maandag 12 januari 2015

Thor: The Dark World review

Backlog?  What backlog??  I finally got to see the movie in all peace and quit the past week, as one can better give an opinion of those blockbusters outside the visual spectacle of a cinema room.  That it took more then a year is a detail then ;-)

The second movie of the demi-god Asgardian member of the Avengers, Chris Hemsworth takes up the mighty hammer Mjolnir again in this adventure that further explores the Marvel universe.

In this movie, he faces off against the Dark Elf Malekith (played by Christopher Eccleston, the first Doctor of the relaunch of Doctor Who, an actor I always liked a lot), in order to control the mystical powers of the Ether, one of the Inifinity Stones of Thanos`s gauntlet.

Synopsis

Opening with a spectacular battle between the Asgardians (space vikings) and the Dark Elves (evil Mimie players) in an era past, the Ether is captured by the Asgardians and locked away, while the Dark Elves seem to be extinguished by the father of Odin and his army.

In the meantime, Thor and his friends of the Warrior Three are repairing the damages done from the first movie and the Avengers movie, and amongst those is locking Loki away for a lifetime sentence, ordered by Odin.

On Earth, professor Selvig is found running around naked at Stonehenge with some strange devices, while Jane Foster, her friend Darcy and the intern Ian are now working in London.  They go to an abandoned warehouse discovering strange anomalies, but Jane is sucked into this and discovers the Ether.  The material absorbs itself into Jane and reawakes Malekith, who has been hiding with his Dark Elves in a city ship in an asteroid belt for millenia.

As the Convergence, an event where all 9 realms of reality draw in line, draws nearer, Jane becomes completely possessed by this Ether force and Thor comes to get her back to Asgard to study the phenomena and look for a way to extract it from her.

When a Dark Elf infiltrates Asgard, he sets free all the prisoners bar Loki and causing chaos in Asgard.  This is the moment Malekith decides to strike, and he launches a large scale attack on the city, resembling in a good way the battles from Stargate Atlantis in my opinion, including the destruction of the city shield`s generator and allowing the dark ones to land in the city.

Malekith goes after Jane and kills Thor`s mother Fryda in the process, but Jane is saved by the thunder god at the last moment, gravely disfiguring Malekith in the process as he smashes Mjolnir against his face.

Thor and his band decide to remove Jane from the world against the wishes of Odin, but in order to do so, they require the help of Loki who nows other exits from Asgard apart from the now shut down Bifrost.  This leads to a funny Captain America cameo, apart from the traditional Stan Lee one who seems caught in the same asylum as doctor Selvig.

On the Dark World, Thor, Loki and Jane face off against Malekith.  Loki though immediatly betrays Thor, stabbing him with his dagger, and cutting off his weapons hand as Malekith extracts the Ether from Jane.  This however is all an illusion by Loki, and Thor attacks Malekith.  His power became to great though and he escapes with the Ether in his possession, off to Greenwhich which is the focal point of the Convergence.  Loki gets gravely injured in the fight and dies in the arms of his half brother, after having saved him himself from certain death by the hand of the Dark Elf berserker.  He tells Thor he did it solely `for him` and dies.

Thor and Jane manage to get back to Earth though thanks to the same event that snuck Jane away in the first place, and they hook up with Eric and the rest in Greenwhich library (the footage also shown in s1 of Agents of SHIELD).  Thor again faces off against the Ether empowered Malekith, with the sole purpose of buying time so his friends can disrupt the anomaly.  As they stumble through the realms as a consequence of the realms aligning in the Convergence, we see Mjolnir comically fly around in space to try and get back to it`s wielder... resulting at one point in Thor being forced to take the metro and being groped by a woman in there.

Malekith starts his attack on the worlds with the Ether, but using the graviton devices of Eric, Thor can disperse the attack and make Malekith loose the control over the Ether, averting the danger and destruction for the next millenia to come.

Back on Asgard, Thor is to be crowned king by Odin but he refuses to take up the mantle, choosing a life as protector of his people over that of a ruler.  As he walks out the throne room, an illusion shatters and it is revealed that Loki instead, having forged his own death, is sitting on the throne!

Easter Egg 1: The Collector, whom we will get to see in Guardians of the Galaxy, is a receiving the Ether to keep it away safely.

Easter Egg 2: Thor returns to meet Jane, while we see one of the beast that ended up on Earth with the realm barriers thinned, playing like a dog in the abandoned warehouse from the beginning of the movie.



What I liked about the movie:

Great scenery and special effects, as a true high budget production.
The funeral scene of Fryda and the other fallen Asgardians after Malekith`s attack is a tear breaker.
Christopher Eccleston

What I didn`t like about the movie:

Thor, and by extension the other super powered heroes of the Avengers (namely Captain America, Hulk and Iron Man) never ranked highly along my favorite Marver characters and comics.  I was in the mutie camp during my youth ;-)

Conclusion

An enjoyable movie with a fast pace and action, but not the best of the MCU I saw so far (okay, Guardians topped it all, but the reasons for me will be when I get down to rewatching that one and doing a small review).  It is rumoured though that the third instalment of the Thor series, Ragnarok, will be probably the most important `lynchpin` movie of the franchise in Phase 3 to lead up to the Infinity War, so let`s wait and see there :-)

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