Let’s Get Reel: Thor

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Photo Courtesy of www.collider.com

Photo Courtesy of www.collider.com

I like superhero movies, so naturally I had to go check out Marvel’s latest installment, Thor: The Dark World. While it is aesthetically pleasing that the title does not have a numeral, it does little to hide the fact that this is an overall tired and bland sequel.

The movie picks up post-Avengers after Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has been restoring peace and order across the universe. Thor and his motley crew of mythological space heroes would have almost been able to take a rest, were it not for the oncoming universal event deemed, “The Convergence.” The Convergence, which is an alignment among all the space worlds, not only creates gravitational havoc, but allows Dark Elf Malekith to submerge the worlds into darkness. The only thing he needs to finish his dastardly plan is a mysterious weapon called the Aether. By chance, Thor’s old flame, Dr. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), falls through a portal and is fused with the Aether. This forces Thor to come to earth and take Jane back to his home in Asgard. Malekith is relentless in his pursuit of the Aether and Thor has to reluctantly team up with his rival and brother Loki (Tom Hiddlestone) to stop the darkness from consuming the universe.

If you giggled or laughed during any part of that summary, be prepared to laugh at this movie (and most of the time not in a good way). The Thor franchise has always been one of the most challenging Marvel heroes to make cool again. Naturally, Marvel powers had to resurrect him so that they could have The Avengers, but there is something inherently goofy about an English-speaking Nordic demigod who travels to Earth on a rainbow road. This movie is filled with other annoyingly goofy aspects like silly science jargon and a villain who is almost completely one-sided.

Besides the extravagantly fantastical plot (I do realize that all superhero movies are unrealistic in some aspects), the biggest crime of Thor is that it lacks soul. The greatest superhero tales serve as allegorical lessons of how to be virtuous in difficult times. Superheroes face incredibly complex and nuanced moral dilemmas, but in the end choose the path of righteousness (minus an antihero or two). Thor almost completely lacks any of this. The movie’s plot often feels like a video game, with Thor trying his best to defeat each level and finally beat the boss. This movie feels even more soulless since by the end of the movie you realize that this is just another “filler movie” until the next Avengers.

The movie is not completely irredeemable though. It may make you laugh at the wrong times, but Thor does take the time to poke fun at itself. The humor makes the movie much more bearable and keeps things moving during slow sections. Hiddlestone does an excellent job again (minus the slightly infuriating ending) of portraying a loathsome but tragic stepbrother to Thor. His introduction to the movie instantly increases the humanity of the extravagant tale. The movie also does not skimp on the special effects. Though it hardly offers anything new and original in regards to explosions, destroying the world and alternate worlds, it does dazzle at times.

If you are a diehard fan of the Thor comic books or love watching a movie with Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman, then this movie may keep you satisfied, but do not count on it to bring anything new to the table. You might do yourself a favor and wait until the next Avengers movie, instead of needlessly watching this uninspired installment in Thor’s life.