I had a lot of fun last night and now the fun continues as I watch another MCU movie. As good as the last two movies were, I think everyone knew that at some point, there was going to be a downgrade in the film and unfortunately, that wound up falling on the shoulders of today’s movie. Now that is not to say that it was a bad movie, cause it was a good movie, but comparing it to some of the others makes it seem weak. However, there was a grand story started in Phase 1 and lots of people wanted to see that story continue in today’s movie, Thor: The Dark World.
The plot: Ages ago, the Dark Elf Malekith sought to use a weapon called the Aether to return the Nine Realms to eternal darkness but Bor, Odin’s father, led the forces of Asgard against Malekith and his Dark Elves. The Aether is taken from Malekith, who decides to sacrifice his own people to cover the escape of himself and his select group of Dark Elves while Bor has the Aether hidden so that no one may find it. In the present day, Loki is brought before Odin, who spares Loki’s life at the behest of Odin’s wife Frigga, has him imprisoned in the dungeon in a life sentence. Meanwhile, Thor is on Vanaheim, home of Hogun from the Warriors Three, battling with some marauders and after defeating their champion, the marauders surrender and Thor leaves Hogun to help rebuild his homeland while he returns to Asgard. Odin speaks with Thor and tells him that he is grateful for his work in restoring peace to the Nine Realms, and says that Thor should stop focusing on Jane Foster and prepare himself to one day take the throne, pointing out Sif as a possible queen. Meanwhile, in London, Jane Foster is on date when she is approached by Darcy, who tells her that their equipment has started picking up strange readings. Jane leaves with Darcy, and Darcy’s intern Ian, and tries calling Erik, who had requested they come to London in the first place, unaware that Erik had been arrested earlier after suffering a breakdown at Stonehenge. Jane, Darcy, and Ian arrive at a warehouse where some kids show them a strange portal, as well as an area of low gravity that allows one of the kids to pick up and float a cement truck. As Jane explores the readings on her device, she is sucked into a second portal which brings her to the Aether, which attaches itself to Jane, causing her to faint. Out in space, Malekith and his Dark Elves are brought out of their suspended animation when the Aether is activated and begin heading towards it. Meanwhile, Thor goes to see Heimdall, who tells Thor of the Convergence, a time where the Nine Realms align and portals appear between the realms. When Thor asks Heimdall how Jane is doing, Heimdall is shocked to find that he can no longer see Jane and Thor has him open the repaired Bifrost to Earth. Back on Earth, Jane wakes up on the warehouse floor and finds out the Darcy had called the police because she had been missing for 5 hours. When a sudden rainfall occurs, Jane sees Thor and approaches him, slapping him in the face before asking where he has been. When the police attempt to arrest Jane for trespassing, an energy surge erupts from her when they touch her and Thor transports her to Asgard for treatment. In Asgard, the healers don’t know what is wrong with her and say she will die from the energy inside her. When Odin tries to have her sent back to Earth and sees what happens, he tells Thor and Jane about the Dark Elves but says the Dark Elves are all dead and that there is no way to save her. On Svartalfheim, the Dark Elves homeworld, Malekith gives his lieutenant Algrim a stone that can transform him into one of the Kursed, and sends him to infiltrate Asgard. Disguised as a captive marauder from one of the latest peace keeping missions, Algrim transforms into Kurse and proceeds to smash through his prison cell, killing the nearby guards. Kurse then releases the other prisoners to cover his plan and starts to release Loki but thinks better of it, but Loki still chooses to help tell him which direction to go. While Odin sends his warriors to protect the treasure room and deal with the escape, Thor leaves Jane under his mom’s protection while he goes to help. Meanwhile, a cloaked Dark Elf ship tries to slip into Asgard but Heimdall senses it and destroys it, only to be shocked as Malekith’s flagship appears and launches more ships to attack Asgard’s defenses. Heimdall activates a security feature which forms a protective dome over the palace but Kurse smashes the companion device in the palace, lowering the dome and allowing a Dark Elf ship to crash into the palace. As Dark Elf soldiers emerge from the ship and begin attacking the Asgardians, Malekith emerges and tracks down Jane but Frigga faces off against Malekith and manages to hold him off. Kurse arrives and grabs Frigga while Malekith attempts to grab Jane, only to realize that it is an illusion and when Frigga refuses to say where Jane is, Kurse kills her. Thor witnesses this when he arrives in the room and singes Malekith’s face with lightning and moves to strike him down but Kurse manages to grab Malekith and they make their escape while Odin and Thor weep for Frigga’s loss and even Loki rages over it when he is told. After a funeral is held for Frigga and the fallen Asgardians, Odin has Jane placed under arrest with the plan of using her as bait for Malekith. Thor feels that Odin is blinded by grief and unnecessarily endangers the lives of his fellow Asgardians. He enlists the aid of Sif, Fandral, Volstagg, and Heimdall, then frees Loki from prison so he can lead him through the secret passages out of Asgard. After they free Jane from her cell, Heimdall distracts Odin while Sif, Volstagg, and Fandral keep the guards at bay long enough for Thor, Loki, and Jane to make their way to Svartalfheim. Meanwhile, Darcy and Ian see a news report about Erik and get him released from the psychiatric facility he was in. As they are leaving, they witness a flock of starlings disappear into a portal only to emerge from underneath them and Erik says the Convergence is happening sooner than he predicted. On Svartalfheim, Thor, Sif, and Jane see Malekith and the Dark Elves arrive but as Thor prepares to go down to face them, Loki stabs him and kicks him down the hillside, then chops off Thor’s hand when he tries to summon Mjolnir. Loki hands over Jane to Malekith, who draws the Aether out of her body and prepares to absorb it into himself, but Loki reveals Thor’s injury was one of his illusions and while he protects Jane, Thor uses Mjolnir to try and destroy the Aether but he fails and Malekith ends up absorbing it. Malekith heads towards his ship and prepares to leave and Thor tries to stop him but Kurse attacks Thor, buying Malekith time to make his escape. Loki faces off against a group of Dark Elves, then goes to help Thor against Kurse, stabbing Kurse in the back with a spear. Kurse doesn’t die and instead, impales Loki with the protruding spear tip but as he releases Loki, Loki activates one of the Dark Elves weapons on Kurse, succeeding in killing him while Loki dies in Thor’s arms. Thor and Jane try to figure out their next movie when Jane receives a call from Richard, the man she was on a date with, and realizes that the portal to Earth is nearby. Arriving back on Earth, Thor and Jane go back to her house, where the meet up with Darcy, Erik, and Ian, and Ian figures out they need to go to Greenwich in order to stop Malekith. Meanwhile, an Asgardian scout has gone to Svartalfheim but his is killed and replaced but Loki, who had faked his death, and in this guise, he heads back to Asgard to report to Odin about Loki’s death. In Greenwich, they begin setting up devices to try and stop the Convergence when Malekith arrives in his ship. When Malekith emerges and prepares to use the Aether to return the universe to darkness, Thor shows up and begins fighting with Malekith and the two end up falling through various portals into the other realms during their struggle. Meanwhile, Jane and Erik try to keep the portals from converging but Malekith arrives back at the site with no sign of Thor and begins to unleash the Aether. Thor shows up and uses Erik’s devices to begin tearing apart Malekith’s body before teleporting him to Svartalfheim, where Erik ends up send his ship to fall on top of him and crush him, ending the threat. Later, Thor returns to Asgard and speaks with Odin, who offers Thor the throne as Thor’s judgement was wiser than his own but Thor refuses, deciding to remain on Earth as it’s protector. When Thor leaves, Odin suddenly transforms into Loki, who is impersonating Odin in order to rule Asgard. Meanwhile, Sif and Volstagg go to see the The Collector and give him the Aether for safe keeping. When he asks why they don’t keep it themselves, they reply that the Tesseract is already in Asgard and it is not wise to keep two Infinity Stones so close together and after they leave, The Collector says to himself “One down, five to go.”
Thor: The Dark World met with mixed results from the critics, earning a 66% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The consensus among the critics was that, “It may not be the finest film to come from the Marvel Universe, but Thor: The Dark World still offers plenty of the humor and high-stakes action that fans have come to expect.” In spite of the critics reviews, the movie wound up doing very well in theaters, having the highest opening weekend in November for any Disney film and outdoing it’s predecessor after 19 days of release. The movie would go on to make over $644 million worldwide off a $170 million budget.
I don’t think there has been a single movie in the MCU that I have not absolutely enjoyed and this was no exception but it did have it’s faults. The acting was good with all the recurring characters and I thought Christoper Eccleston did a good job as Malekith. The story seemed a little contrived in my opinion but did a decent job of setting up future events involving the Infinity Stones ( and comic geek in me really hopes that cocoon in The Collectors lair hints at a future appearance from Adam Warlock). I did like the writing as they seemed to do a better job of getting more depth into the characters, such as starting to show Sif’s feelings towards Thor, as well as more interaction between Thor and Loki (which has always been funny). The special effects were on par with the other movies and they did a great job of showcasing more of Asgard and some of the other realms, but to me, I still have a hard time reconciling the idea of Asgard with some of the technology that they showed in the movies. Regardless, this is another fun movie to watch along with all the other MCU movies.
Rating: 4 out of 5