Thursday means Fishing in the Discount Bin, where I watch one of the many movies I own and blog about it, because I really don't get out much. Return with me now to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as I watch Thor: The Dark World. This comes from my notes of March 8, 2014.
Phase II of the Marvel Cinematic Universe continues rolling along with a sequel to Thor. I remember one online review describing how most superhero films have been rather polarizing affairs, but Thor was the first one that was "Eh, it's alright." And, as I recall, in my original review after the I saw it in the theatre, I agreed with that assessment. Thor: The Dark World. Eh, it's alright.
So, how's Thor been spending his time since last we saw him in The Avengers? Well, at the end of Thor, Thor had to destroy the Bifrost, aka the Rainbow Bridge that connects Asgard to all the other realms in the universe. With the Bifrost destroyed, and Asgard unable to police those realms, things descended into chaos as a bunch of wars broke out. So, Thor's been going from realm to realm, defeating all manner of villains, and restoring order. With the job finally done, Odin declares that Thor may finally be ready to take the throne of Asgard. But, Thor's heart is still with the woman he left behind on Midgard, aka Earth.
And what has Jane, aka Natalie Portman, been doing since we last saw her at the end of Thor? Umm...living in her mother's basement, pining for Thor, and still half-heartedly doing her research. But then, her equipment starts pinging, and she's taking to some gravity anomalies outside of London, where she's swept off to a hidden dimension and becomes host to the Aether, a mystical artifact of unspeakable power.
And, of course, it's the artifact that Maliketh, leader of the Dark Elves, covets in order to plunge the universe back into darkness. And all these things bring our heroes and villains together.
Natalie Portman is cool and all, but she's asleep for half the film. Literally. Possessing the Aether takes a lot out of her, and she is unconscious for a good portion of the film. Christopher Eccleston, my favourite Doctor, is Maleketh, but he doesn't get much to do except snarl and be evil. Apparently in earlier drafts, we did have more Jane and Maleketh, but then world fell in love with Loki following The Avengers, so Marvel decreed MOAR LOKI!
Where has Loki been since the end of The Avengers? Well, he's facing Asgardian justice, locked up in its dungeons for his attempts at world domination. Needless to say, he's still all bitter and resentful. His adoptive mother Frigga looks in on him from time to time, and is the only one to still show affection for him. So, when Malekith kills Frigga when he attacks Asgard, Loki is out for vengeance. And that's where Thor comes in, because he needs to know Loki's secret passages in and out of Asgard so they can sneak out Jane and take the fight to the Dark Elves.
And that really becomes the core relationship of the film: Thor and Loki. There's been a lot of bad blood between these brothers, and they do have some pretty good scenes where they hash it out.
Much like the first film, the comedy does get rather silly in places. Like what happened to Jane's mentor, Dr. Erik Selvig, following The Avengers? Well, having Loki control his mind for so long has left him a little loopy, and when we first meet him in the film, he's running around Stonehenge naked. He does have a cute joke later in the film. After witnessing the opening of interdimensional portals, and all kinds of weird stuff pouring out, he dumps his several dozen bottles of meds into a nearby trash can, saying, "There's nothing more reassuring than knowing the world's crazier than you."
I still stand by my original assessment. Eh, it's alright.