2 Men 1 Movie: “Thor: The Dark World” epic film, despite lack of Loki

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Matthew’s take   

Marvel filmmakers are doing everything right.

They’re doing everything right so well, in fact, that even when something doesn’t really work, it’s still OK. 

I’ve been thinking about “Thor: The Dark World,” and I realize the sequel to the 2011 hit is by no means as wonderful as its predecessor, but it is still pretty awesome. 

The new installation in the Avengers franchise reunites Thor (Chris Hemsworth) with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) as the Nine Realms of the universe align and an old enemy of the Asgardians emerges to take advantage of the realms being so close together. All the characters we loved from the first film are back: Anthony Hopkins as the All Father Odin, Rene Russo as Frigga, Stellan Skarsgard as Erik Selvig, a hilarious Kat Dennings as Darcy, the ever-superb Idris Elba as Heimdall, and the oh-so-wonderful Tom Hiddleston as Loki, the villain I love to hate (and love to love) — more on him in a bit.

Unlike the rest of the Marvel films, though, it’s hardly a comic book movie. If I wasn’t so familiar with the subject material, I would classify “Thor: The Dark World” alongside films like “The Hobbit” or “Ender’s Game.” It’s a wonderful mesh of science fiction and fantasy that feels more like an epic quest film and less like a superhero flick. 

It makes sense considering it was directed by Alan Taylor, whose last projects included episodes of “Game of Thrones.” He pulls off the epic, otherworldly vibes beautifully.

Believe it or not, the weak link in the movie chain was Portman. I don’t know if she simply felt this movie was beneath her, but it seemed like she was just phoning in her performance. But even that didn’t sully “Thor: The Dark World” for me. 

The highlight of this movie, of course, is Loki. His screen time is limited, but what’s there is pure gold. Loki was never one of my favorite characters from the comic books. I didn’t expect to like him at all in the first “Thor.” But after that initial performance, I realized Loki just might be my favorite comic book villain of all time. 

He’s that perfect mix of devious and dashing. He’s what Disney villains used to be.

And the world apparently agrees with me. Loki is the one villain to survive at least two Avengers films and makes it into a third. Some people may be sick of him, but I’d like to see even more. 

“Thor: The Dark World” gets an A. Oh man, I can’t give it an A hard enough. 

By the way, don’t be an idiot and walk out before the credits are over. Don’t you people realize that every Marvel film has a scene that sets up a subsequent plot line? Apparently some of the folks in the screening I went to didn’t. 

Jordan’s take

Forget Thor — I want to see a movie about Loki.

Hemsworth as Thor did well as the hammer-wielding god, but every time Hiddleston as Loki was on the screen, I couldn’t help but start loving the film more.

“Thor: The Dark World” has it all: great acting, visually stunning scenes and special features, an easy to follow storyline, and a perfect villain to challenge Thor.

Hiddleston does it all in his short time on stage. He makes you laugh, he creates tension, and he keeps you guessing at his alliance. The moment I walked out of the theater I wanted more information on Hiddleston’s character and what would happen to him.

Portman is definitely the weak link in the acting. In terms of typical superhero girlfriends though, she does well enough. I have always struggled with superhero girlfriends because they are generally whiny and get the hero in trouble. So in terms of those few things, Portman fits perfectly, but I felt she didn’t want to be in the film. 

In the film, there was one point where the characters are mourning a loss and the only thing that came to mind during it was “wow.” It was a beautifully set up scene as the archers shot arrows into the boats that carried the fallen warriors. The special effects and visuals were incredible.

I wasn’t a big fan of the first film, “Thor.” I thought it was just a way to set up “The Avengers.” However, “Thor: The Dark World” had a more developed storyline and much more character growth.

I already mentioned I loved Loki; he is just a perfect villain. Although, I thought he was outdone in evilness by Malekith (Christopher Eccleston). They are two completely different villains, but they both do their best in “Thor: The Dark World.” I would much rather see Loki in his trickery, quick thinking and speaking. Malekith, on the other hand, just wants destruction.

“Thor: The Dark World” deserves an A and is one of the best movies I’ve seen this year.