Richard De Jong
February 24, 2014
Beneath Thor: The Dark World's, melodramatic mash-up of Marvel and Norse mythology, a much less pretentious - and more entertaining - human comedy is successfully grounding this Nine Realms saga that literally pits darkness against the light.
Moments like when a pleasantly surprised Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) asks Thor (Chris Hemsworth), "You told your father about me?" allow the audience to connect to characters who are elsewhere having the maleficent aether teeming through their veins or are clobbering a twenty foot tall stone soldier with a twirling hammer.
For me, Thor: The Dark World is worth watching because of the human foibles, displayed in the midst of surreal cataclysmic events, by people like Darcy Lewis (Kat Demmings), who steals a kiss from her intern while foiling the evil Malekith, or Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård), who scampers naked around Stonehenge while warning the world of impending doom.
And there's a love story budding amidst all the warring and machinations. Portman imbues Jane Foster with the spunk to stand toe to toe with the chiseled Hemsworth who seems twice her size. They make a cute couple.
Jane even has the gumption to question the imperious Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and only defers to Thor's mother, Frigga (Rene Russo).
In fact, the whole cast is stellar. Tom Hiddleston stands out as the mischievous malcontent Loki. He sublimely captures the conflicted brother who would be king.
I appreciate the operatic dimensions of this epic battle, exemplified by the make-up, costumes and sets. The realm of Asgard especially impresses with its resplendent architecture and regal interiors.
While on the topic of majestic imagery, allow me to state the obvious, watch this movie on the largest screen available. Or to be more blunt, don't disrespect the effort and skill involved in creating these amazing visuals by viewing Thor: The Dark World on a smartphone or a tablet. At the very least, stream on a good-sized computer monitor while sitting up close.
The review copy sent did not include the 3D version, which is fine with me since I didn't look forward to two hours contending with those 3D glasses. I actually prefer the 2D version because of all the dark scenes in the movie tend to display better in 2D.
The Bonus Features include:
- Never-Before-Seen Extended and Deleted Scenes
- Gag Reel
- Exclusive Look - Marvel's Captain America: The Winter Soldier
- A Brothers' Journey: Thor & Loki
- Scoring Marvel's Thor: The Dark World with Brian Tyler
- Audio Commentary with Director Alan Taylor, Producer Kevin Feige, Actor Tom Hiddleston (Loki) and Cinematographer Kramer Morgenthau
- And More...
Perhaps the oddest "And More" segment is a non sequitar titled "Marvel One Shot: All Hail the King" starring Ben Kingsley, who in Iron Man 3 as the dipsy British actor Trevor Slattery played the role of his life, the Mandarin. In this featurette, Slattery is now in prison and being interviewed so we can know "once and fore all, who is Trevor Slattery," which was never a question keeping me up at night.
Studio: Walt Disney Studios & Marvel Studios
Director: Alan Taylor
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston , Anthony Hopkins, Tadanobu Asano, Idris Elba, Kat Dennings, Rene Russo, Jaimie Alexander, Stellan Skarsgard, Christopher Eccleston, Zachary Levi
Length: 1 hour, 52 minutes
Aspect ratio: 2.40:1
DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1
5.1 Dolby Digital
5.1 Dolby Digital
5.1 Dolby Digital
English SDH, Spanish, Portuguese and French