By Neal Simons
I really did like Thor: The Dark World when I first saw it. I still do in a lot ways. It expands upon the Norse mythos established in the previous film, Thor, and adds more action to the mix as well with some very good performances from Anthony Hopkins, Tom Hiddleston, and Chris Hemsworth. However, Thor: The Dark World is ultimately nothing more than filler until the next Avengers movie.
The major problem with Thor: The Dark World is that it’s too simplistic and small in scale, which is very weird considering it’s a movie that chronicles the exploits of the Norse god of thunder. Thor must stop the Dark Elf Malekith, played by Christopher Eccleston, from activating a super-weapon that will plunge the nine worlds into eternal darkness. While this sounds like an epic god-like tale, it’s whittled down by the fact that most of the action takes place solely in London and the villain is mostly forgettable and uninteresting. Malekith is supposed to be one of Thor’s most dangerous foes, second only to Loki, and yet neither is his presence all that imposing, nor his personality all that deep. It is a waste of talent for the man who played the Ninth Doctor on Doctor Who, and a waste of potential to add another truly menacing villain to the Marvel rogues gallery.
Aside from that, it’s not that bad. The absolute stand-out performance in the whole movie is Tom Hiddleston as Loki. His character is complex and scheming, and he gets the best lines in the film which he delivers perfectly. Thor also uses his hammer mjolnir more often than he did in the last film, which leads to some more visually stunning action sequences. Nevertheless, Thor: The Dark World just doesn’t feel like its own thing. It is a cinematic appetizer to the main course that will be Avengers 2: Age of Ultron, which is even more apparent from the sequel-bait that is thrown into the ending. Thor: The Dark World is a fun, decent movie as long as you can deal with the fact that it is not on par with The Avengers. It is simplistic, forgettable, but nonetheless fun.