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11.10.13 Film Remarks: Thor: The Dark World

Thor: The Dark World (Walt Disney Pictures, 2013)

Thor: The Dark World (Walt Disney Pictures, 2013)

11.10.13 Film Remarks: Thor: The Dark World (2013 Walt Disney Pictures)

Sophia and I took Adriana & Seth to see Thor: The Dark World yesterday, and we all thought the film highly entertaining. Here are some quick observations:

(1) Family consensus on best parts of the film were

  • for wife Sophia & daughter Adriana, the complete “stud factor” of Chris Hemsworth, who, admittedly, is perfectly cast as the Thunder God, but (for son, Seth, and me), the film lingered a bit over-much on a semi-clad Thor rinsing himself off (I think Sophia said that scene was “rockin’ ‘”….an envious grrr here from A.J.)
Jane Foster (Natalie Portman)

Jane Foster (Natalie Portman)

  • great chemistry between Chris Hemsworth & Natalie Portman in their depiction of Thor & Jane Foster’s relationship
  • Tom Hiddleston’s continuing development and portrayal of Loki
  • the rapport between Thor and Loki, and depiction of
    Loki & Thor

    Loki & Thor

    the difficulties that current circumstances present to their brotherhood & onetime friendship

  • Idris Elba’s interpretation of Heimdall, the Watcher of the Godsmovies-thor-the-dark-world-poster-1
  • Rene Russo’s very engaging and powerful presentation of Frigga (Thor & Loki’s mother)
  • Kat Denning’s role as Jane’s intern, Darcy Lewis
  • Chris O’Dowd’s typically understated (buy very humorous) portrayal of Jane’s would-be suitor, Richard

(2) For the comic-book collector in me, the stand-out parts of the film were

  • the appearance of one of the Stone Men from Saturn, who were the
    Thor vs. Stone Man from Saturn (refers to Journey into Mystery #83, 192)

    Thor vs. Stone Man from Saturn (refers to Journey into Mystery #83, 192)

    villains in Thor’s first appearance in Marvel Comics (Journey into Mystery #83, 1962)

  • the Jack Kirby-esque presentation of Asgard and the Nine Worlds, all of which were shown in accord with Marvel’s very distinct take on
    Asgard (Thor: The Dark World)

    Asgard (Thor: The Dark World)

    Norse mythology, blending the fantasy and “super-science” elements that Jack Kirby & Stan Lee created in the 1960s & which still have relevance in 2013

  • the treatment and comedic timing of a certain surprise-appearance Avenger
  • the use of Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) and Kurse (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), both Walter Simonson-created villains from the 1980s who were very much “out-of-the-box” when they hit the four-color page (pun intended, for those geeks who know the “Casket of
    Malekith's First Story Arc (Walter Simonson's 1980s run on The Mighty Thor)

    Malekith’s First Story Arc (Walter Simonson’s 1980s run on The Mighty Thor)

    Ancient Winters” storyline), and who first appeared, respectively, in Thor, Vol. 1, #344 & #347, 1984.  Whenever I think of the classic Simonson run on The Mighty Thor, Malekith is always at the forefront of favorite story-arcs

(3)  On the comic-book/story-telling side of things, would’ve wished to see

  • role and “naming” of the Warriors Three — unforgivable that for this huge part of Thor’s life, (a) his friendships with Fandral (Zachary Levi), Hogun (Tadanobou Asano), and Volstagg (Ray Stevenson) weren’t made clearer for the audience by “naming” each of them when they appeared, and (b) while I really appreciated the attention to them in the first half of the film, the Warriors Three and Sif weren’t present
    The Warriors Three (Fandral, Volstagg, & Hogun)

    The Warriors Three
    (Fandral, Volstagg, & Hogun)

    at the film’s conclusion (had a potential plot-thread with Hogun, but then just dropped somewhere along the way…) — I understand that there’s only so much you can fit into a feature film, but the way that the film was scripted could easily have allowed for these four characters (& Heimdall) to have more of a role at the end…

  • better-defined reason for Malekith’s hatred of Asgard and the Nine Worlds; felt that Kurse’s role as a creature of pure menace and rage very clear to the audience, but don’t know if anybody felt that there was much of a “back-story” to Malekith & the “dark world” of Svartalhfeim
Malekith (Christopher Eccleston)

Malekith (Christopher Eccleston)

Very heartily recommend seeing this film; we found it a worthy follow-up to the 2011’s Thor, and a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

Best,

— A.J.

P.S. My daughter’s insistent that I let everyone know that there are two extra scenes after the movie ends, and that you absolutely should stay in your seat until the end of the credits!

Hogun, Fandral, & Volstagg

Hogun, Fandral, & Volstagg

Spoiler-Free Plot Synopsis: While Loki is condemned by All-Father Odin to spend eternity in solitary confinement for his role in 2012’s Marvel’s The Avengers, Thor fights alongside Sif and the Warriors Three to bring peace to the Nine Worlds, even though privately wishing that he could be back on Earth with a Jane Foster.

Sif

Sif

For her part, a still-despondent (& waiting-for-Thor-to-return) Jane Foster stumbles through a dimensional portal and absorbs part of the “Aether” that once almost caused the destruction of the universe.  Her action awakens Malekith the Dark Elf from a thousands’-year suspended animation and he resumes his bid to destroy all of creation.  Malekith transforms his assistant, Algrim, into the unstoppable villain, Kurse, and then attacks Asgard in an attempt to wrest the Aether from Jane so that he can use a rare moment of the Nine Worlds’ “convergence” as a means to destroy the universe. Even Odin can’t stand against the power of Malekith, and by film’s end Thor has to find a way to save the Nine Worlds and woman he loves.

Kurse (Thor The Dark World)

Kurse (Thor The Dark World)

CAST:

Thor                      Chris Hemsworth
Jane Foster           Natalie Portman
Loki                       Tom Hiddleston
Odin                      Anthony Hopkins
Frigga                    Rene Russo
Heimdall              Idris Elba
Sif                          Jaime Alexander
Fandral                 Zachary Levi
Hogun                 Tadanobou Asano
Volstagg               Ray Stevenson
Erik Selvig          Stellan Skarsgård
Darcy Lewis       Kat Denning
Richard               Chris O’Dowd
Malekith             Christopher Eccleston
Algrim/Kurse     Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje

Director                                 Alan Taylor
Story                                       Don Payne
Screenplay                            Christopher Yost
Christopher Markus
Stephen McFeely

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