‘Thor: The Dark World’ Review

Published 1 year ago by , Updated November 9th, 2014 at 6:16 pm,

Thor 2 The Dark World Chris Hemsworth Thor: The Dark World Review

Thor: The Dark World succeeds at building on the Thor (and Avengers) foundation to offer a bigger and more exciting adventure for Marvel’s God of Thunder.

InThor: The Dark World, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and his Asgardian forces have kept busy attempting to bring order to the nine realms – after they were thrown into warring chaos following the destruction of the Bifröst (in Thor) and Loki’s invasion of New York (in Avengers).

In her efforts to reunite with Thor, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) discovers an ancient (and extremely powerful) weapon, the Ather, which subsequently awakens one of Asgard’s most dangerous foes, Malekith, along with his Dark Elf army. Informed of Jane’s troubles by the Asgardian sentry Heimdall (Idris Elba), Thor returns to Earth to find and protect his love – setting off a series of events that force the God of Thunder into a desperate partnership to save Jane and rid the realms of Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) before the villain unleashes destruction upon the cosmos.

Thor 2 The Dark World Star Chris Hemsworth Thor: The Dark World Review

Chris Hemsworth as Thor in ‘Thor: The Dark World’

For Thor: The Dark World, Marvel Studios hired Game of Thrones alum Alan Taylor to help maintain Thor and Loki’s post-Avengers momentum  (replacing Thor director Kenneth Branagh) – and deliver a solid standalone “Phase Two” installment. For the most part Taylor succeeds, as Thor: The Dark World successfully builds upon characters and story lines from the first Thor , as well as Avengers, while providing entertaining (and humorous) moments and exciting action set pieces along the way. Certain aspects of the story are underdeveloped – and some filmgoers might (once again) have trouble suspending disbelief as to why S.H.I.E.L.D. and the other Avengers aren’t around to lend a hand – but overall Thor: The Dark World accomplishes exactly what a sequel (especially one couched in a shared cinematic universe) should do – increase the excitement and dig deeper into fan-favorite characters.

Like several Marvel Studios offerings (and the recent Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series), the main storyline in the Thor sequel centers on a new piece of supernatural technology (much like the Tesseract before it) that reignites an ancient battle between heroes and villains. While the setup is extremely straightforward, the script is surprisingly adept at balancing (and developing) ongoing story arcs (like the dynamic between Thor and Loki – as well as the God of Thunder’s future role in Asgard) and larger shared universe tie-ins (i.e. much-appreciated exposition and backstory, plus a few choice cameos).

Thor 2 The Dark World Christopher Eccleston Adewale Akinnuoye Agbaje Thor: The Dark World Review

Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) and Kurse (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje)

Unfortunately, in the middle of the delicate balancing act, most of the new additions (especially antagonist Malekith and his Dark Elves) remain underdeveloped. The Dark Elves significantly up the ante from Thor’s first solo adventure, resulting in a number of thrilling (and visually stunning) action beats; however, compared to the quasi-Shakespearean story of sibling rivalry, alienation, and betrayal that fueled Loki as Thor 1‘s antagonist, Malekith is little more than an “evil leader” trope. Despite the best efforts of Dr. Who star Christopher Eccleston, Malekith –  as well as his right-hand monster, Kurse (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) – fall short of being round and captivating villains, instead relegated to spouting exposition and platitudes before turning into hyper-charged punching bags for Thor and Mjölnir.

Luckily, Loki picks up a lot of the slack, as Tom Hiddleston once again plays the fan-favorite trickster with a smart mix of humor, charm, menace, and moral ambiguity. Providing Loki with an adequate story arc and substantial screen time probably contributed to The Dark World‘s thinly-drawn Dark Elves, but most moviegoers will likely agree that Taylor made the right call, since Hiddleston’s scenes are often the most interesting, entertaining (not to mention most emotional) in the film. The Thor-Loki-Odin power struggle and meditations on what it takes to be a good king were some of the best moments in Thor 1 – and The Dark World sustains (and even builds-upon) these ideas with fresh developments.

Thor 2 The Dark World Tom Hiddleston Chris Hemsworth Thor: The Dark World Review

Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth)

Anyone who didn’t respond to the fish-out-of-water story from the original movie will find Hemsworth’s Thor is significantly more commanding this round. While the character is still at the heart of some humorous moments, The Dark World‘s Thor is a hardened – as well as battle-worn – leader, focused on protecting the people he loves at any cost, and no longer concerned with personal glory. A more resolute Thor means that the Avenger is also more heroic – with some downright kick-butt action moments that showcase his powers (not just his strength) and his iconic hammer. As a result, the movie’s climax is much more exhilarating (and downright inventive) than its predecessor.

Even though Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) and the Warriors Three aren’t given quite as much to do this time, The Dark World nonetheless utilizes several returning supporting characters – most notably Jane Foster (Portman) and Heimdall (Elba), who are both much more active and instrumental in the sequel. Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings), Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård), and newcomer “intern to the intern,” Ian Boothby (Jonathan Howard) once again handle comedy relief and exposition duty. Dennings nails her timing even in moments of tension, elevating the previously one-note Darcy character into one of The Dark World‘s most enjoyable inclusions.

Thor 2 The Dark World Natalie Portman Chris Hemsworth Thor: The Dark World Review

Natalie Portman as Jane Foster in ‘Thor: The Dark World’

As mentioned, the film doesn’t escape all of the pitfalls of a shared universe film experience. The Dark World is overstuffed with key characters (at expense of its villains) and some moviegoers will still have trouble suspending disbelief that Thor and his rag-tag group of do-gooders are alone in stopping an enemy that seeks destroy all nine realms. That said, there are enough knowing nods to The Avengers and Battle of New York to prevent The Dark World from being an entirely isolated experience – as the sequel manages to bind the film to prior events, as well as tease what audiences will see in future installments (note: make sure you stay through both the mid-credits and post-credits scenes).

Thor 2 The Dark World Chris Hemsworth Idris Elba Thor: The Dark World Review

Thor and Heimdall (Idris Elba) in ‘Thor: The Dark World’

The film is also playing in 3D, but much like the first installment, springing for the added cost is entirely optional – not essential. Anyone expecting a lot of pop-out moments or exceptionally inventive depth-of-field shots will probably walk away underwhelmed. Nevertheless, several scenes do take advantage of three-dimensional visuals – and Asgard is more immersive in the premium format.

In the end, Thor: The Dark World succeeds at building on the Thor (and Avengers) foundation to offer a bigger and more exciting adventure for Marvel’s God of Thunder. At times, the film juggles too many fan-favorite elements and a few are underserved (most notably Lady Sif, the Warriors Three, and the Dark Elves). Regardless, Taylor’s Phase Two installment manages to walk a fine (and challenging) line between digging deeper into its main cast of characters and the continuing Marvel Universe storylines. Some moviegoers may be divided on certain plot beats and developments, but overall The Dark World manages to build momentum and enthusiasm for Thor’s return in The Avengers: Age of Ultron, which –  given the stakes, logistical challenges, and Marvel’s grand ambition for a shared universe – is a major accomplishment.

If you’re still on the fence about Thor: The Dark World, check out the trailer below:

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[poll id=”708″]


Thor: The Dark World runs 112 minutes and is Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, and some suggestive content. Now playing in 2D and 3D theaters.

Seen the movie and want to discuss it without SPOILING it for those who haven’t seen it? Head over to our Thor: The Dark World Spoilers Discussion.

Want to know how Thor 2 lays ground for future Marvel Films? Read our Thor: The Dark World End-credits Explanation article.

For an in-depth discussion of the film by the Screen Rant editors check out our Thor: The Dark World episode of the SR Underground podcast.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for future reviews, as well as movie, TV, and gaming news.

Our Rating:

3.5 out of 5
(Very Good)

Follow Ben Kendrick on Twitter @benkendrick
TAGS: Thor 2
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  1. Assuming there’s a post credits scene, how many stars would you give it, Ben?

  2. Nope. This movie is hilariously bad

  3. by far the best marvel film so far. not even close.

  4. spot-on review, Ben. I’d probably push it to 4 just because of Loki and that mid-credits scene 😉
    overall, pretty fun movie!

  5. This time around for me it was not so strange that no Avengers can be there, because it was not like Tony Stark doing investigating for days.

    Thor had very little time to handle everything. No way could have the Avengers arrived to help him. I won’t say more to stay spoiler-free.

    It was a great movie and I enjoyed it immensely. Great sequel.

    • Investigating…. for days? What? About a day and a half total elapsed from the attack on his home in Malibu to the battle on the Roxxon Norco.

  6. Thor 2 is the best comic book film of the year. It didn’t take itself too serious but handled the emotion beats better than Iron Man 3 and Man of Steel. Also, Zack Snyder take note on how to film powerful beings fighting one another.

    “At times, the film juggles too many fan-favorite elements and a few are underserved (most notably Lady Sif, the Warriors Three, and the Dark Elves).”

    Personally, I enjoyed seeing all of them in action.

    • I agree. Definitely best comic book movie of the year (I was very underwhelmed with MOS and IM3 was more like The Incredibles meets Lethal Weapon 2).

      Funniest part featuring Thor is definitely the ride on the tube but I agree with the review when it said the dark elves and warriors 3 were under utilised, but understandably so. I’m happy Heimdall got more to do this time round. All in all a very satisfying enjoyable funny smart viewing experience. I only wish I had known there was a post credit scene too as I only watched the mid credit scene. But, I supposed that gives me a valid excuse to go see it again!

    • @ Waldo

      Hahaha!!! Thanks for the endorsement bro, I do enjoy being right.


      • Mindbender, your blood must be boiling! Seeing ANOTHER superhero movie get better reviews than your beloved Man of Steel! What’s that, the third one this year? YES, out of the 4 big budget superhero movies released this year Man of Steel was declared the WORST by critics! OUCH!

        • Why would the good doctor’s blood be boiling when he is STILL in the right? His opinion is all that counts to him…as yours should be to you. Apparently, you and Karim decided your puffery-in-common is THE opinion to have.

          Of course, THAT is just your opinion…

          For my part, TTDW is much better than IM3 (which isn’t saying much), so “Phase 2″ FINALLY has a legitimate start. “The Wolverine”, overall, was still better than either of them, although TTDW DID have some much better components than TW.

          MOS beat all three, in terms of story, depth, characterization, villain, and design (TTDW had some superb sets, however)…EASILY.

          Mindbender and Cyborg simply need to smile at your fanboyish, goobery commenting and move on…I know I am.

          • “Why would the good doctor’s blood be boiling when he is STILL in the right? His opinion is all that counts to him”

            Yes, that’s why he spends hours online trolling anyone who criticizes Man of Steel, fabricates a bribery scandal to discredit negative reviews, and invents some ‘Waldo’ persona to discredit any negative blog comments. Because he just DOESN’T CARE what anyone else thinks, right!?

          • You are responding with your opinion, that’s fine.

            But when someone comes out and screams that Man of Steel is the best hands down, I have an obligation to hammer you into the ground and force-feed you some facts.

            Man of Steel did not make as much as IM3, and the same will probably be said for TTDW.

            Man of Steel was nowhere near IM3 in terms of the average critical reviews.

            Man of Steel was nowhere near in terms of the average audience reviewer.

            You have not one leg to stand on. Your opinion? Fine, no problem. Just understand that your opinion is by no means the widely-held opinion, not even close.

            • Im3 was a joke end of story. The tension established was washed down the drain with terribly timed humor.

              • I state facts you state generic one-liners, end of story.

                Again for you:

                Man of Steel did not make as much as IM3, and the same will probably be said for TTDW.

                Man of Steel was nowhere near IM3 in terms of the average critical reviews.

                Man of Steel was nowhere near IM3 in terms of the average audience reviewer.

                • What is genric is im3 and most marvel movies. I just stated a fact that the humor underscores the drama that should be happening.

                  • That’s not a fact, that’s an opinion. The facts are what I stated above.

                    I agree that the movies tend to have a lot of humour and are not as dark and gritty as the DC films. That’s a GOOD thing. It has nothing to do with being generic or unoriginal. Generic is the repeated themes of DKR which came directly from DK.

                    What Marvel has done is start the universe off with a light-hearted tone, so that we don’t get used to seeing the same dark shiiite over and over again by the 10th movie.

                    I’m guessing Marvel will get pretty dark once Thanos is introduced, not like Batman, where by the 2nd film he’s already tired with his job and watching people die all around him. That made that universe short and forced them to end it in one trilogy. Now they have to reboot the franchise AGAIN, LOOL! What a massive fail.

                    • This whole statement is opinion.

              • “This whole statement is opinion”

                Yes it was. Shall I just copy-paste the facts over and over again? LOL, ok dude:

                Man of Steel did not make as much as IM3, and the same will probably be said for TTDW.

                Man of Steel was nowhere near IM3 in terms of the average critical reviews.

                Man of Steel was nowhere near IM3 in terms of the average audience reviewes.

            • You realize the audience vote for MOS is much more skewed because a TON more people voted in the MOS pole than the IM3 poll??? Go and stand at the side of the street and ask random people who don’t care as much as we do which was better, IM3 or MOS, and almost all of them will say MOS.

              Also, a lot of bad reviews for mos was complete BS. It was VERY clear the critics who have negative reviews was comparing to the Donner films instead of rating MOS as a reboot. MOS was basically batman begins but superman style. Almost the exact same movie in terms of story telling and style. I believe SR even mentions a lot of this in their review of MOS, which is why SR is typically the only review I care about.

              On IMDB their voters have mos I think ranked higher or ranked the same with im3. So please shut up critic reviews and amount of revenue generated doesn’t make any movie better than another. That’s like saying Spider-Man 3 was better than every marvel movie except IM1, 3 and avengers.

  7. It’s official! Man of Steel is the best comic book movie this year!

    Bravo ScreenRant!!!

    Thank you DC!!!

    • What a joke.

      More like the worst comic book movie of the year.

      All of them were better. They all had better reviews from both the audience and the movie critics.

      • Believe it or not Karim, Screenrant are allowed to exercise editorial discretion in deciding what they think is good. Ultimately, any review is the opinion of one person and there is no right or wrong answer.

        In MY opinion, Man of Steel, Iron Man 3, the wolverine, Thor 2 and even kick ass 2 were all roughly as entertaining as each other for completely different reasons.

        It was a great year for comic book movies.

        • I didn’t know this “Wizard” commentor is reviewing the movie on behalf of ScreenRant.

          Believe it or not, I also never implied that Screenrant cannot exercise their right to free speech.

          • Except that, by almost making your own opinion gospel, you kinda did.

            • I never tried to make my opinion the only one hat counts.

              I replied to a random commentor who was desperate to promote Man of Steel.

          • Well, Screenrant awarded man of steel 4 stars so I was assuming that’s what your comment was based on.

            • Nope, just responding to Wizard.

              • Is it just me or is Screenrant now run by a bunch of DC fanatics with chips on their shoulders?

                • Starting to feel like that.

                • No, Bladeseeker…it really IS just you (and your clones?).

              • ^^^Butt-hurt levels reaching critical mass!!!

                ScreenRant what have you done!?!?!?


                • Why butthurt?

                  I think that a lot of people agree with me, seeing as how MoS made half of what IM3 made, and IM3 is not even the highest grossing Marvel film.

                  • By using that warped logic justin beiber is a great artist. Mos was better than im3 by far. And yes your butt hurt.

                    • You sound butthurt yourself kid.

                      Justin Bieber may very well be a great artist. I don’t listen to his music so I wouldn’t really know.

                      Ok, let’s take a look at the critical reviews then.

                      Man of Steel: 56% approval rating.

                      Iron Man 3: 79% approval rating

                      Audience ratings

                      Man of Steel: 75%

                      Iron Man 3: 81%

                      Whichever way you look at it, IM3 was FAR better than the hilariously lame and boring excuse of a film that was Man of Steel.

                      Admit it, DC is a failure. All you can do is keep rebooting the SAME characters every few years, the same two one’s. No one cares for any other DC character.

                    • Man of Steel fans and beliebers are just two sides of the same coin.

                      “Sure, the thing I love is thrashed left and right by legitimate critics, but it makes money and is popular so it MUST be good, right? So don’t say anything bad about it on the internet or I’ll harass you!”

                  • Ironman 3 was third part if a trilogy and was the first film in the follow up of avengers. All of that helped it. Mos was a reboot

                • > declares butthurt
                  > still insists that Marvel hired reviewers to give MoS bad reviews.


                  • LOL! Bladeseeker just made a perfectly valid point. Quick Mindbender, get in here and accuse him of being ‘Waldo.’

                  • Nice to see I have fans.


        • +1. I feel like people hate on MOS just to troll. I don’t really enjoy Superman as a character and that movie got me invested in the character and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The fight scenes were great. And I haven’t walked out of a single comic book movie this year disappointed, except IM3 at first. I don’t get the fascination to hate just to hate.

          • fascination with hating just to hate*

  8. Even after directly ripping off Man of Steel this movie still fails.
    I guess since Marvel doesn’t own the rights to any decent villains why bother developing the ones they do own, right?
    “Don’t worry fans, you will get a worthwhile villain four years from now. Until then everyone keep buying our s**t and act like Ultron is compelling.” ~ Marvel Studios

    • lol
      Ultron is one of The Avengers’ most dangerous enemies, up there with Kang and other greats.

    • You mean the way that DC are desperate to copy Marvel, but don’t even know how to do even that?

      You DC fanboys are pretentious and obnoxious children. All of your movies have been hated because they are either financial failures or are boring. One ok film trilogy, which is now dead and buried, and what does DC have to show for it?

      And why would Man of Steel, that pathetic failure of a film, even be copied? Who would want to copy a movie shunned by all critics as weak and underdeveloped?

      It seems that DC are the one’s with a lack of everything. A lack of story, villains or heroes, a lack of continuity, a lack of a universe. Galactus to Thanos, Annhilus to Ultron, Dr. Doom to Magneto, Norman Osborn to Loki, the Marvel Universe is truly filled with an overabundance of villains.

      Compare that to umm… Lex Luthor and the Joker…

      • Woah, Man of Steel was not completely shunned by critics. Actually, Rotten Tomatoes is the only site that comes to mind right now that gave it an underrated review (and an editor for the site actually publicly apologized for the low rating, saying she recommends the movie and doesn’t understand why Rotten Tomatoes reviewers gave it an unreasonably low rating). IMDb gave it a good one, this site did, and Roger Ebert gave it 3/5. Those reviews aren’t bad at all.

        AND it wasn’t a financial failure of a film either. Granted Man of Steel didn’t make as much money as Iron Man 3, but it was still a success financially. It made $660,951,711 worldwide on a $225 million budget. Even its US earnings made more than the movie cost.

        …and you’re calling the DC fanboys obnoxious… maybe the Marvel fanboys should look at some more facts before blatantly attacking an entire fan-base.

        • In fact, IMDb gave Man of Steel a BETTER review than Iron Man 3 (just barely), and so did this site (also, not by much though). Oh, and Roger Ebert also gave Man of Steel a better review than Iron Man 3, albeit still close.

          • Roger Ebert died in April, you trolling clown. Also, Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB don’t review movies. One is an aggregator and one features an audience poll. You have no idea what you’re talking about. Man of Steel got hundreds of negative reviews resulting in low ratings on both Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes.

        • Roger Ebert was dead before he could even review it. What the heck are you talking about?

          Rotten Tomatoes is what everyone follows, but Metacritic is pretty big as well.

          “Metacritic has given the film a weighted average score of 55/100, based on 47 reviews, indicating “mixed or average reviews”.”

          Iron Man 3 scored slightly higher at 62/100.

          You’re right that it wasn’t a financial failure, but it sure was compared to Iron Man 3. IM3 had a smaller budget, made double the money, got higher scores in general, in addition to being a less world-renowned character. I expected more from Man of Steel.

          My response by the way, was only obnoxious in response to some pretty nasty stuff I keep hearing from the DC fanboys. Marvel fans seem to not care what DC people think, so I had to give it a shot (because I do).

          • Keep drinking the marvel Disney Kool aid Bro.

            • I state facts, you get butthurt.

              DC can’t even put out a single film sans Batman and Superman. Where is the Flash? Where is Wonder Woman? Where is Green Lantern? Oh yea, everyone hated Green Lantern, and no one wants to laugh out of the theater when they see Wonder Woman and the Flash.

          • Lol sorry, when I was referring to the “review by Roger Ebert”, I meant the review that his website gave it. I am aware of Ebert’s death. The actual reviewer on Roger Ebert’s film site that reviewed Man of Steel was Matt Zoller Seitz.

    • “Don’t worry fans, you will get a worthwhile villain four years from now. Until then everyone keep buying our s**t and act like Ultron is compelling.” ~ Marvel Studios

      spot on observation

    • Ultron is one of the best villians. And one of my favorites. It’s too bad pym won’t get credit for building it. Maybe he will be mentioned by I’m not holding my breathe.

  9. Please put more spoilers in it for those of us who haven’t seen it yet, thank you.

    • why would you read the review if you dont want spoilers? Kind of dumb.

  10. This movie just became my favorite solo film. The DC fans on this site are childish haters

    • Your last sentence is a reflection of what you deem the DC fans to be.

      Glad you enjoyed the movie, but no need to start the name calling again.

    • It’s a self-esteem problem.

      Let them vent a little. All of their movies have been failures, with the exception of the Batman trilogy (which is dead and buried).

      • Superman 1 and 2 are instant classics just saying. Not to mention the none superhero comic book properties are rather good V for vendetta is fantastic and Watchman is good. Not pro DC or Marvel but just clearing up how wrong you are.

        • V for Vendetta and Watchmen don’t count. I’m referring specific to the main DC universe, else we can just bring in Kick A**. Both of those were great, nonetheless.

          Superman 1 and 2 have been completely forgotten. We’re talking decades back.

          • …and a Marvel fangirl makes her rosy-cheeked debut.

            • Beats being a fat pimple-faced Batman geek.

              • So being a fat pimple faced virgin living in grand ma’s basement tugging to the averagers is any better?
                You come here talking smack about childish DC fans and turn around with this crap. Kindly leave.

                • Living in granmas basement? What’s with the generic one-liners? And what’s with projecting your own personality onto others?

                  I’m about to be engaged, LOL.

                  More importantly, I’ve only responded in kind. Notice how none of my comments have been anything but addressed to your fellow fanboys making insults?

                  Kindly leave yourself. I’m here to stay.

              • Ah, Karim…

                Yet another of your brilliant comebacks.


                • My comebacks are only as good as the people I’m responding to. After all, why should they earn enough respect from me in that I’d have to take the time to make a good insult?

                  If DC fanboys want to insult then I’ll insult back, and I’ll do it with as much a generic one-liner as you have, ok fangirl?

                  • No,no…your comebacks are not good at all.

                    Glad I could clarify.

                    • You didn’t clarify anything. You just proved you have les than basic reading comprehension.

                      I believe I already admitted that my comebacks are as generic and boring as your own.

                    • Ah, Karim…

                      So sad.


                  • You’re new to this site which is painfully obvious. So I’m willing to cut you one break. And this is the one break. You started talking smack about DC and just you. There is no war worth DC and marvel. Your feeling on DC’s films are yours and that’s great. But don’t come here and talk smack about how they’re failing because they’re not.

                    • You sound like a total bada$$, you know that?

                      Willing to cut me one break? Oh, I might just take it!

                      I was responding to DC fanboys making the same boring, generic one-liner insults that I began making. Don’t like it? LEAVE.

                      And my feeling on DC films are not just mine, they are shared by the 80-90% of people consistently rating DC films as absolute shiite when compared to Marvel films.

                      That is what we call a statement of fact. Man of Steel ranks worse in terms of professional reviews and audience reviews, when compared to ANY of the MCU films.

                      You guys must be desperate. Green Lantern is a failure, Batman is being rebooted again, and Superman barely hit IM1 box office revenue (adjust for inflation IM1 was actually higher).

                      Is it this desperation which makes you ignore the numbers?

                    • You come here and started the smack talk. And then try to pawn your facts as you believe them. Whatever, you can like what you want just don’t be such a dbag about it.

                • Hey Archie, I thought you were going to simply “smile and move on”… but here you are still trolling away like the troll you are.

                  • 😀

          • Waldo?

  11. I liked certain aspects of the film. Better than the first, but still lacking overall. Best Marvel movie of the year (which isn’t saying much). Good, possibly great. Agree with SR’s 3.5 rating.

    • Iron Man was one of the best films of the decade, the Spider-Man films were all great, the Amazing Spider-Man too, so were the first two X-Men films, the Last Stand was exhilarating, Captain American and Hulk were good, and the Avengers was a spectacular finish to an awesome Phase 1.

      So many awesome Marvel films to choose from, the Dark World being another ok one from what I’ve heard.

      • Iron man is still the greatest marvel film IMO, atleast out of phase one. I prefer X-1 and X-2 along with FC to any other phase one film.

        • X-Men films belong in their own continuity, as their film rights are held by 20th Century Fox. They don’t belong to Phase 1 but yes, they were all great films so far (except the god-awful Origins and X3).

        • I have to ask, do you know if there is a way to receive email notifications only for comments that are responding to you?

          When I check the “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail” box I get literally all of the comments on this page sent into my inbox.


      • The Last Stand was exhilarating? *raises eyebrow*

        • Whoops! I meant First Class.

          Last Stand was pretty god-awful, no doubt.

  12. Spot on review, Ben! I completely agree with everything you said. It was such a refreshing step in the right direction for phase 2 compared to the dumpster-fire that was IM3. Although I stand by everything you mentioned I still would have pushed the rating to a 4 out of 5. Reason being, well, it was such an innovative, entertaining, and smart entry in the MCU, I believe it earns a higher score than IM3, which you gave the same raining.
    I do hope people go out and see this film, it deserves so much credit. It also gets you excited for the future of the MCU, which I haven’t felt excited for since Avengers (I.E. after credits button – watch it!)

  13. I saw this last night and it was just okay(same as Man of Steel). There were many similarities in both films and as of right now they are both the same to me. Both films did a good job with the action scenes along with the visuals but like Man of Steel, the storyline(script) was pretty basic. I think a 3-3.5/5 is about right. Is it the best CBM of the year? I don’t know yet

  14. Other than Loki, Marvel has yet to create a compelling villain in any of there movies. I would give this movie a solid B or 3 out of 5. Asgard looked weird. And once again too much focus on the humans and Earth.

    • Agree about the marvel villians, all have been pretty weak thus far.

      • That is intentional. These movies are still light-hearted.

        No need to get into such dark storylines, unlike DC which effectively ends their film series in 2 or 3 movies because a major character has to die or retire.

        It also leads up to Thanos being taken much more seriously, rather than being just another super-villain that they’ve handled already.

        • m glad dc is dc and dc is dc and and dc and stop and dc will and glad dc bot destroy and dc dc bot will destroy

    • The Red Skull was another compelling villain from the standalone films. In fact, I enjoyed all villains from Marvel’s films.

    • Loki is a villain?

  15. I am not going to go type out everything I did in the spoiler discussion but ill make this one brief. The poorest Marvel film on a fundamental level, filled with plot holes, a bi-polar tone and extremely hit and miss comedy. I still don’t understand what Thor sees in Jane, Darcy continues to annoy with her terrible delivery and the action sequences were been there done that. This film lacked any originality, I would love to see a directors cut because I believe marvel stepped in on this one and ruined a film.

  16. I prefer Kenneth Branagh one, he has more heart and better utilized jokes IMO. Action scenes weren’t nearly as good but action scenes don’t make a good movie.

  17. I saw this last week and thought it was excellent for the most part. Most definitely better than Iron Man 3 (way better) and probably next to Iron Man 1 the best standalone Marvel movie to date.

    For 2/3 of the way through it was borderline fantastic. This was purely because so little time was spent on Earth.

    Asgard looked absolutely amazing and loved the way that it blended the medieval and science fiction elements. It’s without doubt the most visually impressive of Marvel’s films yet. The effects were superb and the tone was kept serious with bits of humour more subtely delivered.

    It gave characters such as Frigga, Odin and Loki a lot more to do this time and there were a lot more emotional scenes and the stakes felt more urgent this time around. There were definitely echoes of Lord of the Rings in the first hour which is exactly the direction that Thor should be heading towards.

    Loki’s introduction elevated it even higher an both Hemsworth and Hiddlestone are so comfortable playing their roles now and have great chemistry. In fact I would say now that after RDJ, Hiddlestone is the next biggest performance in the MCU.

    Unfortunately Marvel / Disney’s quota for comedy and light heartedness really hurt the films final third. Any intensity generated by the first half is lost. When the short running time was first , it seemed concerning it can be clearly felt here. The climax is just so rushed it undercuts all the good work that went before.

    Still the first half showed us that there is a truly classic Thor movie that can be made, full of imagination and epic sweep. If next time we can just stay in Asgard completely, show some restraint on the comedy and be even bolder with the source material (Enchantress, Executioner and perhaps even Beta Ray Bill) then a five star Thor film can be delivered.

    Roll on to Winter Solider next year.

  18. Just to add that I think overall Man of Steel is probably still the best CBM of the year. However for a longer running time and a lesser shift towards comedy, Dark World would’ve beaten it.

  19. Pretty good movie…The Loki story arc was the best part of the film IMO.

    Thank God it didnt disappoint me like IM3 did. Comedy didnt feel as forced than in IM3. Action was good, the worlds were fantastic and it was a really good step forward in the Avengers story arc.

    I guess i don’t understand why everything has to be DC vs. Marvel lol they make the movies for all of us. MOS was still my favorite for the year, but Cap 2 and Guardians have got me excited.

  20. Is it fair to say loki is the only reason thor is a franchise? This film just proved how hopeless it is without him. The movie was bad when he wasnt present

    • The comics are damn near useless without him so what exactly are you saying?

      • Im saying that thor has a terrible rogue gallery and him as a character isnt compelling emouhh to carry a film without loki.

  21. The action is sounding to be pretty cool. I saw a clip online of one of the fight scenes and thought it was entertaining, just so many portals, geez aha. I’m happy Idris Elba got more screen time this time around too, awesome actor. I’m looking forward to the comedic side of the film, which I’m hoping is a bit more balanced than Iron Man 3 and Agents of Shield. Kinda bummed about the villain not really being a huge threat in this film though. Anyway, I’ll be catching this sooner or later, it’s not really high on my list.

    Great review Ben!

  22. This movie is great and without a doubt better than Thor I, and that’s all that matters. Get rid of Selvig and Darcy, and Thor III will be perfect

  23. Great review, Ben.
    No surprise that I almost completely agree.

    Thor: The Dark World was surprisingly good!

    Cast was terrific, with stand out performances from Hiddleston and Hemsworth. It was great seeing Idris Elba, Jamie Alexander and Rene Russo getting more to do this time round. The action was top notch (with some unexpectedly awesome choreographed fight scenes), and is comparable to MoS in that it was fast-paced and superpowered, with gritty and more violently realistic set pieces – although, in that respect, this wasn’t as polished as MoS’s visuals, and some of the VFX shots looked very obvious.
    I went in expecting a “laff” fest, but I was pleasantly surprised by the balance between the humor (which felt a bit more subtle and fluid this time round), and the suspense (of which there was plenty) – I didn’t even mind Darcy in this movie… and I absolutely hated that character in the first Thor.

    My two biggest complaints would be that Malekith was an underwhelming villain and I can’t really agree with the review’s statement of Jane Foster having a “much more active and instrumental” role in the movie – her “role” pretty much consisted of standing around watching other people do cool stuff (and I still can’t buy Natalie Portman as an astrophysicist either). Sure, she was an active part of the story, but she could easily have been replaced with another character. It’s odd that such a great actress (see Black Swan) can be so bland in another movie.

    4/5 – better than the first Thor and better than IM3, yet still outgunned by Avengers and the first Iron Man.

    And I give that 4/5 based on the movie alone. I wasn’t really a fan of the mid credit scene actually. It’s understandable why Alan Taylor has his reservations about it.

  24. Very much enjoyed this film> Great spfx and story

  25. Its Doctor not Dr.

  26. – Iron man 1
    – Thor 2
    – Avengers

    nuff said.

  27. As much as I wanted to like Thor TDW it is just not that good. I had high expectations and believed the Rotten Tomatoes bashing it got over the last two days was BS just like it was with MOS.

    However, after seeing Thor TDW it just isn’t good. I won’t say it’s awful but I’m not pleased with it. The best I can say is it is slightly better than IM3 and to me IM3 was one of the worst comic book movies of all time.

  28. One of the funniest questions people ask about these movies is, “Where are the other Avengers?” You know, like they’re just sitting around twiddling their thumbs. Don’t they ever think they could be off handling problems of their own? A superhero’s work, after all, never done. Even when the cameras aren’t rolling.

    • Yes, but aren’t supposed to save the world? What is more important than that?

      • …aren’t THEY…