“‘Thor: The Dark World’ continues the big-screen adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself. In the aftermath of ‘Thor’ and ‘The Avengers,’ Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos…but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.” (c) Disney
When your first film already succeeds in grounding your unruly protagonist into a believable hero, it’s going to be a challenge to make the sequel work. Factor in the fact that Thor and Loki, two of the main characters, also squared off in The Avengers? Let’s just say I came in to this film with very low expectations.
And it completely blew me away.
Confession: I fell asleep while watching the first Thor movie. I thought the story divide between Asgard and Earth were too jarring, and I didn’t really enjoy the story. Also, Chris Hemsworth’s bleach-blonde do in the first film was very distracting. And I found that it went a bit heavy on the exposition.
The second film didn’t have that problem: we already know the characters. The events of The Avengers film were dealt with expertly through a couple of lines, and a hilarious cameo. Thor’s blonde do is no longer distracting. And the story… Well, the story was cool.
This is a superhero film, so it’s not like we expect the story to be mind-blowing. The action was, though. But the story served its purpose. It catches you in its web, it makes you care, and you root for the heroes to win. And the amazing thing is, our heroes are no longer bogged down with the journey to better themselves. They’ve already proven that they are heroes in the first film. The Avengers, although light on the character development, have seen them grow some more. This sequel sets our heroes up for a fall because of said growth. And this was genius.
I remember disliking Iron Man 2 because it felt like a cheap version of the first Iron Man film. But that was mostly because our hero failed to live up to the promise set when the first film ended. Iron Man 3, I believe, was a better sequel because it didn’t devolve the character of Tony Stark. It just raised the stakes. And that is exactly what Thor: The Dark World did. Our heroes retained the lessons they learned–but now, they have to use those and then some, to save the worlds.
You notice how I keep saying ‘heroes?’ Because it isn’t just Thor we’re going to root for in this film. Jane Foster also takes a more active role in this film. And so does… another character.
Image and perception take the spotlight in the Thor sequel. And I feel that that’s the main story angle of Thor: The Dark World. We already know who the characters are. We’ve seen them become better. And now, they have to prove to the other characters that what happened in the first film was not a fluke. That what happened in The Avengers was a bridge. And now their growth continues. It’s about maintaining the image and breaking how the other characters perceive them.
And then, there’s trust. This movie is also about learning to trust–and risking so much in that trusting.
I wasn’t a fan of Thor because of the first film. I am a fan now.
Last thought: I loved the climactic battle. I loved how the film used the divisive divide between worlds in such a way that made all the world-jumping integral. And I loved how, unlike Man of Steel, the characters knew to try to get people away from the fight.