Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman, Christopher Eccleston
November 8, 2013 (US Premiere)
Summary for Moms:
Long, long ago, the Dark Elf Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) waged war on the nine realms, seeking a weapon known as the Aether. The Aether would allow him and his people dominance over the universe. Odin’s father, Bor, defeats Malekith and drives him and his followers into darkness, and hides the Aether away. Eons later, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), desperate to contact her Ripped Norse God Boyfriend (Chris Hemsworth), stumbles upon the Aether at a time of dimensional Convergence. Awoken from their slumber by the Aether’s presence, Malekith and his followers strike at Earth and Asgard and it’s up to Thor and his fiendish brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to stop him.
I found it very surprising that my mom liked the original Thor. I mean, I found it funny and charming, but I didn’t know she would feel the same way. The second Thor movie, and the beginning of Marvel’s quest to drop numerical sequels, Thor: The Dark World, takes everything I liked about the original movie, throws it away and presents a soulless husk of storytelling with nothing worth caring about.
Andmy mom agreed. She hated Thor: The Dark World. Absolutely hated it. She started ironing in the middle of it.
I can’t blame her. The entire movie is robbed of the light airy quality of the previous movies and, in its place, presents stilted dialogue delivered by characters with no motive or personality. Plot threads and scenes just seem to run from one to another with no real connective tissue and things just sort of… happen.
The things that DO happen aren’t explained very well. Both my mom and I are still not entirely sure what the Aether actually does and she barely remembered the opening sequence that explained its history. It’s just a meaningless macguffin that doesn’t make its desirability clear, and, worst of all, it’s a sad second entrant into the line-up of Infinity Stones.
As I have said, in probably every MMM post before, a Marvel movie is only as good as its villains, and Malekith the Accursed is no different. Malekith is unmenacing and uninteresting and, just like the Aether he’s after, his motives are only vaguely explained and not at all clear. He wants to turn the universe dark? What even is that? He’s a one-note boring villain with nothing particularly interesting about him. My mom couldn’t pick him out of a line up of one and refused to care. Even his killing of Frigga, Thor’s mom, didn’t carry any weight and garnered only a “So, she’s dead” from my mom. Christopher Eccleston deserved better.
The movie eventually devolves into a series of laser gun battles and spaceship dog fights where neither me or my mom… well, had a dog in the fight. I found myself not caring at all about what was going on and my mom commented that it “was too Star Wars”.
There’s really not much else to say about Thor: The Dark World. Loki was around, too, I guess, but my mom just seemed disinterested all around and didn’t pick up that he had replaced Odin at the end. To be fair, she was falling asleep.
I guess the experience can be summed up by this exchange we had at the end of the movie:
Mom: “Was it the same writers?”
Me: “No. Different writers and director.”
Mom: “I can tell. The story is horrible.”
And coming from someone who rarely complains about things, that’s probably the most damning criticism.
Mom Rating (Out of Five):
- Yeah. That’s right. A zero rating. And not just because I didn’t have time to photoshop some hammers.
- “Is [the Aether] going to make Jane evil?” “I…uh…I dunno. I don’t know what it does.”
- We were frustrated watching the movie and I was re-frustrated writing this review.
- She said a lot of the laser battles and spaceship fights were “too Star Wars” because she doesn’t much care for Star Wars. Hmmm… maybe once we catch up to the MCU…
After sitting through the movie, she really couldn’t have cared less about the post-credit sequences. Thor coming back for Jane was okay, she said, but she was utterly confused by the Collector. I had to explain to her the concept of Infinity Stones all over again. I think she gets it now, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to give her a rundown again later.