Here we are again, another entry into the superhero genre which of late has seen a ridiculous amount of popularity. This time it is the second instalment of films based on the Thor comic books.
Thor: The Dark World again revolves around our meaty protagonist Thor played by actor Chris Hemsworth and his home of Asgard. A new foe awaits however, the Dark Elf Malekith (Christopher Ecclestone) who seeks to use the force known as the ‘aether’ to bring the universe as we know it to an end by shrouding it in darkness. As plots go it seems to be the bog standard superhero concept. The bad guy wants to destroy the universe and the good guy after some personal drama overcomes his issues and stops the antagonist.
It would be nice to tell you that Thor: TDW offers something more than your usual superhero film but sadly it doesn’t. The protagonist is a brute and so is this film, if you go to watch this expecting anything different then you will be in for a disappointment. Whilst there are moments of tenderness they are overpowered by the gruff Thor and his mighty Asgardians. The film bounds along from fight scene to fight scene which is all the audience really want to see.
Chris Hemsworth does portray Thor’s gruff side well however his acting seems too forced when it comes to scenes which require a softer touch. Without giving away anything there is a tragedy about halfway through Thor: TDW yet it would appear to affect the audience more than it does Thor. Thor is nothing but muscle and primal instincts, if Thor: TDW was an independent film it could be considered that it is an underlying message about our societies view of heroes is slightly skewed, however it is doubtful that this is the case in a Hollywood blockbuster. Yes he does love Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and struggles with his ambivalence towards Loki his partially insane brother (Tom Hiddleston) yet it seems that his problems just disappear with a flash of his muscles and a wave of his mighty hammer.
Tom Hiddleston on the other hand is considered by many as the driving force acting wise behind the Thor franchise. Unlike Hemsworth’s character, Hiddleston’s character is allowed to show his emotion, his emotion is the driving force behind his actions; he is not evil for the sake of being evil. When Loki is in grieving, you can really believe the pain of a man who has nothing left but pain and hatred. Hiddleston’s performance is very reminiscent of Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight, there is a sense of enjoyment in the pain he causes, he revels in distress and disaster is where he is most comfortable. It should be noted that Hiddleston’s performance as Loki is probably the stand out feature of Thor:TDW. His crazed persona is very likeable and as such it is no wonder he has become a lot of peoples favourite character in the franchise.
The ending left a feeling of disappointment in many audience members, the film leads to such a build up that once it reaches its climax it feels like a damp squib. The action that has come before the final moment was more impressive and as such leaves thoughts such as “is that it?” running through a viewers head.
Although a brute of a film which is more concerned with action and fighting over an engaging storyline or character development, Thor: The Dark World is everything that you would want from a senseless superhero film. It does not require the audience to think, it is pure escapism in its most basic and fantastic way. You can lose yourself in the Asgardian Realm and it would appear that it is this that makes Thor:TDW a good superhero film. Thus it would seem deserving of its rating of 7.8 on IMDB. It’s far from perfect but delivers a polished film that is entertaining without really striving to be anything more than it is, a simple film.