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Thor: The Dark World Movie Review

Before the first Thor movie had been released, I never had any interest in the character. I had seen him in cartoons as a child, and I had come across the Norse god in history class, but neither truly appealed to me. After actually sitting down and watching that first movie, and then Avengers, I have officially been converted into a fan. The general population seems to feel the same way, as I had barely heard a peep previous to the first film’s release, and now Thor: The Dark World has already made over $342 million and has opened as the top grossing film on it’s opening weekend. That is a lot of generated interest, my friends.

Numbers aside, the film itself is great. It offers a great contrast to the first Thor and even The Avengers in that it takes place almost entirely away from Earth. Asgard is an awe-inspiring mash-up of visual effects, blending technology and Viking architecture seamlessly to create a world that somehow still feels real. The other main setting is the bleak world of Svartalfheim (Try pronouncing that in one try!), which looks like a desert with ash-like sand and a bleak orange sky. The villains of the story are the creepy dark elves, who wear odd masks over their faces, and their leader Malekith. While they look like characters out of a Lord Of The Rings book, the technology they possess and interact with gives them a completely different look and feel. The odd Lord Of The Rings/Star Trek mash-up is done well, but still generally feels a little odd, even if it’s really cool.

The general plot, without any spoilers, revolves around Malekith’s desire to obtain the Aether, which is a sort of grainy substance, that bonds to an individual, granting them mysterious violent powers and the ability to destroy the universe (Because why wouldn’t it?). It picks up right after The Avengers, and there are several references made to the events of the film, reinforcing the continuity and overall plot of the Marvel cinematic universe. The stand-alone plot here however is attention grabbing in it’s own right. There are twists galore, plenty of action (complete with AWESOME special effects!) and quite a bit of humor sprinkled throughout.The amount of questions you’re left with at the end of the film is both great, considering there’s many more movies coming out in the coming years, and terrible because, well, there’s such huge cliffhangers.

The one issue I do have with The Dark World is character progression. Well, mostly that of Thor and Malekith. The entire backing cast seems to adapt to the changing world around them, while the titular god of thunder remains basically the same since Avengers. Malekith is given an introduction at the start of the film, and then is left as the bad guy who wants to blow up the universe for the rest of the story. Revenge is interesting as motivation sometimes, but it feels a little flat. The backing cast, however, is given some interesting plot to themselves. Loki, particularly, has an interesting progression throughout the story, and Eric Selvig is the cause of some hilarious moments while recovering from the events in Avengers.

All in all, Thor: The Dark World is fun, full of action, and has an excellent story to boot. It creates an epic tale within the boundaries of the Thor universe, while referencing and tying into the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Thor: The Dark World gets a 4 out of 5.