MCU Rewatch Issue #8: Thor: The Dark World

To everyone but Jenny, Iron Man 2 was a disaster of a sequel.  How would the God of Thunder’s second film make out?

tomk: Thor: The Dark World
No more DVDs for me. Digital copies from here on.

Huh. Hidden subtext of this movie is if can’t have a Hemsworth, you gotta get a different Chris…an O’Dowd.

Thor has better chemistry with Loki than Jane.

And so there’s Dark World, a movie that is…perfectly fine all things being equal. It is nothing all that special, but it is a movie that did cause some grumbling from Natalie Portman (when Patty Jenkins quit), Idris Elba (when he had to do reshoots after playing Nelson Mandela), and director Alan Taylor (when he saw a James Gunn-directed post credit scene added without his input). But Hemsworth and Hiddleston are both quite comfortable in their respective roles by now, Jamie Alexander is actually given a subplot of sorts as a potential romantic rival to Jane (where neither woman would be back for part three), and there’s some general fun involving portals, Kat Dennings, a nice hallway scene involving Thor and Loki simply going for a walk. Malekith is the weakest villain the MCU produced until Yellowjacket. The whole thing seems largely inconsequential, though I will add there’s more proof these things aren’t planned out all that much. Both Captain America: The First Avenger and Guardians of the Galaxy imply or outright say that Infinity Stones can only be held by the strongest of beings…and Jane Foster. Plus, Odin explicitly says Asgardians aren’t gods.

watson: This movie is boring. Inconsequential is a good word too. Thor and Foster have zero chemistry. The sci-fi conflict with the Dark Elves is worse that Star Trek: Nemesis. Loki is fun but even Hemsworth kind of phones this one in.

tomk: Everyone seems very…comfortable.
Like they don’t need to try very hard.

watson: I don’t know what more to say on this one. I don’t remember leaving and thinking it stunk but I couldn’t get into it this time. I obviously hadn’t seen it since.

It seriously was like Thor dropped into an odd numbered Star Trek The Next Generation movie.

jenny: I’m dreading rewatching this one tomorrow.

watson: Drink. Heavily.

tomk: Or just skip to the scene Chris Evans was in.

Or make up subplots in your head, like how Sif and Jane ran off together and that’s why they weren’t in Ragnarok.

watson: I like Natalie Portman, but man she is bad in Blockbuster tentpoles. She should stick to arthouse.

tomk: I’m not gonna argue that, and she didn’t even want to do this one. But Hemsworth had real chemistry with Jane for that post-credits kiss…mostly because Portman was too busy to come film it, so they just slapped a wig on Hemsworth’s wife and he kissed her.

watson: What made things so much worse was that he had amazing chemistry with Jaime Alexander’s Sif.

tomk: And Tom Hiddleston.
And the hammer.
And Stellan Skarsgard.

watson: And Darcy’s intern, Ian.

tomk: And Jenny in that one dream she keeps having after the shirtless washing-up scene.

jimmy: I didn’t think it was bad at all. I’ll give you inconsequential, but I didn’t find it boring. It is definitely better than either Iron Man sequel and probably Incredible Hulk. The Chris Evans cameo was fantastic. The James Gunn end credit scene, while it advanced the Infinity Stones plot (which was funny because I had just been thinking that since the Thanos reveal, this was two movies in a row with no mention of the stones) seemed completely out of place.

tomk: Especially since the aether doesn’t act like an Infinity Stone by instantly ripping Jane apart.

watson: Even the aether found her too boring to kill.

jimmy: The aether did feel like the “red stuff” from Star Trek.

tomk: They might have been better off with the purple stuff from those Sunny D commercials.

watson: This is a sad chat. No one has anything to say about it…

tomk: Jenny may. Jenny often has a lot to say about all kinds of things.

So here’s a question: how is this not the worst movie in the MCU? Even the Hulk had stuff worth discussing.

watson: Bad movies are easier to discuss. You can rip on it. I can’t think of enough to say about Thor 2 but meh…

tomk: Which is weird. I think they might have tried to do something with Sif and Renee Russo but it doesn’t really have any impact on the audience.

jimmy: At least they gave Russo a kick ass fight scene instead of just standing around in the background like in Thor.

And I think it is hard to talk about because it is inconsequential for the most part. Nothing particularly exciting or memorable happens. Nothing moves the needle on anything in the MCU. The Dark Elves were complete throw aways and could have easily been replaced by Frost Giants or Romulans.

But none of that makes it a bad film. We’ll have differing opinions but I would currently put it ahead of both Iron Man sequels and I. Hulk.

It’s a perfectly cromulant Thor movie.

watson: Jimmy’s commentary embiggens us all…

jimmy

watson: I thought you liked Iron Man 3, Jimmy.

tomk: Uh oh.

jimmy: You must have thought that when I said it was the worst film in the MCU.

tomk: I’m gonna hide over there as Jimmy writes a polite letter explaining his disappointment with Iron Man 3.

jimmy: That’s more Jenny’s style. I just thought it sucked ass.

tomk: I think Jenny is hiding from this one until next week.

jimmy: Jonathan will show up when I warm up the Calcutron.

watson: I was confused about your comparison of IM3 and Thor2. The clarity of your position was lost in the aether…

jenny: I am hiding.
Behind a hay bale.
With Nick Fury.

tomk: If you can see Nick Fury, it isn’t really Nick Fury.

jenny: True.

Okay, give me a minute. I’ll tell you my thoughts on this movie.

It’s not terrible, but it’s also not memorable. I didn’t hate it like I hated IM3, but also, it’s not one of those movies where you go – “remember when [insert fun plot point]” and I think that’s where this movie suffers. It’s more like filler vs. moving the story along in any way that I care about.

Who cares about Malekai – Maleketh? Fuck – I can’t even remember his name. That’s how unremarkable this movie is.

There are only few parts that I remember being super fun were the following: the part where Darcy calls Thor’s Hammer Meow-Meow, the part where Loki & Thor work together on Asgaurd and steal a ship and when they trick the Beast-Man Elf in the dark world – and the part where Captain America shows up for 2 seconds. Everything else is kind of a snooze fest.

What else matters?

Though, I did quite enjoy seeing Loki in the prison scene. It shows his vaulnerabiliy and his power to manipulate. Which is always good to watch.

jonathan: Thor 2 is literally the only mcu entry that I will not stop for if I’m flipping the channels. There is nothing at all interesting, memorable, or fun about it.

6/10

tomk: I kinda liked the portal stuff at the end of the movie. It made that final battle more unpredictable the first time.

jenny: OOOOOoh do we have our first score!?
Have you guys scored it again yet?

tomk: Nope.

jenny: I give TtDW 6.5 Meow-Meows out of 10
(as long as I rank it above IM3, I’m good)

watson: As usual, Jenny and I are on point. I’m right there with a 6.5 Let’s Go From Mediocre Thor to the Gold Standard of the MCU, Winter Soldier, out of 10.

tomk: I’m up for making editing this week’s chat as easy for Jimmy as possible. 6.5 elves who robbed the Court of Owls for creepy masks out of 10.

jimmy: I guess I’ll be the one to deviate from the mean here. I give it 7.5 it’s perfectly fine but perfectly forgettable out of 10.

Jimmy turns on Calcutron-2024

Iron Man 9.4
The Avengers 9.3
Captain America 8.7
Thor 8.0
Hulk 6.7
Iron Man 2 6.6
Iron Man 3 6.6
Thor: The Dark World 6.6

MCU Overall 7.7
Phase 1 8.1
Phase 2 6.6

Phase 2 is off to a rough start.

tomk: Phase 2 only has two legitimately great movies.

Fortunately, they’re up next.

jimmy: It seems we tired quickly of The Dark World, so let’s get to Winter Soldier and see if it holds up as my favorite MCU film.

jenny: WINTER SOLDIER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY

tomk: I think Jenny likes this one.

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