Review Time for Thor: The Dark World
Thor: The Dark World (2013 dir. Alan Taylor) is a good, if unspectacular, follow up to Thor. On the whole, I really liked the movie. But, unfortunately, there are certain elements of the film that just do not work.
After two years apart, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) are reunited when the Nine Worlds start to converge and Jane’s life is threatened by a lost artifact of terrible destructive power. Taken to Asgard by Thor, Jane becomes targeted by the Dark Elves, who seek the artifact inhabiting her body so that they can, you guessed it, destroy the universe.
Sounds good. And, in execution the ‘A’ plot works really well. The cinematography and digital world building are exquisite. Asgard looks amazing. And so does the Dark World (I’m not going to try and spell it out).
The acting in the ‘A’ plot is superb with Tom Hiddleston’s Loki again stealing the show (really, Loki needs his own movie) and Renee Russo and Anthony Hopkins delivering strong performances.
So far, I’ve only written about the ‘A’ plot. That’s because the ‘B’ plot is terrible.
I don’t quite get why the Thor films are structured this way. In both films, I feel that one arc is far better than the other. In the first Thor, the ‘B’ plot featuring Loki’s tragic fall is by leaps and bounds the more interesting story. In this film, it is the main plot that is most interesting while the ‘B’ plot is just horrendous.
The ‘B’ plot features Jane’s intern Darcy (Kat Dennings) trying to find the missing Jane and Dr. Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) while gradually falling in love with her intern (I don’t get it either).
The primary function of this plot, I suspect, is to inject some humor into a more serious film. But the humor falls flat and creates a disjointed whole. The slapstick brings down the entire movie.
Another problem that the ‘B’ plot presents to the main plot is in the realm of romance. The evolution of Darcy and Ian’s (her intern) relationship is organic and works wonderfully. This is, perhaps, the only good thing I can say about the ‘B’ plot.
Unfortunately, that relationship reinforces the fact that Thor and Jane Foster’s relationship doesn’t work. I just don’t buy that Thor is madly in love with Jane. Nor do I buy that Jane is in love with Thor. Personally, I think Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) is a much better romantic pairing for Thor. Certainly Alexander’s performance is more effective at conveying romantic feelings than Portman’s.
In the end, I’m torn about this movie. I love the main plot. But the secondary plot is just cringe worthy.
The only solution is to watch scenes set on Asgard and the Dark World and fast forward all scenes set on Earth baring the final fight.