I'm still holding out hope that one day someone will have the guts to make a superhero movie set entirely away from Earth, but unfortunately that day has yet to pass. Thor: The Dark World was Marvel Studio’s best shot at creating something entirely cosmic, yet it still feels the need to crawl back to Earth every so often.
The most disappointing part is that it’s utterly unnecessary. Presumably there to keep the action grounded and relatable, these scenes are ineffectual and go no way to injecting any extra humanity. Not that it’s needed . . .
In a way, it’s a shame that Marvel don’t have enough confidence in their characters. Thor and Loki are so joyously entertaining and they themselves would laugh at the feigned necessity for other characters. Yes, they’re larger than life, but they are daring, adventurous, scheming and totally brilliant. Their scenes eclipse anything else in the movie and there are multiple moments of jaw-dropping emotion; some humorous, some evil and some downright dark.
Then the brakes are slammed on for a jarring cut to Earth. The momentum built up by the epic off-world scenes is drained of all its life, leaving an empty husk to stumble around London being boring and annoying. It’s at these moments when you start asking questions; about the plot, about the writers and about the whole thing, really. But, fortunately, these don’t all last that long and our two favourite God-siblings soon swoop down to rescue it from its exquisitely rendered embers.
One element that can’t be questioned, however, is the movie's sheer production values; especially the incredible design. Asgard has never looked so majestic and the costumes fall just the right side of the sublime; most notably the Dark Elves, whose masks will haunt my nightmares for days to come.
And, as is common for modern superhero movies, there are a couple of post-credit sequences. So, stick around until the bitter end for a few hints towards future adventures. However, these scenes are superfluous, muddled and lacking the perfectly measured cliffhangers of some of Marvel’s recent efforts.
Thor and Loki are a lot better than this, but Thor: The Dark World still stands as an enjoyable superhero romp.