Re: Fan Review Thread SPOILERS INSIDE - Part 2
I've been rewatching Marvel's Phase 2 films leading up to seeing CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER tomorrow, and while I think IRON MAN 3 improved on repeat viewing, sadly, THOR: THE DARK WORLD - which I'd previously ranked as my top superhero film of 2013 - slipped in my estimations second time round.
Don't get me wrong, it's still a very good film, with lots to like. The mythology of Thor and Marvel's Asgard/Nine Realms feels more fully realised here, and the actors have all grown into their characters, giving the relationships more nuance and gravitas. And whenever Loki is onscreen, the film soars, with Tom Hiddleston and Chris Hemsworth enjoying great chemistry in depicting a believably strained sibling relationship with anger, resentment and, buried deep down, love. And the climactic battle in London (and elsewhere) remains a highly inventive visual delight.
But in revisiting the film, the flaws were more apparent. While I'm an advocate for the humour in the Marvel Studios movies, here it doesn't feel so gracefully managed, resulting in some off-putting, lurching shifts in tone. And who thought that Kat Denning's Darcy - the grating annoyance who detracted from just about every moment she appeared in the first film - deserved a bigger chunk of solo screentime and her own equally annoying love interest to give her more to do? Add onto that the fact that Malekith is no match for Loki in the charismatic villain department, with a hazy, ill-defined evil scheme, and that Loki himself isn't in the film as much as I seem to remember him being, and there are quite a few flaws dragging this down to being just shy of greatness.
It's quite disappointing that, while Thor remains my favourite of Marvel's comic properties - Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic's THOR: GOD OF THUNDER is the best title in Marvel's library right now, and LOKI: AGENT OF ASGARD is a highly enjoyable new series - it has translated into arguably the weakest of Marvel Studios' film franchises. But THOR: THE DARK WORLD is an improvement on the first film and a confident step in the right direction, and sets up some ideas that should make for a compelling third installment that will hopefully continue the upward trend.