Cinematic Releases: Thor - The Dark World

Marvel Phase Two continues with the release of Thor: The Dark World. 

Unlike the last Thor movie, The Dark World is a much more developed story with more action, bigger effects shots, and is altogether a much better comic book film. The minor flaws of the first movie are a thing of the past with a sequel that jumps worlds, destroys alien cities, and delivers a nearly perfect cinematic experience for those awaiting The Avengers sequel. Having never been a follower of the comic book Thor, The Dark World was a pleasant surprise that offers succinct action mixed with drama and just enough humor to keep you on your toes.

Unlike the DC films, almost every Marvel film delivers the goods. Even though Thor will never be as popular as Iron Man, The Dark World was a much more enjoyable experience than Tony Stark's last theatrical excursion. Don't get me wrong. Iron Man 3 was good. But, this Thor movie keeps the action flowing from beginning to end with barely a second to stop and think. And what's even better is that all the fight scenes are rendered so the viewer can actually tell whats going on. Too many action movies these days forget that the audience wants some fluidity in their fight sequences. On that front, Thor absolutely delivers. From beginning to end there is not one scene where you're questioning what just happened or how someone just got their butt handed to them on an Asgardian platter.

What's even more astounding about Thor is the cast. Once again we have Anthony Hopkins, Rene Russo and Natalie Portman in a comic book movie. What world are we living in when huge name actors will take roles in these types of movies? Oh yeah! We're leaving in a new age where comic book films are some of the best movies out there and  big name actors like Portman and Hopkins make them more appealing to the masses with their amazing skills and the talent to make a comic book character absolutely believable. Twenty years ago, this wouldn't have happened. Remember the first Captain America movie? Remember the Dolph Lundgren Punisher? Comic book movies have come a long way and Thor: The Dark World is definitive proof that Marvel will continue to succeed at satisfying their fans with outstanding performances, well defined plots, and top tier casting decisions.

The effects in The Dark World are far beyond anything seen in the first Thor film and they definitely follow in the footsteps of the huge sequences in The Avengers. There is destruction. There is mayhem. There are some of the most detailed effects shots of 2013. Every environment and effects shot was planned out with care and attention to keeping the whole movie on even keel with the Marvel entries that came before. All these movies have a similar feel, which is also part of keeping this universe nice and tidy with a tight knit style of cinematography and effects.

Thor: The Dark World is steps beyond the last movie about the man with the hammer. It's not perfect by any means, but if this is the direction Marvel is headed, I say bring it on. Most companies would struggle to deliver solid genre entry after solid genre entry, but they're doing something right with these films. They're action packed fun with a comedic human element that speaks volumes to the audience members buying the tickets and popcorn.

-Review by Chris George