I’ll be blunt. Thor The Dark World is a mixed bag. A supremely mixed bag. It’s a film that feels rushed at almost every turn. It has some interesting moments and some pseudo-great ideas but ultimately fails to succeed on any real level.
Thor The Dark World has many many many problems. The chief of which is that it hand-holds the audience too much. From the terrible opening scene where Odin is narrating about the villain to poor story structure choices, Thor The Dark World doesn’t respect it’s audience. In fact, it belittles them. It treats them like little kids. One could almost say it treats them like ‘comic book movies are just for kids’. It’s quite infuriating to watch.
Second among the many crimes that Thor The Dark World wages against its audience is the fact that it has the most bizarrely emphasized pacing of any marvel movie. None of the important scenes are emphasized. Random character interactions, that aren’t bad, are emphasized forever due to the fact that the give them way too much screen time. I don’t know if Alan Taylor’s original cut was bizarrely over paced or if the editor was suffering from cerebral palsy but it really is one of the most bizarrely paced movies I’ve seen in a long time.
It’s really too bad, honestly, because you can feel Hiddleston and Hemsworth really giving it their all. They’re both acting the crap out of paper thin scenes. Their interpersonal character dynamic is quite interesting, of course. They both really do deliver stellar performances.
Christopher Eccleston, on the other hand, is bland and completely uninteresting. That’s not quite fair, I suppose. You can’t really ask him to give a Shakespearian level performance in the fifteen minutes he was one screen and the twelve lines of english he spoke. It’s really unfair. Of all the characters Malekith got the biggest short change. From the moment that they announced that Malekith was going to be the antagonist in Thor 2, I was nervous. Why? There are so many better Thor villains. The Enchantress, The Executioner, or Beta Ray Bill. Malekith isn’t even third tier. He’s like D list. And it shows. He has no real defining character traits, no real style, no real panache, and no real sense of story immediacy. If Malekith wasn’t in Thor The Dark World, I really doubt anyone would care.
Malekith is the Justin Hammer of Thor 2. He’s there and he’s a thing but no one really remembers him and he’s probably not going to come back and impact the franchise again.
The strangest aspect of Thor The Dark World, for me, was the fact that they introduced space ships and laser guns. Malekith rides around in a massive and invisible star destroyer. All his henchmen use laser guns. Why, in the medieval universe of sword and sorcery is there a guy with an army of high tech elves…. FROM BEFORE THE UNIVERSE WAS CREATED?!!!??!?! It violates and breaks the laws of the Universe. Ok,sure, if this were an Avengers movie? Yes, it’d be great. It’d make sense. It’d be tonally appropriate. But it’s not. It’s a solo Thor movie. Which means he should be fighting dudes with swords, right? Right. Well, he’s not. There are whole sequences where Asgardian soldiers armed with swords are battling Dark Elves who are armed with laser guns. And the Asgardians win! How is that possible?
Thor The Dark World is an unfortunate case of a release date being made, instead of a film. It’s really too bad because there’s some really nice stuff in there…somewhere…I think.