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Movie Review: Thor 2: The Dark World

Surprising no one, I *loved* it! I mean, I really enjoyed the first one, but this one was much, much tighter in both writing and execution.

I went to both a 2d and a 3d showing. FWIW, I don't think going to 3d is worth it--the viewing experience wasn't that different from 2d--but it had a different trailer for Cap 2 with more footage of the elevator scene, a close-up of the Winter Soldier's metal arm and his face. (They decided to go all Green Arrow and give him a make-up domino mask, which drives me a little nuts as that has EVEN LESS PURPOSE than an actual domino mask. Sigh.)

Note: There are two post credit scenes, ala Avengers: one midway through and one at the very end. (Most people left by then. I swear, it's like Coloradans have never seen a Marvel flick before. Yeesh.)

Non-spoilery thoughts:

*Tom Hiddleston utterly stole the show. From everyone. Not hard with Hemsworth and co., but with Anthony Hopkins and Rene Russo--damn, son.

*The design of Asgard. You get to see even more in this film, and it's so. fucking. beautiful. It's like Art Deco and Scandinavia had a beautiful steampunky baby.

*Jane Foster/Natalie Portman was much better this go around. They made her more dorky but more understandably so if that makes sense. I always thought one of the weaknesses of the first film was how we have every reason to see why she'd love Thor, but much less why he would be drawn to her. Whereas in the Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes iteration, Jane was an EMT and her bravery in going into danger unarmed to help people utterly won Thor over--and I always just *loved* that. In this movie she gets to show off some more of her science know how and be adorkable about it--and you get to see that Thor just loves her passion and adorkableness. Which I really liked.

*I'm glad Zachary Levi was in it, but--it was only for like three minutes. C'mon, guys.

*The Dark Elves. Does anyone recognize their language? It didn't sound like AS/Germanic to me, and I'm wondering if it was some form of Welsh?

*Also, Chris Eccleston, I love you, but they didn't give you much to work with, did they?

*Heimdall/Idris Elba. Can we talk about his eyes? Because they are like anime levels of expressive. The man is in yellow contacts and let's focus on his eyes to show his thoughts. LET'S ALSO ADD SOME STARS AND STUFF BECAUSE HE IS A GOD WHO WATCHES ALL. Just. *shiver*

Spoilery thoughts:

*Frigga: First, let me say how much it amuses me that only Hiddleston, classics geek that he is, can say her name right. (Seriously, everyone who said her name pronounced it differently. Was no one paying attention? Sheesh.) Second, I have very mixed feelings about her death, and wonder how much of it was the cost of keeping her on contract and whatnot. On the other hand: I love how she met her end, fighting and still just totally pwning the bad guys.

*Speaking of, the women in this film: I know how we gripe a lot about under-representation in these films, but I do think we have to note that the four women in this flick--Frigga, Jane, Darcy, Sif--were all awesome and especially *different* kinds of awesome. Frigga was a mother *and* a fighter. Jane is a brilliant scientist who doesn't flinch from the unknown, and whose response to a transgalactic wormhole device is a giddy "I wanna do that again!" (Also, she punches Loki, which--damn, girl, I love you. Possibly best such moment sense Hermione slapping Draco.) Darcy is as ever still useful in a crisis and running around to help, and hilarious to boot. Sif is a fearless warrior; apparently, it's thought there was a lot more footage of her (makes sense given some intense looks) in a love triangle with Jane and Thor, and while I wanted more of her, I also like that they didn't make that big a deal of her "love plot" if that's true. She's defined by her bamfitude and fearlessness, not her love of Thor.

Also, Alice Krige (my Borg Queen!) had a teeny tiny role as an Asgardian healer. I enjoyed that.

*Erik Selvig and mental illness: Apparently he's a bit crazy after having Loki in his head, which makes me wonder about Clint? (Subquestion, is Clint also running around in the nude for no good reason?) A little distracted that shoes with laces were ok in a mental ward (note: IRL they...aren't). And while he gets it together, the declaration that "knowing the world is crazier than he is" and tossing a large bag of prescriptive drugs away.... Yeah, I know it's fiction, but still, I have problems with this.


There's also a really interesting scene of Frigga and Loki in the dungeon, the end of which it showed Frigga as an illusion. I wasn't sure whether it was Loki's own illusion, and thus he is, on some level, remarkably self-aware of all his issues, or if it was Frigga as an illusion (in mythology and also here she taught Loki "women's magics") and she was thus visiting Loki. They left it ambiguous. Thoughts?

One thing the reviews have brought out is that this film has a light touch, which I agree with, and think makes a pleasant change. I loved IM3 and its dissection of American politics and terrorism and such, and I think Cap2 will be similarly interesting, but--it's also nice to sit back and look at some pretty with some swordfights. It really, really is.


( 3 comments — Add your .02 )
Nov. 10th, 2013 01:05 am (UTC)
Finally saw it!

And while he gets it together, the declaration that "knowing the world is crazier than he is" and tossing a large bag of prescriptive drugs away.... Yeah, I know it's fiction, but still, I have problems with this.

That trope and Frigga getting fridged annoyed me. Even so, I rather adored the movie's fluffy delights, and I totally agree with your review. :D

Edited at 2013-11-10 01:06 am (UTC)
Nov. 10th, 2013 04:02 am (UTC)
Y'know, during Frigga's funeral and Hopkins' sad face scene, I imagined him thinking, "There goes the most expensive of us all." Because I am horribly cynical.
Nov. 10th, 2013 09:01 am (UTC)
I watched the credits (I have a friend who works for Double Negative so I look for his name in all the effects films) and there was someone credited as a language designer. So it may be that the language of the svartalfr is entirely artificial. I was also a liitle distracted by how much was cribbed from Kells/Lindisfarne and other Hiberno-Saxon art pieces rather than Norse gripping beast motifs, but it only really was jarring (and I can't decide if in a good or bad way) in the scene with the book. They had the calendar layout there which didn't make sense to me, but I liked the way they played with gold leafing. That said, it was obvious they flipped through insular manuscripts and cribbed from pretty pictures rather than ones that made sense in context.
( 3 comments — Add your .02 )

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