I am just really disappointed in TDW. And it's not because it contains humor in abundance. The laughs the movie got out of me, even from characters I thought in the end were superfluous, was honest. It had funny material. Would that any of the other elements were as deftly executed. Sorry, by leaps and bounds MOS has TDW beaten by a miles and miles. TDW is not undercut by it's comedic moments at all. But when I got out of the theatre they were the ONLY things I could recommend about it, and that's not what I want from a Thor film.
The villain(s) were weak sauce when it comes to characterization, and screen presence. Which is a shame because Eccleston is a fab actor that had me looking forward to his MAL. Kurse? Just a muscled henchman, and his knocking heads with Thor was unimpressive to say the least to me. The other characters are not presented or used very well. In MOS ZOD and his crew were genuine threats, and you were floored by the production values in presenting them as such. Zod was allowed to be better portrayed by Shannon since it did not appear to me that the key character moments or scenes for ZOD had been cut in either the script writing or editing phase. With MAL, you just know that there was supposed to be way more material there. Kurse is so one note and uninteresting. Compare him to the charismatic, beautiful and ten times more badass Faora-Ul. She was a threatening and memorable presence in the film from start to finish.
While Thor has a much larger supporting cast, the studio's decision to have the run time be what it is gave did them no favors. Given what was seen in the first film, a film I love and think is wildly underrated, how can you have SIF and JANE and THOR in the same place and not have some kind of hashing out of the feelings these two females have for our hero? That's a dramatic gold mine no matter how you do it. Granted, Loki comes out well, but the runtime really cuts into his spotlight as well. Not to mentionRene Russo's character's death has little impact. They needed way more of Loki and Frigga on screen together. It's a double shame in a way when you consider she already had so much character/relationship material cut out of the first THOR film. We see a little of Loki's love for his mother when Thor visits him and his cell is a shambles, as is his physical condition. But it needed even more texture.
Martha Kent is also the adopted mother of a son from a world not her own. Yet even as a character who is seen and heard less than her husband she is pretty well defined and Lane as an actress is allowed to give a great performance as Martha. The scene with her and Clark reconnecting is tender and heartfelt.
Lois Lane is actually used very well in MOS as the character who brings Clark a greater connection to the wider world. She is a real world analog of the character from the comics. A no BS investigative journalist, who actually finds THE STORY OF THE CENTURY, but as a good and moral person decides to keep Clark's secret. I mean, is anything done with Jane worthwhile at all in TDW? Anything? They literally made her the macguffin of the film and nothing else. And it's not that there aren't things to explore. Nope. Let's have her faint a lot. That'll draw the audience closer to her.
MOS has an interesting mix of characters who are presented as being competent, intelligent AND sometimes witty, in a world that is going to need all those qualities by the tons if humanity is to survive. Perry and Steve show that individual heroism is in anyone given the circumstances. Now let me ask you, would you trust Darcy to TiVo your favorite shows, much less be part of a scientific operation to stop the end of the universe?
I also find that the pacing of the films are similar, yet I am not hearing that as a complaint for TDW. On the other hand, I loved the pacing of MOS and though they packed a lot in their, admittedly, longer run time I enjoyed it. Would some more breathing room benefit the film? Yeah. Not having that breathing room does not make it bad either though. The drama and action are like a driving force. It's a ride. But oh what a ride. I think there is more than enough time to get engaged by the characters and story. But TDW's action and dramatic scenes, aside from Loki/Thor moments, just don't register that highly to me. Where as with MOS, I was engaged with the action and drama from start to finish despite the quick pacing. And as for action? There is just no comparison. Superman was presented as a true god on Earth. This was superhero origin as Biblical/Mythological Epic. Why couldn't Thor, and actual god, get a similar treatment in TDW? That's not to say I wanted the same level of destruction or mayhem in TDW, but it could have had a grander scope than it did. It's funny. For both films I had preconceived notions (as everyone does whether they admit to it or not). I really would have been happy with a modern Superman film in the Donner mold that had a physical opponent for Superman and current SFX That would have satisfied me. Instead I got the Superman movie I did not even know I wanted. It certainly was not the Superman film I would have made. Not in the least. But that did not stop me from very much appreciating what was done with the plots/themes/characters of the film. I left flabbergasted and could not wait to see it again. I left the first Thor film also wanting to see it again. I saw MOS 6 times in theatres and if I am remembering it right, I think I saw THOR 3 times. I was in no mood to revisit TDW when I left the theatre Friday morning. I was expecting a film that would move things forward more, but other than lightly touching on Thor's princehood and coming kingship for maybe two scenes
all the other material that was primed for mining from THOR1 is just not present in any meaningful way in TDW. I wanted to like TDW and hoped it would stack up to MOS in my estimation. I just can't say it. Don't shoot the messenger.