Countdown to Avengers Endgame: Thor: The Dark World
We’re in the Endgame now. Just 13 days to go before Marvel Studios unleashes the biggest theatrical event in a generation (if not ever), capping off a story that is 11 years and 21 films in the making. There’s no denying that what Marvel has done here is unprecedented. As we approach the big day lets take a look back at the films that lead us here.
Thor: The Dark World is generally among the least popular of the MCU films. In some ways suffering from the same “post-avengers” hangover that Iron Man 3 experienced, The Dark World is not as bad as you remember (but also not significantly better either). Like several of the films I’ve looked back on I’ve found myself hesitating to rematch it only to find myself enjoying it more than I remember.
Re-watching Thor: The Dark world two things immediately sprung to mind. The first is that the film looks great. In the first Thor everything looked so glossy and a bit too perfect but Thor: The Dark World made Asgard feel lived in. The costumes are better than the first Thor or The Avengers as are the action sequences and just the visuals in general. In my Thor article I had remarked that at least the first Thor film gave us an action scene with The Warriors Three, terribly shot and edited as it may have been. What I had forgotten was one of the first scenes of The Dark World that features Lady Sif and team kicking some ass. The editing is better, the action is better, it’s shot with light on the characters… it’s a total improvement over the last film’s scene and I simply forgot about it. Everything about this film though just looks better than its predecessor.
The second thing is that Thor: The Dark World is much funnier than you remember. I remember at the time it came out this was maybe the one thing that was remarked on the most about the film; how surprisingly comical it was. This is why I was so surprised when people were surprised that Thor: Ragnarok looked to be going so hard in the comedy direction. They leaned into the one part of Thor: The Dark World everyone seemed to agree on. This leads us into what didn’t work.
Thor as a Shakespearean experience officially died with The Dark World. When full of fun action and one liners The Dark World is a good time but when it dips down into heavy handed drama it suffers. The scene where Thor holds a dying Loki is so cheesy it becomes obvious why they parodied it themselves in Ragnarok. You thought Ragnarok hammed it up? Nope, go back and re-watch The Dark World. The scene is pure cheese and in talking with others I’ve come to determine this is the key moment that made them not like this film.
Talking with my fellow nerds most had the same attitude towards Thor: The Dark World. They like the beginning, and the like the fight at the end (which even with a generic villian was a lot of fun and inventive) but it just sort of lost them in the middle. As I watched the film I kept waiting for that “dragged out middle section” but it never really came. It is pretty late in the film, just before the final act that the Loki death scene occurs and it stops the film in its tracks. Without this scene dragging things down The Dark World would have been much higher on many more list.
If nothing else, Thor: The Dark World gives us Chris Evans playing Loki playing Captain America and it is amazing. Best MCU cameo ever.
Next I move on to one of the favorites of the MCU, Captain America: The Winter Soldier.