Thursday, October 31, 2013

Review of THOR: THE DARK WORLD: Sparked by Humor

October 31, 2013

In the beginning, there was a all powerful dark force called The Aether. The powers on Asgard contain this force and keep it hidden for thousands of years, only to be found by none other than astrophysicist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). When The Aether takes possession of Jane, of course, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) comes to her rescue. 

However, as Asgard and the Nine Realms face the resurgence of the Dark Elves led by the diabolical Malakith (Christopher Eccleston), a catastrophic planetary alignment threatens to end the existence of the whole world. Thor was forced to solicit his incarcerated renegade brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to help him with his elaborate plan to save Jane and the Realms. Can the two estranged brothers actually work for one common noble goal?

Honestly, the first hour of this new Thor film was so dark it was almost dull. The special effects looked so fake and unimpressive, very obvious excessively cartoonish mayhem. The acting can be so hokey and corny, so serious and heavy-handed despite the shallowness of the story. The plot itself is very familiar, and reminiscent of many other superhero films. The romantic scenes of Natalie Portman wearing a gown felt like scenes in a "Star Wars" prequel.

But there was that sudden turn around midway in the film when Thor and Loki joined up that the film snapped into place and never looked back up to the very end. The second half came alive because of its quirky sense of humor, thanks largely due to the characters of the eccentric Dr. Eric Selvig (Stellan SkarsgÄrd), Jane's cute intern Darcy (Kat Dennings), and Darcy's own dorky intern Ian (Jonathan Howard). I feel these funny moments saved this film from wallowing in self-seriousness. These scenes may seem so out of place, yet they were still so laugh-out-loud hilarious.

However, are these funny scenes really what director Alan Taylor wants us to remember this movie for?  The brotherly interaction between Thor and Loki should have been the main focus, but this can be buried under so many other less-important computer-generated details that tend to overwhelm this production.  

In any case, overall, this film turned out very entertaining superhero action film that audiences will enjoy. You may not really be able to fully understand how the fight action went from realm to realm in the climactic battle but these were exhilarating to see.  The artwork in stark red and black with broad brush strokes over the final credits were awesome to look at. Don't leave right away as you know there will be extra scenes to whet your appetite for more adventures to come.   7/10.

PS:  My review of the first Thor film is posted HERE.