Sunday, November 17, 2013
Thor: The Dark and Average Sequel
Thor as a film has a much tougher sell than most of the Marvel universe: it's necessary to balance the scenes in Asgard (where Thor is from) and the scenes on Earth, and the symmetry has to be seamless for it to work--unlike Tony Stark in Iron Man, who is much easier to relate to due to his snarky humor and based-in-reality (to an extent) situations. The Dark World jumps all over the place: the nine realms are about to converge, which is a sign of trouble when some Dark Elves (led by Malekith [Christopher Eccleston]) take the opportunity in this rare event to try and take control of a dangerous force to turn the galaxy to darkness.
What turns out the lights? This mystical floating substance called the "Aether", that when consumed causes the consumer to become incredibly powerful and power-hungry, looking to rid the world of everything beautiful. This is where Thor's love interest from Earth, Jane (Natalie Portman, probably regretting that she has a contract to keep appearing in the sequels), comes into play. Accidentally coming across this substance in some sort of weird inter-dimensional warp thingy, one that allows people to switch back and forth between worlds, she gets fully consumed like a ghost entering a host in a horror movie. Going on a road trip to Asgard after Thor comes to the rescue, the battle for the Aether that's inside of Jane between the Asgardians and the Dark Elves becomes the main focus for the second half of the film.
And this is Marvel's problem now: because of The Avengers, it feels like every standalone film involving their characters is more of a place holder than an actual event of awesome entertainment. Well, maybe not Iron Man, but the others. Take the trailer for the new Captain America film that enters theaters in March: does it look cool? Maybe. Does it look good? Sure, it has potential. But it doesn't feel like an "event" anymore, and my wallet is starting to get the feeling that Marvel has sucked me into paying for all of their films. And maybe it has: I just wish my return on investment was more than just average. (C+)