REVIEW: "THOR: THE DARK WORLD"

Wow, it feels like just a couple months ago that I was enjoying Iron Man 3 on the big screen, and already it is time to dive right in to Phase 2 with a heaping platter of Thor. And with a very short break, we'll be taking a look at Captain America's sequel here in the not too distant future. For the comic book film lovers, we are truly living in a golden age... Well, as long as you like Marvel characters, if you like DC characters, Warner Brothers is still content shoving a load of crap your way and calling it a movie. But, that's unimportant

I will have to freely admit, the first Thor was probably my least favorite of the Phase 1 Marvel movies.  Considering Phase 1 included Iron Man 2, that is saying a lot. I'm not saying that it was a bad movie, all of the Marvel Studios films have been fairly well done, it's just to say it was my least favorite. Perhaps it has something to do with turning Norse deities into some form of Alien species that looks human, talks with English accents, and are led by Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Or perhaps it has something to do with Thor being just a normal guy for the majority of the movie... Whatever the case I was still excited to see the sequel coming out.

Like Iron Man 3 before it, this movie takes place in a post-"Battle of New York" (aka The Avengers) world. Unlike Iron Man 3, however, this film seems to be almost disconnected from that world. Sure, Loki is in chains, and there are some passing references to "The Avengers", but that is about it. I never got the feeling that the events of "The Avengers" changed Thor in any way. In fact, he actually seems to be more affected by the events of the first film.

Despite my feeling that this movie is completely disconnected from the greater Marvel cinematic universe, it was still a fun movie. The action is intense, and there are even a few moments of inspired comedy in there, that you can't help but chuckle at. The main characters feel more developed, and even Loki seems to be less one dimensional. Granted, the support characters still feel a little shallow by comparison, but then again, there is a reason they are not part of the primary cast.

In every way, I see this film as an improvement over the original. Well, almost every way. The villain of this piece can't hold a candle to Loki. Perhaps I expected too much from Doctor Who, but his character lacked any kind of depth, and seemed to be evil solely for the sake of being evil. Call me old-fashioned, but I like that Loki had depth to his villainy. He wasn't evil because he apparently woke up one day and said "I'm going to commit genocide on the most massive level possible", he at least felt slighted. Malekith apparently thought the world was too bright so he said "Screw it all, I'm killing everybody." As far as motivation goes, that's pretty bad. 

In the end, though... it is an enjoyable film which helps to continue the grander story line.  While the film feels disconnected from the rest of the universe, it also helps manage to advance a certain plot line, that hints at a grand story in the future. 

 RECOMMENDATION: Did you like Thor? Did you like The Avengers? Have you ever touched a comic book in your life? Is there any point asking these questions? If you are a geek of any variety, you'll want to see this movie. Well, I take that back. If you are a Norse Mythology geek, this movie will have you howling at the screen and hoping desperately for Ragnarok.

IS IT THEATER WORTHY: This is always a difficult question. The question essentially asks "Should I spend my money on this?". With the larger than life action, and the general fun factor, I would say, this is a definite yes. If you have disposable income this weekend, get out there, and enjoy it!

FINAL THOUGHTS: This movie is a fun little romp. I still prefer Iron Man 3, but this is a more than adequate addition to the second phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. All I can say is "This movie, I like it.... ANOTHER!"

FINAL SCORE: 8 out of 10