12 November 2013

Thoughts On Thor: The Dark World

I’ve been of two minds regarding Marvel Studios and the “less is more” style of their films.  I was very worried going into Thor: the Dark World, because its director has been publicly lamenting the hatchet job done to a longer version of the movie.  I’m sympathetic to the director and would like to see the longer cut, but, despite some very muddy 3D, this sequel was logical, rousing, well performed and never dull -- all I really ask for from my steroid-y fun.

That, and a lot of Loki ... who can resist the Loki?

 Nobody, that's who.

We’re post-Avengers, all right, and it looks like a dividing line is edging up between those of us ready to remain on board til the final stop of the superhero gravy train, and others who are wearying of the ride.  This summer an insincere and shabbily plotted Iron Man 3 charmed over enough critics -- particularly the “hipper” ones -- by subverting all expectation of continued soap opera and superhero antics in favour of superficially clever meta-commentary.  In contrast, Thor: The Dark World, which is a neat little entertainment with plenty of good acting and a generally straightforward though uninspired story, has elicited a round of cranky nagging, even from geek critics.

I’m not crazy that such a straightforward and well-executed continuation of the established Marvel Studios melodrama is taking such a testy, impatient drubbing.

(Researching scores at Rotten Tomatoes for the purposes of writing this, I was reminded that Star Trek Into Darkness -- a rancid, noisy puppet show of cynical, pop culture lip service -- scored high in the eighties, on average.  The best of that lamentable movie's beats, emotions, character moments and situations weren't half as sensible as Thor 2's dumbest moment... so what the heck am I missing?)

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