George: Thor: The Dark World is the second in the Thor series and the eighth in the Marvel Universe (not counting the Hulk films). So far, Marvel has been on an incredible roll but could this be the first slip? I saw the film in the theaters because my youngest son is a huge super hero nerd. I’ll admit that I left the theater a little underwhelmed. It didn’t seem as good as the first Thor and I wasn’t sure why. As the title implies, it is a little darker, but there was still something that was a little off.
Jeff: I didn’t catch it in the theater, unfortunately, but like George said, I was also a bit underwhelmed by the film as a whole. It kept me entertained through its running time, and even had some great action sequences, but in my mind, this was the weakest of all the Marvel films so far. The story wasn’t as top notch as I had come to expect from Marvel, and it was kind of all over the place at times. But, at the end of the day, it was still an enjoyable experience, and added more mythos to the Marvel universe.
George: The film takes place a short time after the events in The Avengers. Thor is spending his time and energies trying to reunite the Nine Worlds after the destruction of the Bifrost Bridge. The extremely likeable anti-hero, Loki, has been imprisoned and Thor’s beloved, Jane Foster, is relegated to searching for any signs of Thor. We also meet the Dark Elf Malekith who becomes the film’s ultimate villain. It seems that all of the parts are there for a fantastic film, but again, something was missing.
Jeff: Right off the bat, let me say that there is a severe lack of Loki in this film. Hiddleston has quickly become my favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe character, and keeping him in a cage for the first half of the film disappointed me. That said, once he is set free, I found that the film really opened up quite a bit more. The action sequences and the plot points started to come together, and there was a lot more humor. In contrast, the first half of the film sort of plods along, slowly setting everything up, but not doing a very good job of it.
George: I think most people agree that Loki is the fan favorite and rightly so. I enjoyed the return of Erik Selvig in a slightly deranged mood; honestly, I’ll never look at Stonehenge the same way again. The blu-ray does offer some good features, including a 30 minute featurette about Thor and Loki. It was entertaining to see how the characters came together and grew over the span of the three films. The best extra on the disc, though, was the Marvel One Shot All Hail the King starring our favorite, um, villain, Trevor Slattery.
Jeff: I seriously laughed so hard at the One Shot. These short films give directors a chance to tell interesting side stories off of the main Marvel universe, and it really expands them. They take a lot of chances, and it’s pretty incredible. But this one, by far, was my favorite of them all so far. Rounding out the extras was the standard gag reel, which was OK, and a look at the score of the film.
George: Overall, I think we both liked the film and it fits well with the Marvel Universe. I wondered if the plot of the Aether was just a tad too nerdy for the film. You know, just a little too deep into the Marvel Universe for the casual public. Regardless, I did enjoy the film a lot more with the second viewing. This does beg the question, though, does each Marvel film need a healthy dose of Hiddleston?
Jeff: Well, the Aether had to be set up as one of the Infinity Gems, to tie into future Marvel films, so it kind of makes sense? Sort of? Either way, if you’re a fan of the Marvel films, it’s definitely worth checking out at least once. Until we get a stand-alone Loki film!
What did you think about Thor: The Dark World? Do you think Marvel should produce a Loki film?
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By Jeff Heimbuch and George Taylor
The Disney Review is written and edited by Jeff Heimbuch and George Taylor
Other places you can find George and Jeff:
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