For all of the money and effort that went into making the sequel to the surprise hit of the Marvel universe, Thor, you would think they would have worked out some basic kinks before releasing the movie.
Marvel/Disney have done a bang up job over the past 6 years launching what they call Phase One of a series of connected films all based around the massive blockbuster, “The Avengers”. Now, as they launch Phase Two, the pressure is on to not only match the quality and ticket sales as the previous phase, but to also build upon those numbers to assure a third phase of the rapidly growing list of comics turning into movies. So why they allowed some easily corrected mistakes/plot points to slip through on “Thor 2: The Dark World” is a head scratcher.
Before I go into the errors, (as I see them) I want to mention what a great film, cast, plot, teaser this movie is. In my opinion, there has been no other character to emerge with more popularity and met with more enthusiasm than Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston, who has appeared in “Thor”, “The Avengers”, and now, “Thor: The Dark World” after initially only being slated for one film. He, once again, steals just about every scene he is in, even when relegated for the first half of the film in a small cage with little to do. Most of the cast from the first film return, with one noticeable change being the recasting of Zachary Levi as Fandral. Apparently, Josh Dallas, was too busy with his tv show “Once” to reprise his role.
So, if I liked the movie, why did I begin the review with negativity? For a fast paced, action packed movie such as this, keeping the audience grounded and the timeline clear is important and this film lacks in both of those departments. At the beginning of the film, we are given a prologue with a lot of info, which while important is all repeated more than once throughout the rest of the movie. The prologue apparently was added just to introduce the villain sooner and give an established actor more screen time. Then, we see a bound Loki facing the closest thing he has had to a father, Odin the king of Asgard, and being banished to prison for his actions in The Avengers. Again, this is a good scene that gives Loki more screen time, but then the very next scene jumps two years in the future with no mention of the jump, making the timeline hard to follow. There are 2 other instances of scenes happening out of order or time, leaving the viewer thinking back on what happened when rather than getting lost in the multi-faceted story.
The action is well-paced, the soundtrack shines, and director Alan Taylor does a great job immersing us more into Asgard than the first film, allowing the viewer to get a feel for life in the distant land. As with the other Marvel films, the credits are peppered with additional scenes to preview other upcoming films, such as this year’s “Captain America” and “Guardians of the Galaxy”. DVD extras include a Marvel One-shot short film about the Mandarin, who was the “villain” in last year’s “Iron Man 3”, a goof reel, a look at the relationship between Thor and Loki and more.
My confidence is still high in the Marvel films, but I hope, as Phase Two continues, they clear up the small details that prevent a good film with some great twists from being remember as a great movie.