Thor: The Dark World

Thor: The Dark World ★★★

Thor: The Dark World gets a bad rap, but it really isn’t as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Sure, it has weak attempts at humour, a silly villain, and the Earth sequences manage to be even more annoying as they were in the first movie, but Thor: The Dark World makes an attempt to tell a self-contained story for the Marvel Cinematic Universe that works to further develop its characters while also introducing more universe-expanding elements such as the Reality Stone (one of the six Infinity Stones) in a somewhat effective manner.

Calling Thor: The Dark World the MCU’s worst film, when movies like The Incredible Hulk and Ant-Man and the Wasp exist, is ludicrous. I think the reason that people rank this so low on their MCU tier lists is because the movie is more forgettable than it is bad. Again don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of stuff to dislike, but it never becomes egregiously unwatchable as others may try to make it seem. In reality, Thor: The Dark World knew what it wanted to be (another Shakespearean drama set in space), but took on much more than it could handle, unfortunately hurting the movie for the worst. In the end, it’s simply less than average (in terms of MCU movies).

This movie really doesn’t do much to progress Thor as a protagonist (this is usually the movie that fans cite as why Thor: Ragnarok needed to course correct the character), but it does a lot for Loki. It helps move him from a conniving villain towards the path of a loveable anti-hero that we see him become later in movies such as Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Infinity War as well as his own series. We also see more of his relationship with his parents and the bond that he shared with his mother. If anything, this is Loki’s movie and Tom Hiddleston steals absolutely every scene that he’s in.

The design of Asgard and the colour grading that they use for it captures the look of a fantasy film like The Lord of the Rings. This is enhanced because of the decision to rely mostly on practical effects and sets rather the greenscreens and CGI. While it isn’t as visually dazzling as Kenneth Branagh’s film, it nevertheless still maintains an awe-inspiring and truly larger-than-life feel to its world in a way that later installments and depictions of Asgard fail to capture.

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