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Overall Rating
2.97

Awesome: 10.34%
Worth A Look41.38%
Just Average: 10.34%
Pretty Crappy: 10.34%
Sucks: 27.59%

2 reviews, 17 user ratings



Thor: The Dark World
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Nice to look at, anyway."
4 stars

Tiresome as the "Thor" movies can be, they occasionally yield oddball beauty on a level that you can only see in a movie that cost one hundred and seventy million American dollars.

In Thor: The Dark World, for instance, there’s a gorgeously rendered Viking funeral (never mind for whom), and an evil red substance called The Aether that gooshes around in mid-air, and a “Dark Elf” named Malekith (Christopher Huddleston) who looks like a cross between Legolas and Count Orlok and who wants the Aether, but can’t have it because it flows in the veins of astrophysicist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). There’s also a bit when Thor (Chris Hemsworth), our hammer-wielding hero, gazes out at the stars, and there’s just a hint of Kirby Krackle to them — one of the visual trademarks of legendary Marvel artist Jack Kirby, who helped create Thor and so much else of the Marvel universe, and whose heirs will get the following percentage of this film’s mighty profits: zero. Just a reminder.

So Jane’s been Aetherized, and Thor must protect her from Malekith while making sure that the Convergence of the Nine Realms goes off without a hitch. Got it? Heroine has something, bad guy wants it, good guy fends off bad guy. Got it. You need that simple thread to hold onto, because Thor: The Dark World, like so many other superhero sagas, clots its arteries with a great deal of plot cholesterol. The plot, indeed, relies on endless plotting to keep itself going — people are always scheming, and not just Thor’s trickster-god brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston). For some reason, Thor has to go behind the back of his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) to save the day, and this involves brawling with a good many Asgardian soldiers who are just doing their jobs, trying to get through the workday without having to chase some idiot in a spaceship. It also involves putting a large amount of trust in Loki, who, as wryly played by Hiddleston, is much the best reason to see the movie.

These Marvel movies may be full of pomp and circumstance — one legacy left by bombastic, alliteration-smitten Marvel co-creator Stan Lee — but thank Odin they have some humor, unlike the mopey, overlong DC epics we’ve been getting. Kat Dennings helps bring the proceedings down to earth as Jane’s BFF and assistant Darcy; her snark is just what’s needed in this fantasy-sci-fi behemoth that straddles worlds. Other women in the film, from Asgardian warrior Sif (Jaime Alexander) to Thor’s mother Frigga (Rene Russo), get to kick some ass, and Jane’s physics aptitude helps save the universe. It takes a while for this big machine to creak into motion, but once it’s headed for the finish line it involves everybody on every conceivable level — nobody sits on the sidelines, except maybe Odin, though Hopkins is still in full impressive roar, bellowing at Loki, “Your birthright” — the final “t” spat out like a dagger into his bad son’s heart — “was to die!”

If I don’t sound overly enthusiastic about most of the new Marvel movies, it’s partly because they blur past, leaving scraps of ghost memory. Nothing much is, or can be, at stake because we know Thor can’t die — not when Chris Hemsworth is under contract for another Thor film and two more Avengers films. (Not that superheroes ever die for long in the comic books, either.) Good must always defeat evil resoundingly, though not enough so that the villains can’t return for a sequel or two. And what’s Thor’s weakness? That he’s in love with a mortal woman, and so his loyalty is torn between two realms — that’s about it. He’s a bit impetuous, and does stuff against Daddy’s orders, but things turn out okay, so hubris is not his fatal flaw — if anything, it’s having a father who thinks he’s always right but isn’t. But again, Thor puts a thoroughly visually-imagined fantasy world on the screen, and doesn’t lumber around in it like Peter Jackson dawdling in Middle-earth for three more movies. It brings some awe and brawny excitement into comic-book cinema.

I just wish these Marvel-verse movies weren’t so nerdishly interconnected that we feel as though we’re not getting the whole story until all 674 films have come out. It’d be nice to be able to skip one, once in a while, but by this point we’re too deep into it; we have to see it through until "Iron Man 12" or "Avengers 9" or whatever.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=22644&reviewer=416
originally posted: 11/10/13 16:31:18
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User Comments

2/13/17 morris campbell good sequel 4 stars
12/29/14 zenny If I had a hammer, I'd... yawn 2 stars
10/01/14 Horror Lover Has its moments and Hiddlestoston owns.,but they need to dump the earth stuff. 3 stars
9/02/14 Dude Shamelessly silly 2 stars
7/31/14 Crank Awful awful 1 stars
12/13/13 gil carlson Very well done. If you're a critic who doesn't like SH genre, then stay home. 4 stars
12/06/13 Pearl Bogdan I have seen worse super hero films 3 stars
12/05/13 mr.mike They throw in the kitchen sink but it's good. 4 stars
12/05/13 Flipsider Really bland, lazy script, boring, silly, but has a few laughs. 2 stars
12/04/13 damalc was that Thor or a Star Wars sequel? 3 stars
11/22/13 Lord One of the worst movies ever 1 stars
11/17/13 Chris Mckenzie For Asgard! Great flick 4 stars
11/15/13 Sarah Quinn Great movie. I recommend watching it. 4 stars
11/14/13 Charles Tatum Awesome spectacle, better than the first film 4 stars
11/13/13 Randy J Im not sure what movie some of these other people were watching but I loved it! 5 stars
11/10/13 Darkstar Great action and some good laughs when one of the other avengers showed up. 5 stars
11/09/13 KingNeutron Loved it, almost as good as Avengers. Some good emotional scenes. STAY FOR ENTIRE CREDITS! 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  08-Nov-2013 (PG-13)
  DVD: 25-Feb-2014

UK
  30-Oct-2013 (12A)

Australia
  31-Oct-2013
  DVD: 25-Feb-2014




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