Top critical review
Thor The Dark World soars endlessly in Asgardian light instead of Elvish darkness.
24 April 2019
Thor The Dark World soars endlessly in Asgardian light instead of Elvish darkness. Continuing on from the events of 'The Avengers' and acting as a sequel to 'Thor', which is incredibly underrated and overlooked, The Dark World shrouds itself in ancient magic and elusive mysticism. Expertly crafted world building, only to present a contrived, arduous and over-extensive story that struggled to find any footing. Thor's electrifying mighty hammer "meow meow" was not enough to appease a sub-standard plot conforming to the typical "save the world" formula and absent of any character development. Fans of the MCU typically forget about this sequel, and it's not difficult to see why. Jane, in an endless search to find Thor again, coincidentally enters a realm which contains the Aether, a primordial entity withholding dark matter. She inadvertently consumes it, the Dark Elves want it back and Thor must save the Nine Realms again.
Visually, the world of Asgard looked stunning. Clean beautiful shots of towering architecture, fully embracing its fantastical green screens which were hardly noticeable. In fact, the majority of the visual effects were excellently produced (aside from Marvel's eternal weakness, human CGI), particularly the designs of the Dark Elves spaceships as they recklessly invade Asgard. The returning cast all gave consistently good performances. Hemsworth, Portman and Hiddleston retain the original likability that we've all come to adore. Although Russo, Hopkins and Ecclestone were questionably underused. Costumes were fitting, production design detailed and a plethora of other technical aspects being fully functional. That's not The Dark World's problem.
The inherent issue is with the unmemorable story that lacks any evolution for the characters involved. Thor remains the same from the start to the end. Loki is still mischievous without emanating any emotional conflict of vengeance. And Jane, unfortunately, subsides into a convenient plot device just so Thor has a reason to come back to Earth. The relationship between the two never progresses, and feels more forced than ever. And over half of the film is set on Asgard with the narrative progression becoming stagnant. Nothing happens.
Then we come to the antagonist, Malekith. The accursed. Ruler of the Dark Elves, and one of the most powerful. Shame that he was completely wasted in this formulaic story. Seriously, the most underdeveloped pointless waste of a Marvel villain in the entire MCU. Ecclestone, a talented character actor, was pushed aside for Dennings' insufferably unfunny remarks, in an attempt to inject some humour that the original was apparently absent of. It just further cements the unmemorable qualities that The Dark World upholds.
Whilst not necessarily a bad film, I mean it is watchable to an extent, it fails to live up to the quality of previous entries (minus 'Iron Man 2' and 'The Incredible Hulk'...). Leaving the film rotting in the dusty realm of Svartalfheim.