I am not a big 'movie' person. That is to say that I enjoy movies, yes, but I rarely get swept up in all the hooplah of watching a series of trailers, marking my calendar, or hitting a venue opening weekend. My friends and family find me the exception, as they all seem quite content swapping Hollywood brush in tales and sharing celebrity dreams. When I go to a movie theater I am a tough sell- it takes a bit of intrigue to lure me into a first run showing. I don't happily shell out $12 plus a head for a two hour video escape that I know I'll be able to buy much cheaper in 3 months. Why am I sharing this? Because on Monday November 4, 2013, I was quite literally blown away.
This skeptical, often begrudged, movie goer walked out of a theater not only jaw agape and shouting expletives (I do believe "That was ----ing awesome!" came out of my mouth more than twice), but turned to Jay and asked when we could go see it again. I know, I know, I'm as shocked as you likely are- and to be raving about what will most certainly be a blockbuster, on fan base alone, is far from my 'typical' film pick. But here I am to write and tell you that Thor: The Dark World is by far one of the top films I have invested time in, on or off the big screen, in years. Not only will I be shelling out my hard earned cash to see it again, likely a few more times, but I heartily endorse taking the entire family (5+, due to some intense villains and action scenes).
Surprisingly Thor: The Dark World, generally considered a 'niche' film with it's strong Marvel ties and The Avengers franchise, hits multiple thematic categories with seamless balance. Not only are the graphics and computer generated scene-scapes visually stunning, but the 2 hour film is peppered with hilarious jokes that stand effective whether a franchise fan or not. The Dark World also further develops the first film's romance between it's two main characters, Thor and Jane (am I the only one who sees 'Jane' as a character name tongue in cheek alongside the Tarzan like Norse God?) That's right, women will swoon at Chris Hemsworth and his honest chemistry with the quirky and candid Jane, played by Natalie Portman.
I firmly believe in not giving away a film's details, and personally enjoy movies best when I know little to nothing about the plot, so I will spare you of any and all spoilers. I do, however have some interesting notes on the film as a whole;
Check Your Marvel And Norse Knowledge At The Box Office: While a Marvel fanboy/girl will certainly be tickled by the always anticipated Stan Lee guest appearance, and Avenger call outs, don't go into The Dark World expecting sincere continuity to any portion of the Thor comic world. Now officially locked into 3 films, the modern Disney Thor films should be enjoyed as a stand alone- watch them for the entertaining escape they are and don't try to pick anything apart; it will only detract from the experience. That especially goes for any Norse history buffs- this is not your college professor's Asgard, accept it now.
This Is a Disney Film, That Means Lucas Rights: This was, perhaps, one of the oddest elements of watching this film. It seemed I was constantly reminded that Disney now owned Star Wars rights, and boy was it ever evident; from the Lucas soundtrack to the modernized fight scenes with the main protagonist Malekith and his Dark Elves. I was awestruck by the visually intense fight scenes, that clearly echoed big box office space fights, having me turn and ask Jay multiple times, "Are we watching Star Wars?" Of course, it doesn't help these inklings that Star Wars Queen herself, Natalie Portman is the leading heroine- stay tuned for a true geek-out inside joke halfway through the film when our hero and protagonist fight for the first time!
Stay Till The Very End: It's no secret Marvel crams Easter eggs into the ending credits. This film has two; the first a teaser for the upcoming Marvel film franchise, crossover. The second is insignificant (to the overall plot) but extremely satisfying wrap to the second film. Sit through the end credits crawl and you won't be disappointed.
The Final Word: It's hard to escape the many distinct nods to Star Wars franchise success, from action sequences to background development and music- any geek will surely adore this film. More importantly for me to convey is the value of this film to those not currently fans of the Marvel franchise. It's hard not to classify Thor as a superhero, thus Thor: The Dark World a Superhero Movie, but I'd wage a good argument that every paying moviegoer will walk out satisfied on multiple levels. Go for the all-star cast, for the timeless romance, for the non-stop comedy (hard to believe it could be done in an action flick without being cheesy, right?), for the cameos, for the mind-blowing 3D and intense fight scenes, for the quirky and colorful characters, and for the battle between good and evil, and go for money well spent on a 2 hour escape. After all, isn't that really what we hope for when we go to the cinema?
Catch Thor: The Dark World in theaters worldwide November 8, 2013