Thor: The Dark World - 5 Things in Favour of the Film, 5 Things Against it

Editor Notes: Thor: The Dark World is now open in wide release. For an additional perspective, read Doug’s review.

After watching Thor: The Dark World, I have come to realize that I have a natural love for this particular storyline in the Marvel Universe. While I thoroughly enjoy the other films in the franchise, Thor has proven to be the one I love to talk about the most. However, that does not mean I am blind to the faults of the first film, or this one; it just means that the negatives are not enough to hamper my immense appreciation of the positives.

Therefore, I have created a list that describes the five things I loved about the film and the five things I felt that took away from it. I will begin with the negatives as I feel it is always best to get the bad news first and then hear what good comes out of it:


Jane Foster/Love Story – Surprisingly, Natalie Portman’s character is quite a bland heroine. It also seems that she is the least in touch and comfortable in her role. While she does not do a bad performance, as she is too good of an actress for that, Portman’s portrayal of Jane Foster is unenthused; almost like she is the only one of the cast who is not having fun in their role. However, I find that it is the writing of the character that is most to blame. This essentially feeds into the weakness of the love story in the Thor films. With the heroine so uninteresting, how and why has Thor fallen so madly in love with her? The Foster/Thor relationship has and continues to have no real spark or chemistry, and makes us wonder why Thor does not move on for someone more interesting like Sif or even Darcy.


Uninspired Villain – Even with a great actor to play the main villain, the Dark Elf Malekith, I was immensely surprised how uninspired and clichéd he and his role were. There is nothing interesting about him or his ‘race’ of villains beside how they look and their technology. The studio could have honestly have found a random actor to play that role as it was almost completely devoid of any real character or personality. There was no significant back story or reason behind his actions, despite the fact that he is ‘evil’. A truly lost opportunity to get a good performance from Christopher Eccleston, who we all know could have been an outstanding villain in this incredibly mythological world had they just written it in his character.

Kat Dennings/Darcy Lewis – While I do not find her to be a bad actress, or that all of her comedy was bad. It just felt too much for me. Almost every line Dennings gave was for comedic effect as opposed to actually pushing the plot forward. It was, for the most part, forced and felt like she was trying too hard to make a situation or statement funny than capitalizing on a funny situation.

Too much Humour and not enough Character Development – It seemed this film was pushing for a more action-packed/comedic tone than the first one. While Thor had its faults, some of the best parts of the film were having the actors talk and behave as Shakespearean characters in a supernatural world while also have some very endearing comedic moments. Some of that was lost in this film, and replaced with entire scenes of slapstick humour. Some might find that to be a plus, but I find it to be a loss especially since a lot of the humour was borderline childish. I, personally, did not find Stellan Skarsgard taking off his pants continuously to be very funny.

Unrealized Potential – One of the main faults, for me anyway, was how the film did not make the actors take their characters to the level they could have. While the acting was in no way bad, there were several moments, and a few performances, that felt weaker than what they should have been or what they have been previously. Anthony Hopkins was the most obvious and guilty of this as they turned his powerful, but yet incredibly emotionally relatable, Odin into a posturing figure who merely spouted his lines at others as opposed to interacting with others as he did in the first film. While this was not done badly, it was disappointing as his personality was greatly diminished. Other actors were given similar deflations of charisma, which felt like a great loss to the film and what it could have been.


The Special Effects and Costumes – It is obvious that the budget for this film was a great deal more than in the first film. The costumes, sets, special effects and make up were all top notch and they helped to create beautiful and amazing settings for our eyes to drink in. Jumping back and forth from Earth and Asgard, and a few other realms, felt more enjoyable and entertaining to watch because how everything looked and how visually beautiful it was all done.


The Action Sequences – My greatest complaint against Thor was that the fight sequences and action was fairly lacklustre. For a film based on the Norse God of Thunder, you would think that action would have been its best aspect. However, that is not a problem in Thor: The Dark World. The battles sequences were excellent and incredibly entertaining. Whether it is a single combat between the good guy and bad guy, or a giant battle sequence with tons of characters, this film delivers action and does it well. There is plenty of action and all of it is good and fun to watch, especially the climactic battle which is so visually and conceptually amazing.

The Humour – While I have noted that the humour was a source of liability for this film, it is also was one of its great strengths when it was done correctly and cleverly. The writers knew that the audience would have undoubtedly watched the previous Marvel films before watching this one, and made many humourous nostalgic references to what has come before. Along with some quick witted banter between actors, the best coming from Chris Hemsworth and his scenes with Tom Hiddleston, this film does have many ‘laugh-out-loud’ moments.

The Thor and Loki Dynamic – As with Thor and The Avengers, the heart of what has made these films successful is the performances and scenes with these two actors/characters. What is truly enjoyable about this film is to watch these two enemies have to work together, and for the audience to remember that they are actually two arguing brothers. Despite how their characters have evolved, these two are family and you cannot just throw that away no matter how many terrible things have happened between you. This aspect is once again done incredibly well, in most part because of Hemsworth and Hiddleston’s performances and chemistry, and provides with many very moving and deeply resonating character moments and acting.

Tom Hiddleston/Loki – I left this for last as it is by far the most obvious and the most commented on aspect of the Marvel Universe. Thor: The Dark World gives us what we all really want, more Tom Hiddleston/Loki. The best thing the film did was that it did not disappoint on this level, and that alone makes it something worth watching. Since I could write an entire article on this subject, I will merely state that Tom Hiddleston does it again and is by far the best part of the film. All of his scenes and interactions with his fellow cast mates is a genuine joy. His performance and psychology grows as he grows with his character and makes us all wish for just a film entirely on him. He makes everything and everyone better and adds more to his growing mythos of being one of the best villains of all time.

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When I was 6 years old, my mother showed me the 1978 Superman movie. I watched that maybe 1000 times by the time I was 7. Ever since I have loved movies, and comic books. Fast forward 20 years, a couple film courses, several thousand comic books and over 2000 movies, and you get me. I continue to watch films of all genres and read comics. It is apart of my identity and it is something I love and hope to be able to continue loving and enjoying until the end of my days.