Good, Bad & Ugly Review: Thor – The Dark World

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 66% (Critics) / 86% (Audience)
Directed By: Alan Taylor
Written By: Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, Don Payne and Robert Rodat
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Christopher Eccleston, and Anthony Hopkins
Studio: Walt Disney Pictures

Synopsis:Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all. (Source)

The Good:
The movie only truly comes alive when Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is on the screen. Whether he is being villainous, wounded, manipulative or heroic, Hiddleston owns the screen no matter who he is sharing it with. Marvel would do well to try and make a Loki solo film since the character and actor already have a ton of fans and Hiddleston is more than capable of carrying a film all by himself. Plus there are some pretty cool Loki tales in the recently ended Journey Into Mystery series that could be adapted for the big screen.
Renee Russo getting a moment to kick butt as Thor and Loki’s mother was a cool scene. And I would not mind seeing a lot more of the Warrior’s Three and Sif’s adventures apart from Thor because those are all pretty cool characters that get underutilized in these movies.
Alan Taylor did a good job directing and the battle scenes were really cool looking even if they did seem to owe just a bit too much to STAR WARS: THE PHANTOM MENACE in the design and pacing of those scenes.

The Bad:
Thor is still just a big slab of meat with hardly any real character traits that stand out. This character has never been the selling point in any of his appearances on the big screen. he is just a romance novel cover come to life with about as much personality.
And Natalie Portman was almost as unconvincing a scientist as Denise Richardson’s nuclear physicist Christmas Jones in THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH. Plus she and Hemsworth have almost negative romantic chemistry.
I was also pretty disappointed in Malekith as a main villain. You have a great actor like Chirstopher Eccleston and you don’t let him cut loose instead showing him sparingly and making him do all of his dialog in some weird elf language was a bonehead move.
And who made the decision to make the big scary mystical weapon be an angry red wine stain?

The Ugly
The mid-credits scene was so laughably chintzy looking. It looked like they raided the wardrobe and puppet closet of FARSCAPE (a wonderful show that I love dearly but was notoriously schlocky looking)…if the upcoming GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY movie is going to look like this then I think Marvel may be in trouble of having its first flop.

Final Verdict: A decent amount of mindless action scenes that were shot pretty well wrapped around an overly convoluted story that barely held together but was buoyed by a wonderfully charismatic performance from Tom Hiddleston who completely stole this entire movie.

Grade: C

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