“Thor: The Dark World” is a very fun movie.
The film commanded the box-office opening weekend with a huge $86 million.
We saw the film over the weekend, and while it’s not perfect, it is a very satisfying sequel with the latter half of the film being much better than the first.
We’re not convinced this film was Thor’s movie as much as it was Loki’s, and that’s perfectly ok.
Though we were supposed to be focused on Thor and his quest to stop a dark lord from engulfing the universe in darkness, we often found ourselves more entranced with the God of Thunder’s brother and his separate storyline.
Nothing against Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Tom Hiddleston (Loki) just nailed his role every time on screen.
If an explainer at the very beginning of the film narrated by Anthony Hopkins didn't feel cliché enough (think 'The Lord of the Rings'), the Aether, an object of power introduced to us at the film's start -- one that was to be hidden in obscurity to never be found -- is easily unearthed in the first 30 minutes of the film.
The worst part is that it's found in the most convenient storyline plot device to bring Thor back to Earth: Natalie Portman (who plays Thor's girlfriend, Jane Foster) is magically transported between worlds and ends up right at the Aether.
Wait ... it gets worse.
What is this 'Spider-Man 3'?
The scene where the alien-esque Aether took over Natalie Portman's body was eerily similar to scenes where the alien Venom took over both Peter Parker and later Eddie Brock's bodies in 'Spider-Man 3.'
(Note: If you're a fan of superhero movies, you know the third film from Sam Raimi is heavily regarded as an embarrassment to the Spidey franchise and is a big reason behind the Spider-Man franchise reboot.)
Sure, this was a Thor sequel, but we could have been fooled.
Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is both the first person to be seen after the title sequence and the last one before the credits begin to roll. In between the story about Thor, the dark elves, and his struggle with his father (the King of Asgard) to accept his Earth-girlfriend Jane, is a much better one about an adopted son, cast away by the only father he has ever known.
This is very much Loki's movie as much as -- if not more than -- Thor's. Though he tried to take over the Earth in 'The Avengers,' you can't help but feel his intelligence could have helped mould him into a great ruler if given the chance. There are a few scenes in the film where you're really rooting for the antihero because you see that underneath his cold, calculating, mischievous persona, is a person with feelings just like the rest of us.
Loki is really just the kid who never fit in, always in the shadow of his handsome, popular brother Thor, who grew up to be a resentful bully because of it. He just needs some TLC.
Let's admit it: this sequel would have been a huge snooze without Loki.
Tom Hiddleston's clever asides and pranks really liven the film. Loki's ability to shapeshift delivers one of the film's most satisfying moments in a quick nod to an 'Avengers' character.
Pranks aside, Loki stays true to dastardly form plotting his own personal revenge against King of Asgard Odin while dutifully working alongside brother Thor.
Part of why the beginning of the film was so slow was because if you had watched the trailers and TV spots for the film, you had already seen a lot of it, including the punch-line delivered by Thor in the photo above. Because of that, we knew the character was never in any real danger in this scene.
Worst: You never really understand the motivation behind the villain's obsession with making the world dark.
The big bad villain Malekith has some beef with the Asgardians. Understood. Malekith wants control of the Aether (a dark weapon that makes matter into dark matter) to make the world dark. The Gods of Asgard want to prevent that from happening. Makes sense.
What I couldn't comprehend was Malekith's obsession with making the world dark.
Cool. But then what? Are you going to conquer the universe? I never felt like this was totally explained and for that reason, I couldn't really get on board with Malekith's heinous plan to turn off the world's light switch.
Always a fan favourite to spot in every Marvel movie, Stan Lee pops up as a man in a psych ward with Erik Selvig (Stellen Skarsgard).
While speaking to Thor:
'You must think I'm a piece of bread that needs to be buttered heavily.'
This just made me chuckle not only because it was unexpected, but because it just sounded kind of ridiculous coming out of Hopkins' mouth.
Early in the movie, it's revealed Jane's intern Darcy (Kat Dennings) has a new intern.
Unfortunately, no one can remember his name, often referring to him as intern, and he becomes the butt of a lot of jokes. It's all meant for laughs, but for anyone who has ever worked as an unpaid intern, Disney's attempts at humour fall pretty flat.
Thankfully, this stops about halfway through the film.
Is Loki a good guy or a bad one?
Uncertainty about Loki's allegiances in the film make for an exciting watch as fans go back and forth between laughter and complete shock with the fan favourite.
Make sure to stick around after the film is over for not one, but two end-credits scenes giving hints at what's to come from Marvel's next summer movie, 'Guardians of the Galaxy.'
If you were confused by the scenes or missed them, here's a full explainer.
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