I’m actually really glad to say that Thor 2 was an unexpectedly wonderful addition to the ever-expanding Marvel cinematic universe, which I have grown to adore in the past few years. Right before Avengers was released, I set out to watch all the MCU films that I had missed (and re-watch a few) and personally found that Thor was the weakest of the lot. That isn’t to say it wasn’t enjoyable but it was the fluffiest and most light-hearted storyline, which is interesting considering it also spawned the main villain of Avengers.
I can say with confidence, though, that Thor 2 was better than its predecessor by a decent amount. On the same token, it also felt more like a side-story to Avengers than it’s own fully independent narrative, which isn’t a bad thing.
I think it’s really interesting how these once loosely related franchises have suddenly become part of a greater whole. With each subsequent release, it feels more like I’m watching an episode of high-production episodic series, where subtle references to other films or characters turn into relevant plot points.
Thor 2 felt especially so in the post-Avengers MCU, but still held its own as an independent plotline that takes advantage of that spark, trumping Thor in entertainment value.
Thor – The Dark World Review
The pacing and plot were just about on the spot – there was never a moment when I felt bored, and the story flowed well. The characters showed a definite evolution (for the most part) from the first film, especially Thor whose experiences on Earth have clearly matured him a bit.
The actors who shone bright for me were Idris Elba as Heimdall, and Rene Russo as Frigga (we finally got to see Mama kick some major ass, even if just briefly). The jury’s out on Darcy, but I found her sassy quips enjoyable as comic relief. Tom Hiddleston was ever fantastic as Loki, still as slippery as an eel. Post Avengers confinement has done nothing to calm his mischief and he offers some wonderful, if not baffling, moments for us.
On the down side, intern’s intern, I could take or leave, and Thor’s groupies were drab this time around – I’m especially displeased with the direction they are going with Sif (more on that later). I feel like they’re trying to shape Jane as more than just a love interest but they fell short of making that a reality. Sure, science still came around and saved the day but that was more Erik / group dynamics than Jane alone. Her driving force for the past few years was finding Thor, and she’s left pining for him once again. I don’t like seeing female characters with potential get shafted so they can instead be a plot device for the hero.
The dark elves were an interesting foe, though they felt very “monster of the week” to me. Their entire tale was told within this one film and resolved by the end in a clear finality. The lead-ins for the next Avengers (presumably) were all there. We got a nice twist ending that kind of left me with more questions than answers, and I’m looking forward to seeing that all play out in the next installments of MCU. The overall journey was one worth delving into.
My beef with Sif and Jane (Minor spoilers)
If I had to make a major complaint, it’s the forced love triangle they are attempting to throw in with Sif and Jane – it was the one thing they did better in Thor 1. It was a breath of fresh air to have a character like Sif who is badass, beautiful, and more importantly, a bro to the hero who doesn’t want the D. To see her scaled down to a jealous BFF trope is extremely aggravating. But they did get to give each other major bitch-face for a few seconds. Allegedly Sif was concerned about Thor and Asgard in general (understandable) and the two women were supposed to have a chat but all that was cut from the film, unless I completely missed it, and left us with jealously-feels.
I was half expecting Sif to come out and betray the group out of spite, and was certainly thankful it didn’t come to that, but more than a handful of moments now have me questioning whether or not she’s going to stay loyal to Thor. And that completely unneeded stank-face-off between her and Jane struck me in all the wrong ways. I really, really want a solid female friendship represented in these franchises and I thought Sif and Jane would’ve been a great way to do that.
This was by far my biggest disappointment, and a c-story I hope either gets thrown by the wayside or resolved maturely and quickly, without making it a major thing.
Let us hope.