30 October 2013

A Look at Thor: The Dark World

Don’t anyone get me wrong. As a snotty little boy growing up glued to one of those large by-now antiquated black-and-white television sets, Mighty Thor and Captain America were my favourite characters in the stop-go Jurassic animation style of the classic Marvel Superheroes.

But Thor the first movie never really worked for me; and I guess Thor 2 (The Dark World), now that I have seen it, hasn’t either.

My problem with the first movie was mostly with its almost lazy pacing and the way with which the sinister Loki hogged the story too much. In this era of sophisticated computer-generated effects, I also felt that the movie’s effects were rather lame in comparison to many of the other major productions.

I watched Thor 2 because there was not much in terms of choices at SM-Lipa this week – the movie was running in all four cinemas. If I am being honest, all the teasers that were being shown on television also seemed to promise on an improvement on the first movie.


While Thor also figured in that movie, ‘The Avengers’ gave more in terms of an adrenaline rush that one more or less comes to expect from a movie of the action-fantasy genre. This, in my opinion, is something that both Thor movies only frugally delivered.
If there was, I would say that it was only marginal. I probably like the sequel slightly better because it is set in London as compared to the location of the first movie right smack in the middle of a colourless American desert.

Thor 2 is just as lazily paced as the first one. Thus, following the story will not be too difficult. That said, one wishes for a fast-forward button to speed the story up a bit when it drags and makes the viewer’s mind wander off to things like popcorn.

“We’re not gods!” declares Odin, Guardian of the Realms. With this statement, the writers laid down the premise of the story; that is, modernising the context of the Nordic myths to the 21st century.

Even the most outlandish plot, it is said, has to be anchored on a measure of reality as we know and believe it to be for the story to make sense and become believable. In anchoring the story on the still-evolving theories of Quantum Physics, the writers not only made the storyline mushy at times but even compromised that very element of ‘believability.’

There is a disconnect, for instance, in the use of Medieval weaponry Рi.e. swords, spears, shields Рas depicted by Scandinavian mythology alongside the technologies of supposed advanced civilisations Рlaser guns, æther bombs, intricately-designed flying vehicles Рwho can move between realms using portals.

More of Asgard is shown than in the first movie; and one wonders why such a big production could not have thought up better designs to make the sets richer visually. These arguably pale in comparison to even modest productions like ‘Prometheus’ and ‘John Carter.’

It is both hard and unfair to critique acting in movies of this genre, but if at all, Tom Hiddleston once again gives a perfect and sinister portrayal of Loki. That said, in comparison to the first movie, Loki’s involvement in this sequel is mostly incidental until the end.

When it does, the viewer is already warned that the character of Loki will once again be central to the story of the next sequel.

Kat Dennings as Darcy – the intern who has an intern – also catches the attention with her flippant delivery of her lines, often providing the badly-needed comic relief when the movie begins to drag.

Those who liked the first movie will, in most likelihood, also like the second one as the latter is made in the same style as the first; i.e. dark, subdued and lazily paced. Readers who have also seen the movie ‘The Avengers’ will in most likelihood know what I mean.

While Thor also figured in that movie, ‘The Avengers’ gave more in terms of an adrenaline rush that one more or less comes to expect from a movie of the action-fantasy genre. This, in my opinion, is something that both Thor movies only frugally delivered.

Acknowledgment: Photos captured from the official Thor: the Dark World HD trailer on YouTube.











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