Thor: The Dark World (2013) (PG-13)

This is a guest review by Elizabeth Jones

If you are like me and have been enjoying the movie web that is making up the Marvel Avengers movieverse, then you have probably been anticipating the newest addition to that series, Thor: the Dark World. I was both excited and hesitant about this new movie. Sequels do tend to coast on the success of the first movie and as such can often be very disappointing. 

Not so with the Dark World. The plot was not the most captivating, and the villains were a bit comical. There was also some issues with the timeline of the movie. In particular there is a news clip that is shown twice. There seems to be no logical reason that it is shown the first time. It feels very out of place, almost an accident of editing. When it is revealed the second time, it fits into the story much more smoothly. But I digress. Neither the plot nor the villains are the focus of this movie. They only provide a backdrop for the characters and offer a medium through which they can grow. 

Thor himself, who I will admit could almost be summed up in the first movie with the phrase “and his mighty hammer,” shows some deeper emotions and demonstrates that his change of heart at the end of the first movie was lasting. We see him taking on the real and heavy responsibilities that his position calls for and sacrificing his own desires for the good of his people. His character is slightly more developed, but at times, he does seem to be a foil for Jane and Loki to play off of. 

Jane, one of my least favorite women in this series, shows her real intelligence and a much more dynamic personality in the face of danger and death. I am pleased to report I was pleasantly surprised by her. Her cohort Darcy is hysterical and it is almost worth it to see the movie just for Darcy. Often Darcy seems to represent the audience, voicing realistic opinions whenever things begin to be too improbable. 

Loki continues to be an interesting and controversial character, but one thing he fails to be is boring. There is definitely a sense of growth in Loki, but it is very hard to predict his actions. There are several times in the movie when Loki’s true actions and motivations are called into question. One wonders, “Is he being selfless? Is he being ruthless? Is he playing up to Thor? What is he doing?” There are a few truly enjoyable brotherly interactions between Thor and Loki when it is almost possible to forget that they were such mortal enemies so recently, and there is at least one scene where Loki show such stark emotional vulnerability that it is no surprise that he continues to remain a fan favorite. 

The greater inclusion of Thor’s mother, Frigga, is both new and interesting. Her interactions with her sons and her impact on them play a very important role in this movie and it was one I was happy to see. All in all, this was a very entertaining movie. It fully lived up to its predecessors and was an excellent addition to the Marvel Universe. 

Score: 3 out of 4 stars (for poor plotting and iffy villains) 

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