frigga kicking ass.

The production was very good, and the scenes set in Asgard were magnificent. The production team really took to heart a Scandinavian theme, and the dark elves look great, if a little reminiscent of Hellboy2. But I didn’t mind that at all.

Fine I admit it, I really liked it.  I didn’t think I would, but I think that with this Marvel franchise of Avengers and their own movies that Thor: The Dark world will be right up there with Avengers. While you could say that that the character development for Thor’s friends was lacking, or the tension between Sif and Foster was incomplete there is only so much you can put in 120 minutes before it gets dumb or muddled.

 I saw it on a massive screen in 3D, but while I recommend you see this on the big screen, the 3D was pointless and added nothing at all.


Thoroughly entertaining movie

7 and a half monkeys

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