Thankfully, the follow up to 2011’s adaptation of Marvel’s “Thor” really seems to be intent on fixing the original film’s mistakes. While I really enjoyed the first installment, “Thor: The Dark World” is thankfully more fantasy based, and less a fish out of water action film, this time around. The writers have to work hard to bridge this tale in to the new “Avengers” movie, so we’re left experiencing the fall out from “The Avengers.” After Thor left to fight Loki, Thor has to face Jane who resents him never coming to ensure he was safe, and Loki is viciously angry toward Thor for imprisoning him.
While “The Dark World” is not a masterpiece, it does end up being the stronger of the “Thor” movie series, so far. And normally while I’m not a fan of movies that merely act as a part of a story rather than a single installment, “The Dark World” is helping to lead in to a massive story line. The undertaking by Marvel is once again ambitious and daring, and will hopefully culminate in a theatrical event that will shatter audiences. “The Dark World” takes a cue from audiences, and really bases much of Thor’s exploits on Asgard. Where Thor was once the outsider, now Jane is the foreigner on an amazing and dangerous land, forced to confront pure evil. After Jane awakens the forces of the Dark Elves, and their powerful weapon named the Aether, Jane is overtaken by the essence of the weapon, causing a red alert among the realms.
Thor comes to her rescue to bring her to the safety of Asgard, while the Dark Elves unleash one of their own to wreak havoc and find Jane. With Jane close to being killed thanks to the power of the Aether within her, Thor asks for the now imprisoned Loki’s help, as well as the help of his Warrior’s three. They venture to find the Dark Elf, and fight for Jane’s life. “The Dark World” takes a much more grim tone this time around, focusing less on comedy, while propping up story lines for the Avengers, really charging in head first to the world Thor frequents. We’re given a glance in to the many nuances of Thor’s world, as well as his standing as a warrior among his people. Wisely, the writers also set more of a focus on the supporting characters, giving the Warrior’s three some fun exploits, as well as Heimdall. There are also some great fight scenes featuring Odin, and wife Frigga, who is much deadlier than she seems initially.
Kat Dennings as Jane’s sarcastic assistant Darcy garners a much more passive role this time around, playing the spectator on Earth, as the inter-dimensional portals create havoc on the planet, setting the stage for some excellent battles that ensue between Thor and the dark Elf Malekith. Hell, even Mjolnir gets the spotlight as Thor bounces from dimension to dimension with the deadly hammer following closely behind. “The Dark World” really caters to the fantasy fans and Marvel buffs that wanted to see less Earth and more of the world Thor plays in, and director Alan Taylor obliges wonderfully. I’m anxious to see the inevitable lead in to the large menace rearing its ugly head in future films that will also affect other Marvel Cinematic films. “The Dark World” is a much better film than its 2011 predecessor, embracing its fantasy roots with exciting, entertaining results.