In preparation for Avengers: Infinity War, I’m watching all the Marvel Studios movies leading up to it.
Thor: The Dark World (2013)
Ah, The Dark World. I think it’s fair to say this is the most maligned of all the MCU moves. Certainly, the RottenTomatoes score seems to reflect that, as much as anyone should care about that. I think, overall, the reputation is pretty well deserved. It’s not that I think it’s a bad movie, actually. There’s a lot to enjoy, and it’s competently done with some great moments.
The problem, I think, is that it’s a little boring. I still like Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster, and I kind of hope there’s a possibility we could see her as a female Thor like we do in the comics. But that seems like a long-shot. The problem is, I feel like her supporting cast (Darcy, Selvig) start to get a little one-note here. The movie also features a really weak villain in the form of Malekith. It wastes Christopher Eccelston as a performer. The rumor is there’s a ton of story with Malekith that didn’t make the final cut. If it had slowed down the movie any more, this is probably a good thing. But I do think the villain could use some depth. The final battle, although using some inventive dimension-jumping mechanics, doesn’t feel very immersive.
Ultimately, I the movie is really saved by the great Loki/Thor interactions. Their rivalries and annoyances and kinship makes for a nicely complicated relationship. And the ending where Loki “sacrifices” himself is really well done and moving, even if it doesn’t last long.