movies: thor: the dark world

thor: the dark world
The first Thor movie look a lot of it's cues from Shakespearean dramas, unsurprising given it was directed by a Shakespearean actor/director.

Thor: The Dark World, on the other hand is much more of a "space battle pew pew" movie. To be honest that did kind of bug me a little... the movie seemed to trade in a lot of the ancient Viking nature, not so much of the Asgardians, but their enemies and just turn them into random space baddies with big laser guns.

It required a little shuffling around of things in my brain, let me put it that way.

But for all that this movie has a very, very different tone than the first one, they both work equally well in their own way. And the sequel doesn't skimp on  entertainment value. They even manage to work in a little character development between action sequences.

returns as the titular thunder god (although the Asgardians seem to have been demoted from actual gods to "people who just live and really, really, really long time and can do a lot of really cool things"... I'm not sure what that's about though) with , , and a large number of the supporting cast returning to their roles... and they're joined this time around by , essentially unrecognisable under a faceful of prosthetics, as the major villain.

And Asgard has been given a major facelift since the first movie... everything isn't quite so golden this time around, and the sky actually has some colour in it... and all in all, it looks very pretty... plus we get to see more of the city this time around.

There are also a lot of really pretty details, from the Norse knotwork designs that make up the forcefields in the Asgardian dungeons, all the way up to the way that both Thor's red hero cape as well as his dark "just bumming around the palace" poncho hang... so big kudos to both Wendy Partridge as the costume designer and whoever actually sewed those things so they hang just so. I do then need to turn around and slap whoever decided that Natalie Portman should wear her boring, shapeless Earth jacket over the top of the amazing Asgardian costume she gets to wear.

Speaking of Portman, even though a lot of the movie hinges on her and she's on screen a lot of the time she still somehow manages to feel a little underutilised... which is kind of stupid and possibly only exists inside my head. Although during a couple of sequences she does seem to take a backseat not just to Hemsworth (which is understandable, since he's playing the title role) but characters up to and including her comic relief sidekick played by .

This time around, after the first movie, and The Avengers, Hiddleston's Loki really works for me. I wasn't a huge fan of the character before now, but there's one particular scene when Thor comes to see him in the dungeon that is kinda heartbreaking and the two do have a number of nice moments during the movie.

Also getting a better bite of the cherry this time around is as Frigga (Thor's mother) who gets a couple of really nice scenes, including a fairly impressive, if brief, fight scene.

It also has to be mentions that Hemsworth only takes his shirt off once yet again... although this time he is shirtless and wet, so an added bonus this time around.

And, of course, because this is a Marvel movie, you have to say right until the very end of the credits for an extra scene... there's one after the first part of the credits that seemingly sets up the plot, if the internet can be believed, to next year's Guardians of the Galaxy movie, but the one right at the end is mostly just cute.

yani's rating: 3 dark elves out of 5

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