In the aftermath of Loki’s (Tom Hiddleston) treachery, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) returns to Asgard after bringing peace across the Nine Realms. However, Malakith (Christopher Eccleston) and the Dark Elves return after a 5,000 year slumber. They plan to use The Aether, a force older than the Universe itself, to destroy the cosmos and return everything to darkness. Thor must face an enemy that even his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) can’t withstand, in order to save everything, and everyone, he loves.
Marvel Studios told some great stories in their Phase One slate of movies, culminating in the grand and marvelous The Avengers. But they are really hitting their stride in their Phase Two movies. Thor: The Dark World took cues from The Avengers and is funny yet serious, without becoming comical (in the bad way).
Probably what I like best about Thor 2 is that it develops so many of the characters, particularly Loki. Despite finding out his true heritage as a Frost Giant in Thor, and attacking Earth in The Avengers, we learn there are still people he cares about. Loki has become one of (if not the) best villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He is a multifaceted character that is hard to trust but easy to love.
Anything that comes out of Kat Dennings mouth in this movie is comedy gold. I don’t think she said anything that I didn’t at least chuckle at, let alone laugh out loud. Stellan Skarsgård plays a crazy Erik Selvig perfectly. I think I missed the explanation of why he went coo-coo (It was from his manipulation at the hands of Loki in The Avengers, fyi), but it was an interesting turn for the character that Skarsgård pulled off. Easily, though, the best performance of the film belongs to Tom Hiddleston. It is hard to image anyone else in the role nowadays. Hiddleston has come to embody the character so well.
The action this time is bigger than it was in Thor. The scale of it is somewhere between Thor and The Avengers. Instead of just Asgard, now all of the Nine Realms are in trouble, culminating in a showdown between Thor and Malakith in London. The final showdown looks fantastic. The special effects are well done, especially considering the fight bounces between Earth and the different Realms.
Like all Marvel Studio movies, this film as a scene to set up a future film. So don’t forget to watch all the way to the end of the credits, because there is both a mid-credits and post-credits scene (Now Marvel is just getting obnoxious). The mid-credits scene can be compared to the post-credits scene in Iron Man. In Iron Man, it showed the course the movies would take in Phase One. Here, it shows the story arch the movies could take potentially up to Avengers 3.
Thor: The Dark World continues to build off previous Marvel films, while also standing alone. Tom Hiddleston has completely become the character of Loki, who gets some great character development. Great comedic timing by several actors and bigger action, really giving gravity to the threat, keeps Marvel’s Phase Two moving along strong.