We’re watching the Marvel movies in order for a sequence of normal options. Try our earlier items on Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers and Iron Man 3. As we speak, it is Thor: The Darkish World’s flip.
Poor Thor. Marvel’s resident golden boy from one other realm confronted some powerful occasions within the early years of the MCU. Whereas The Avengers options quite a lot of iconic scenes and memorable moments for the God of Thunder, the identical cannot be stated for his first two solo movies.
As a substitute, Thor is arguably on the top of his recognition now, thanks partly to the wonderful Thor: Ragnarok and the hero’s comparatively deep growth within the final two Avengers films.
The arrival of the undeniably forgettable Thor: The Darkish World in 2013 confirmed that Marvel did not completely have a deal with on the hero’s potential. This can be a movie that didn’t seize audiences’ consideration throughout the MCU’s experimental section – and whereas it has its followers, in the end the Thor franchise nonetheless didn’t know what it wished to be.
Darkish Elves, Infinity Stones and a complete lot of nothing
Thor: The Darkish World picks up just about proper after Loki’s defeat in Avengers. Whereas Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is imprisoned in an Asgardian cell, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is tasked with bringing peace and undoing the injury his brother has wrought throughout the 9 realms. Quickly sufficient, Thor finds himself on Earth because the Convergence arrives, an occasion
connecting all of the realms collectively and placing Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) in touch with the Aether, aka the Actuality Stone.
With the Aether caught inside Jane Foster, Thor brings her again to Asgard to discover a approach to take away the infinity stone earlier than it kills her. In the meantime, the resurgence of the Aether awakens the vicious Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) and the Darkish Elves. This faction as soon as went to warfare with Asgard over the Infinity Stone, hoping its energy would assist them cowl the world in darkness. In The Darkish World, Thor clashes with these villains – and members of his household – in a combat to as soon as once more defend the 9 realms from destruction.
It is a cookie cutter plot, and followers would possibly discover it exhausting to even recall these particulars in regards to the second Thor movie’s premise. The story feels prefer it has a grander scale than the primary film, but it surely fails at making this fantastical aspect of the MCU really feel thrilling – the 9 Realms stuff primarily quantities to a boring model of Lord of the Rings. Malekith, in the meantime, nonetheless reigns as one of many worst Marvel film villains to this point.
The Darkish World’s points aren’t a results of the MCU’s meddling “It’s all linked” mantra. In truth, Thor: The Darkish World has little or no crossover with different Marvel movies or future films in any respect.
Within the comics, Malekith the Accursed is one in every of Thor’s prime villains. If you would like an ideal showcase for the character’s potential, do learn author Jason Aaron’s comedian ebook run on Thor. The villain is advanced, crafty, morally twisted, and a grasp manipulator all through all of the realms. Plus, Malekith has a particular look: he is all blue pores and skin, sporting a black and crimson go well with, and half of his face is scarred black. It’s a disgrace, then, that almost all of what makes the character attention-grabbing fails to translate to the massive display screen.
The MCU model of Malekith has none of these qualities – he is a darkish and gritty villain with no persona. Christopher Eccleston’s Malekith options pale pores and skin and extraordinary all-black armor. The actor isn’t dangerous within the position, however he isn’t given sufficient materials or highlight to make an impression. He’s severe and evil only for the sake of it. Even his most significant second, when he kills Thor’s mom Frigga, feels empty – he barely registers as an on-screen presence. Malekith finally ends up coming off as your customary villain, primarily indistinguishable from the goons in his military.
Quite a lot of the time, it may be unfair to criticize a movie adaptation of a comic book ebook for straying too removed from the supply materials. It’s particularly unfair when nearly all of the viewers watching stated comedian ebook movie is aware of subsequent to nothing in regards to the characters. Nonetheless, by ignoring the villain’s comedian origins in The Darkish World, Malekith finally ends up being so generic that the viewers missed out on what ought to’ve been a Thanos-level memorable addition to the MCU.
Malekith finally ends up being so forgettable as a result of his solely motivation is a few obscure finish objective of “masking the world in darkness.” That’s the distinction between him and, say, Ben Kingsley’s interpretation of the Mandarin, which supplied a enjoyable twist that performs on viewer expectations – as we’ve beforehand mentioned in our Iron Man 3 retrospective.
The Thor sequence has at all times had the possibility to forge a singular, mythology-infused nook of the MCU, primarily based on the proliferation of nice Marvel comics that includes the character lately. Sadly, it took six years and three movies to lastly accomplish that.
As with the primary Thor, The Darkish World struggles between two genres – fantasy and science fiction. The Darkish World tries to mesh these two collectively into one, but it surely nonetheless lacks the compelling hook that both style wants to really interact the viewer. Regardless of this film giving us loads of time to test Asgard out, there’s nothing that makes the realm of the gods really feel particular on this movie.
In rewatching Thor: The Darkish World, there’s one other side of the movie that actually disappoints: the Aether itself. As a story gadget, it feels misrepresented. It’s the driving drive of Thor: The Darkish World, and primarily based off of the top credit stingers, it was at all times meant to be an Infinity Stone – specifically the Actuality Stone.
In the event you’ve seen Avengers: Infinity Conflict, it’s the right showcase for the way the Actuality Stone works, with the consumer with the ability to warp and twist actuality at will. Understanding what it could possibly do, it’s clear how a lot of a missed alternative Thor: The Darkish World actually is.
Malekith’s plan to “cowl the world in darkness” is a reasonably boring plan. Contemplating how Thanos makes use of that very same stone to show enemies to ribbons, create false worlds, or twist objects into something he might think about, Malekith appears to lack creativeness compared.
Actually, that is the right description of the movie itself. Not even the secondary look by Loki, who continues to be splendidly performed by Tom Hiddleston, can save the movie.
It’s not one of many higher MCU movies to revisit, in 2021. In truth, it is down there with Iron Man 2 and The Unbelievable Hulk as one of many worst – however whether or not it is the worst is barely more durable to name, but it surely’s actually shut. The MCU missed a step, huge time.
Fortunately, the sequence would handle to seek out its footing in Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok, and the character would lastly get a Steve Rogers-level character arc within the closing chapters of the Avengers saga. Collectively, these would breathe new life into the God of Thunder, and get one of the best out of Hemsworth’s successful efficiency because the superhero.