As "Phase 2" of Disney's never-ending Marvel overload continues, expectations for stand-alone, superhero movies have plummeted, because we know how great it is when all these guys get together. People used to get genuinely ecstatic about each and every superhero film, but, now, people are just waiting around for the next Avengers film. Personally, I have even more excitement for the new X-Men film, but most of my excitement can be attributed to the great mass of superheroes and great actors that will be featured in the film. However, for the moment, let's pretend that The Avengers never happened. What are my expectations for the Thor sequel, now?... Well... they are even lower! I'm sorry, but I didn't care for the first Thor film, and he was easily my least favorite Avenger. So, with that being said, my only motivation to see Thor: The Dark World was to avoid missing something crucial in the Marvel universe. Also, Loki is kinda the man...
My least favorite part of this sequel was the insignificance of the bad guys, Malekith and Algrim. Of course, their existence meant the end of the earth, but their motivation and power came off as a bit ambiguous, in my opinion. Basically, it was as if they needed someone to take the evil attention away from Loki, but, in the end, it just fell flat. Aside from that, the plot wasn't too bad. However, two weeks after watching the film, it is kind of hard to remember many details. So, maybe it wasn't so great either. I do remember that I was impressed with the way that Loki's return to Asgard was dealt with, and the ending was much less abrupt, compared to the first Thor film. Additionally, I enjoyed the story surrounding Thor and Jane Foster, played by Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman, a lot more than in the first film. It wasn't quite as forced.
Loki is easily Thor's saving grace, and there was no doubt that Tom Hiddleston carried The Dark World farther than any other character. Unfortunately for us, Loki is expected to be absent from the second Avengers, which will make it interesting to see how the development of a bad guy may engulf the second Captain America film, due out in April. Aside from Loki, mediocrity was the name of the Thor character game. Below are a few exceptions...
As I said before, the bad guys, played by Christopher Eccleston and Mr. Echo (I'm not going to try to type out his real name), were pretty much pointless, and I highly doubt that anyone truly enjoyed their presence in the film. Also, Erik Selvig, played by Stellan Skarsgard, continued to become less and less important in the grand scheme of the Thor storyline. To me, this reduction of importance is quite disappointing, as he was one of the few characters that I enjoyed in the first film. My final negative is the big man himself, Thor!, who is the stupidest and most awkward of all the Avengers, yet he manages to be the only thing that ties every super's story together. Regardless, I can't stand him! Seriously, if you took Chris Hemsworth and put him in Troy or Clash of the Titans, you would realize just how ridiculous this character turned out to be.
Loki is the man! This film would have been more appropriately titled Loki: The Cooler Brother. I mean, is there any way that we can get Loki in The Avengers 2? I'll let you keep Thor, Joss! Just give me a little Loki. I predict a bright future for Tom Hiddleston, and I can't wait to see what's in store for him. As was the case with the first Thor film, I really enjoyed the character of Heimdall, played by Idris Elba. His wisdom and loyalty is a great accent to the various rebellious characters throughout Asgard, and I really wish he would find his way into an Avengers movie.
In comparison to its preceding Phase 2 project, Iron Man 3, I would put Thor: The Dark World on exactly the same level. The film was better than Thor's last stand-alone film, just like Iron Man 3 was better than Iron Man 2, featured a lot of hearty laughing moment, just like Iron Man 3, and contributed very little to the overall, Avengers-based storyline (with what we know at this point), just like Iron Man 3. I don't know how everyone else feels, but, after seeing Iron Man 3 and Thor: The Dark World, I am afraid that these Marvel films are going to become a bit too generic. Don't get me wrong... I enjoyed the story, some of the acting, and, of course, I will go back to see Thor 3. However, as the movie wrapped up, I had that same underwhelming feeling that came after Iron Man 3. It was that same feeling you get after you watch any plot-twisting, action-filled, depth-lacking movie on the big screen. You know what I'm talking about! At this point, I just hope that The Avengers: Age of Ultron has something unique and exciting in store for Marvel fans. If not, Phase 2 may turn out to be the highest grossing and least exciting of the infinite future Marvel phases. I give Thor: The Dark World 3.12 out of 5 stars.