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One Movie Punch

Feb 26, 2018

It’s Marvel Monday and we’re back on the chronological road to Infinity War. Today’s movie is “Thor: The Dark World” (2013), the second of three sequels to follow “Marvel’s The Avengers” (2012), after “Iron Man 3” (2013) and before “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (2014). The film follows the efforts of Thor (Chris Hemsworth) in the wake of “Marvel’s The Avengers”, bringing peace through violence throughout the Nine Realms while an even more ancient evil resurfaces: The Dark Elves.

It should be a no-brainer that Marvel would lead the second phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe with sequels to all their uncontested intellectual properties. This new kind of franchise starts to operate by different rules in Phase Two. More leeway is granted to the writing teams to incorporate other storylines, allowing for more connections and shared plot development leading towards “Infinity War”. It also leads to a number of unforgiveable plot holes.

The right way to incorporate the other threads of the universe was exemplified during Loki’s escape, when for no real reason, he transforms into Captain America to make fun of him, or building in The Collector at the end to further the mystery of the Infinity Stones. The wrong way, however, is to have another major alien battle on Earth (or Midgard if you will) and not have one member of The Avengers or S.H.I.E.L.D. show up to help out.

“Thor: The Dark World” is all spectacle, with battles that are part Lord of the Rings and part Star Wars, both a strength and a weakness. Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Thor make a great on-screen pair, while the big ticket supporting cast feels weak, especially Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) who just feels, once again, along for the ride. Everyone else feels like characters on a tapestry, great representations that we have to endow with story and heart. Even the ending is disappointing, including the rushed reunion in the post-credits scene.

“Thor: The Dark World” is probably the first MCU film that I had serious issues with the story, which filters into the rest of the experience. The film makes even less sense given the reveals in “Thor: Ragnarok”, particularly when and where Hela exists in the timeline. If it wasn’t for the incredible actions scenes and background cinematography, this could have been the first flop for the MCU. Instead, it’s a passable film, a high budget transition towards future storylines.

Rotten Tomatoes: 66%

Metacritic: 54

One Movie Punch: 7.2/10

“Thor: The Dark World” is rated PG-13 and is available wherever you enjoy movies.