Thor: The Dark World review by JB

After Iron Man 3, the Marvel journey continues with Thor: The Dark World. Taking place sometime after The Avengers and after Iron Man 3, a new menace threatens the Nine Realms, bringing Thor forward to take action once again. Joining the crew this time is Christopher Eccleston of Doctor Who fame (and the first GI Joe film), who plays the leader of the Dark Elves, Malekith.


To those who dabble in other material beyond comics, you would be aware that Malekith is also the leader of the Dark Elves in the Warhammer Fantasy universe. So what came first, Malekith in Marvel Comics or Warhammer Fantasy? Malekith the Accursed (Marvel) first appeared in June 1984, whereas Malekith the Witch-King was first mentioned in the High-Elf Armybook in 1992. The name Malekith itself is derived from the old latin term for evil (male) and the old germanic term for friend (kith). Walter Simonson, famed comic writer who created Malekith, stated that it was a hybridization of Latin and a bit of Celtic.


Now that you have a pop-culture sense of where the new enemy came from, that doesn’t mean we do not see less of Loki. Your favorite villain, played by Tom Hiddleston, is still present in the movie. We still see much of the family dynamic present since the last Thor movie, which is great. We also see a bit more of the Asgardian world in terms of its people, compared to the previous movie. And while Kenneth Branagh understood how to carry the story and intensity in Thor, Alan Taylor brought the Asgardians closer to mortality than their godlike previous impression.


Let’s clear some things first…

Do you need to see Thor to appreciate Thor: The Dark World? No. And while there is no recapturing of the story from the original movie, there are references and continuations from the original Thor movie. Natalie Portman as Jane Foster returns with Eric Selvig (Stellan Skarsgaard), who we last saw in The Avengers, and their intern, Darcy (Kat Dennings). By the way, there’s a nice nod to The Avengers through the Eric Selvig character. You will also see some of the interesting cultural clashes that existed for the Asgardians.


So would you be missing anything in Thor? Any quips, jokes, or people? The original did a good job at establishing the characters, setting, and elements that would play out in The Avengers and subsequently in Thor: The Dark World. However, if you are not interested in watching the overarching Marvel Cinema sequence of Phase 1, you’ll still be fine with Thor: The Dark World. They also give you a short rundown of the Nine Realms. Hell, you even get a glimpse of all Nine Realms (a glimpse, like a world-map almost).


What it’s not…

  • LOKI – The Dark World. That sounds like a cool story and I know there’s a lot of Hiddleston fans, but it mostly focuses on Thor’s exploits.
  • Malekith badassery. Although we get a clear idea of the kind of influence Malekith wields, we see him more of a strategist than a true fighter.
  • Iron Man 3. Okay, some of you may dislike this remark. Iron Man 3 (despite being a good movie on its own), set itself more as a book-end to the Iron Man movies rather than as a part of Phase 2 (post-The Avengers). Whereas Thor: The Dark World carried the influence from THOR, The Avengers, and a little bit of Captain America (you’ll know it when you see it!).


What it does well…

  • It carries the plotlines for several characters as they have been affected by the previous movies.
  • It illustrates the Asgardian culture as people.
  • It illustrates Asgardian mortality.
  • Expresses the magical power of Asgard as a kind of technological superiority.
  • Instates the THOR stories as being a part the Marvel Cinema Universe line, than separating itself into its own line.
  • Pays homage to the social differences between Asgard and Midgard (Earth), which was exemplified in the original Thor movie.
  • Gives all the characters a fair amount of screen time and importance.


There are two post-credit scenes. One is your Phase 1-type of scene which seeks to unify Phase 2 (and most likely towards Phase 3), the second one is more in line with the movie overall. The Phase 2 post-credit scene felt very different and you’ll see why.

Grade: A

Facebook Comments