I had the privilege and opportunity to attend an advanced screening of Thor: The Dark World (henceforth referred to as either Thor 2 or TDW) on Monday. I was extremely excited because I really like the Marvel films, I’m a fan of Hemsworth as Thor, and I’m a huuuuuuuuge fan of Tom Hiddleston as Loki. (Hiddlestoners, holla at me!)
Thor 2 was what I thought it would be. It had a bunch of really terrific action scenes, but I felt more impressed than usual with the visuals. Absolutely stunning visuals. The colors, the landscapes, the stars… it was pretty breathtakingly gorgeous at times. My favorite scene, visually, was the funeral scene. This spectacular funeral scene is the kind that inspired the Viking funerals you remember learning about in school. This scene was set to a perfect score and I really had my breath taken away.
I still don’t really understand the relationship between Jane Foster and Thor, and by don’t understand, I mean I don’t think there are any grounds for it. Their chemistry and relationship sprouted out of seemingly nothing in the last film, and their love seems to be a huge factor in this film. This would be okay if I believed in it even a little bit.
Kat Dennings as comic relief Darcy was funny, but I felt like the writers tried a little too hard to squeeze more laughs out of her after she was popularly received by audiences in the first film. I laughed each time, but I didn’t like that there was SO much comic relief from Darcy.
However, this movie definitely had a lot of great comic moments. Loki plays up his God of Mischief title well. We get some nutty Stellan Skarsgård. I laughed a good deal throughout Thor 2, and I have to commend the screenwriters for that.
I was a little upset about 2 things.
- The recasting of Fandral. Josh Dallas, of whom I am a big big fan, played Fandral in the first film and was pretty great. If you watch some of the deleted scenes, you see how he channeled Errol Flynn for the role. He wasn’t able to reprise the role because of Once Upon a Time (my current favorite TV show!) so they cast Zachary Levi. Now I like him, and he was actually the original choice for Fandral and had to pull out because of Chuck (I loved that show). But I missed Josh, and, not going to lie, Zach looks kinda funny with blond hair and a beard. 😛
- The benching of Hogun. We have a grand total of one Asian character in this franchise right now. In the first film, Hogun is already the silent, brooding type. His lines are few and in-between, even among the other Warriors Three, who don’t have many lines or screen time for the film. At the beginning of TDW, Thor saves Vanaheim and tells Hogun to stay there with his people. Effectively, this means that Hogun only appears in this scene and then he has sliver of screentime towards the end. Meanwhile, the other Warriors and Sif are pretty cool in this film, but Hogun is left out of the fun.
This is kind of frustrating to me, as you can tell. There are so few people of color in the Marvel movies, sometimes, so it is frustrating that the one Asian one is told to stay home for the film. Why??
I really really liked this movie. While the plot itself wasn’t terribly compelling, here is a quick bulleted list of reasons I think you should see this film:
- Christopher Eccleston plays our villain, for fans of the Ninth Doctor. It was nice to see him, as I haven’t seen him since I finished watching series 1 of DW.
- There is a cameo appearance by my favorite Avenger and it makes me feel happy and warm inside.
- Loki, ’nuff said.
- Thor, also ’nuff said.
- Gorgeous visuals, as mentioned earlier
- Great action sequences
- Women taking names and kicking butt (namely Frigga and Sif)
- Plenty of laughs
- Tears also, if you cry easily at movies like I do.
In short, DEFINITELY try to see this! You don’t have to see it in 3D or anything, but it’s a great addition to the Marvel film collection.
SOME SPOILERS BELOW
I was really pleased with Frigga‘s role in this film. Her more character-defining moments were cut from the final version of the first Thor movie, but she was a significantly more prominent character in TDW. We look at lot more at her relationship with Loki. She obviously loves him as her son, but he kind of struggles because he knows he at least did love her as his mother. She was always a loving mother to him and never stopped. He struggles because he’s not her biological son. What does that mean, then? What is she to him? What is he to her?
Frigga kicks some serious butt in her scene with Malekith. It’s amazing to see her go from just the beautifully regal but admittedly boring Queen of Asgard in the first film to this butt-kicking strikes-fear-in-Vikings warrior. She was completely pwning Malekith.
But then she is killed. And I was heartbroken when this happened. She saved Jane, and she was so kind to Loki, and Thor’s rage was palpable.
Let’s go back to Loki, however. Loki’s feelings for his mother are very clear when we see a silent scene in the aftermath of Frigga’s death. A prison guard comes to his cell to tell him something. Loki nods and is left alone with his books and the other accoutrements that his mother made sure to provide in his cell. He calmly closes his book and stands up, but in a spurt of rage, uses his powers to cast everything out of his way.
This results in the haggard Loki that we saw in the trailer. He has lost his mother. He is furious. This is the catalyst for Loki teaming up with Thor and actually helping him.
The lack of trust between the brothers is a big point in the film. But there’s this one moment:
Thor: I wish I could trust you, brother.
Loki: Trust my rage.
Mmmmm, I loved it. I loved exploring the fact that while Thor was Odin’s prized son, Frigga had a soft spot for the very clever but oft-neglected Loki. This was to the point where Thor even has to assert that he is not only Odin’s son. The sibling and parent dynamics really came alive in this film, and I absolutely devoured it. Yum.
ALSO it’s nice seeing Loki act on his own accord. In the previous film, he is so manipulated by Thanos (and P.S. are we going to see more of him or are we just i gnoring him now?) so seeing him act of own volition. God of Mischief indeed.
Let me also just say that YES YES CAPTAIN AMERICA IS IN THIS FOR ABOUT 15 SECONDS AND IT IS MOST GLORIOUS GOD BLESS AMERICA.
But really, Jane Foster, why are you even there?
I’m happy that Loki isn’t dead, because his death scene made me cry, truly. He is easily the most interesting character, depth and development-wise. I also cried when Frigga died.
BONUS: Here’s a great list of “50 Best Moments” from the movie. (http://www.totalfilm.com/features/thor-the-dark-world-50-best-moments/)