'Thor: The Dark World' review: Unevenly told, but fun nonetheless

thor_the_dark_world_movie_posterIf you know me, or have been reading my blog consistently, you will have heard me gush non-stop about my excitement for Thor: The Dark World. That said, it is a rather uneven movie, hampered by a slow buildup and a MacGuffin (plot device) that’s too much mumbo-jumbo of science and magic to make sense of, and a villain whose motives I couldn’t make head or tail of even when he was explaining them. (Or maybe it’s me having hearing problems. Just know he’s evil, the thing is evil, and both have to be destroyed.)
But on the whole, the movie was superb fun, and so full of twists and turns that you will be swivelling your head and gaping openly at certain nail-biting scenes.
Here are the things that make it worth the price of your ticket alone:
1. “The Thor and Loki Show”. The first hour may be a little of a drag — though not without its amusing moments — but when the two brothers finally come together, sparks *fly*, and the action is ten times more lively. This is also where Loki is at his quippiest. Joss Whedon was asked to help rewrite a scene or two in the movie, and if I had to hazard a guess, it would be this entire scene.
2. The final showdown. It may be the cataclysmic, action-packed climax portending the end of the world, but they managed to jam SO MUCH humour into it that you will be laughing as hard as you feel the adrenaline of it coming to an end.
3. An Avenger makes an absolutely BRILLIANT cameo where you wouldn’t expect. When it happened, I erupted into transports of delight and laughter, as did the entire audience. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind watching the entire movie again just for this cameo scene alone.
Supporting characters that shine:

  • Idris Elba being badass as Heimdall. Rene Russo showing just how *awesome* Frigga is. Stellan Skarsgård’s absolutely hilarious Erik Selvig, who’s still suffering the after-effects of being screwed over by Loki in The Avengers.
  • Tom Hiddleston steals most of his scenes. I love him for all the layers that he put into Loki — even until the end, you never know where he truly stands — though I also feel it is not as clear in scenes when he is alone. But when he has someone else to play off with — especially when it’s Thor — he is at his strongest.
  • I wish Lady Sif and the Warriors Three had more to do though. Tadanobu Asano as Hogun — looking like the Chinese general Guan Yu — felt the most “calefare” of them all. And there were hints of a supposed love triangle between Thor, Jane and Sif that never came to pass which would have been better left on the cutting room floor.

I shall leave my more spoilery thoughts for when I rewatch it again in a few months on DVD.
Overall, I prefer the first movie, because the story moved at an even pace then, and the humour was consistent too (unlike here, where it felt like all the best gags were crammed into the two scenes I mentioned above, with valiant but sometimes weak attempts sparsed through the rest of the movie). I would even argue that Iron Man 3 was a better told story than Thor: The Dark World, because Iron Man 3 delighted me right off the bat, while I was waiting and waiting for this movie to impress me (the obligatory topless shot of Chris Hemsworth and his dripping wet abs not counted), and that didn’t happen until the brothers got together.
But was I thoroughly entertained? Would I recommend everyone and their grandmothers to go and watch it? Hell YEAH.