Thor is very much an action/ comedy, which has a dash of romance, family drama, but at the same time a sense of interdependency which makes it so each character’s role is essential for Thor to be the hero.
Review (with Spoilers)
Let me start off right the bat saying I wasn’t originally going to see this movie. This is despite me loving Marvel franchises like X-Men and Spiderman but for whatever reason, those who comprise the Avengers just never screamed, “see me opening weekend!” for reasons I don’t understand. Still, for the sake of getting out the house I saw this and was sort of surprised by the end result.
Characters & Story
As many know, Thor (played by Chris Hemsworth) is the god of thunder and the hero of the film. Alongside him is his love interest Jane (played by Natalie Portman) who is an astrophysicist who, like most love interest, act as much as a liability as an asset; then we have the scene commanding Loki (played by Tom Hiddleston) who often is the most interesting character in the film since he has good action scenes, comedic moments, and brings many questions to the story; then there is the last big character of the film, to me anyway, the villain Malakith (played by Christopher Eccleston) who is sort of your generic villain hell-bent on destroying the world, without any unique traits to make him stand out amongst the many villains of the Marvel universe. Outside of those mentioned, there is Odin (played by Anthony Hopkins) who is Thor’s father and king of Asgard; Heimdall (played by Idris Elba) who seems to be the watcher of the various realms Asgard rules over; and then there is Darcy (played by Kat Dennings) who I only mention since she and Loki brings the majority of the laughs in the film.
Now, in terms of story, they first establish, especially for people like me, the power and might of Thor as he tries to unite all the realms. Then, and this is not in exact order, we watch Jane try to move on from Thor, and do research, which leads her to discovering something called “The Aether” a magic mist which has the power to return the world to darkness, the way it was assumingly before the big bang. Her discovery of this magic awakens Malekith and leads Thor to bring her to Asgard to be protected but, being that this movie has to fill nearly two hours, naturally they beat the hell out of Thor and Asgard, and then bring in Loki to help get revenge. From there, things are taken to Earth and then the final battle goes back and forth between Earth and The Dark World.
Something you’ll find in 90% of all Marvel films, and most comic book adaptations nowadays, is there is a mix of comedy, drama and some comedic moments. For Thor: The Dark World, they do a tightrope balance of all three and do so with the type of skill which seems almost unnatural. The reason I say that is I haven’t seen the first, but watching this made me feel like I was watching an action/ comedy which easily could slip into dramedy, and then back. The comedy itself though was a real highlight for Loki and Darcy made it so those maybe not into the action of Thor story got a few laughs, and then the action had mutilations, epic scenery and sometimes I felt I was watching a Dragon Ball Z crossover. Perhaps though the best thing was the writing when it came to Loki. Needless to say, as much as this film made Hemsworth the star amongst his brothers, Hiddleston is the true breakout star in my opinion, and the movie takes full advantage of his talents. Be it his comedic moments, dramatic moments, or the air of mystery they put in what happens to him, you are left with questions which perhaps can only be answered in another sequel.
Which leads to the handful of criticism that can be given to this movie, of which there is very few. Perhaps the one big criticism is the villain has no personality and though he does something which involves killing a major character, at the same time you can understand why other franchises like X-Men and Spiderman came before Thor since based off this villain alone, it makes it seem like you have this great hero, but no formidable opponents to really challenge him. Then, I must admit that while I liked the action scenes, I did feel the comedy took away a bit from the some of the scenes. For, even in the final fight, they take a comedic break and then the action goes on once more. It makes it so, for me, it seems like they were trying to make the film so universally likable, they took away from what perhaps is the main selling point.
Overall: Worth Seeing
I’ll admit, after seeing this I do wanna see the first, even if just for Loki. For, this film may not be on the iconic status like The Dark Knight, but it sets out to entertain you and does just that. Then, as an added bonus, it has some diversity. There are villains and heroes which are a good mix of people of color and different genders, and the mere view of the worlds they live in is awe-inspiring. Lastly, I must mention there are two post credit scenes. One which is worth waiting for, and the very last one, at the end of all the cast and crew, which isn’t a big deal.