Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Thor: The Dark World

I am about done with the superhero thing, I think. This is not directly connected to the movie Thor: The Dark World, except insofar as I was thinking that as I was watching it.

We start with a big ol' back story about dark elves who want to use the Aether(?) to uncreate the universe to restore the pre-light universe or whatever—you notice that these movies have to constantly up the stakes, and this one is now only slightly under Dogma (in which all of existence would never have been).

Natalie Portman—I think her name is Jane in this, but who really cares?—stumbles into an alternate universe ('cause periodic alignment of the Nine Worlds or whatevs) and gets the Aether sucked up into her, which wakes the Dark Elves (led by Dr. Who and Unfinished Song's Chris Eccleston) and causes them to lead their very sci-fi spaceship assault on Valhalla, where an aged Anthony Hopkins shows up to collect another check.

Rene Russo is back not being Michelle Pfeiffer. Sorry, I thought Frigga was played by Pfeiifer in the original, but it's not. For some reason Russo looked a lot worse in this to me. It's only been 2-3 years, right?

So, that time has passed and Thor's (Chris of the Hemsworths) been stuck in Valhalla, except for that Avengers thing, and Natalie has been pursued by non-norse-godly men (like Ian Boothby, whom she strings along hilariously, I guess) but she's been true and Thor's been true, rather than going all Viking on the much hotter Sif (Jamie Alexander).

All those Viking cohorts (Sif, and the Asian dude, and all the other weirdly ethnic characters) are back for the movie, but they don't have much in the way of parts.

Tom Hiddleston is back as Loki, and he's as Loki-ish as ever. Does he care? Does he not care? Do you care?

I'll just comment to note that the Valhallans are the worst immortals ever. They die en masse in this film. Some of them, like Loki and Thor can take all kinds of abuse, as long as it's delivered through impact. You can drop a building on them and they'll be okay, but if they're pierced with a sword or butter knife or whatever, that does them in.

Or kinda sorta does them in. Sometimes. As the plot requires.

Which, of course, is the problem with all these movies. They're failing to convince me of any actual peril. It's like I'm not supposed to notice that the extensive damage to buildings or people never matters.

Eh. It's not bad for what it is. It's just become so predictable. The twists were obvious a mile off. Well, maybe not to a seven year old. (I took a seven-year-old but the elves creeped her out so she went to see Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2 again.)

The set-up for the sequel was also obvious.

I thought the direction was, while more sedate than the first movie (directed by Kenneth Branagh) but also less fun. The whole thing was less fun.

I could really go for the Batman foiling a jewel thief or something. I mean, if you wanted to do a comic book hero movie that was different.

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