Thor: The Dark World balances humor and intensity

By Mike Stanfordimgres-2

Staff Writer

Asgardian soldiers 5,000 years ago were in a hopeless war against the Dark Elves.  The Dark Elves have been alive longer than light, and will stop at nothing to rid the universe of light.

When the Asgardians were on the brink of defeat, a desperate attempt at victory yields success, as Asgardian King, Bor, captures the aether, the only thing capable of returning darkness.

As the Dark Elven Army falls, their leader Malekith and his lieutenant escape, proving one thing.  This war is far from over.

Much like the war, Marvel’s Avenger series is definitely far from over.  However, Thor: The Dark World, does not feel like it has 5,000 years of dead time.

Unlike its recent predecessors, Thor, Iron Man 3 and Marvel’s the Avengers, the audience had no opportunity to go to the bathroom while the movie is still running and not miss anything.

In the beginning of the movie, the Dark Elves attack Asgard and a character important to Thor and his evil brother, Loki, was killed.  The scene then cuts to powerful images of the characters grieving.

Unlike the Marvel’s the Avengers when Agent Coulson dies, the movie is not brought down by an overextended grieving period, as Thor immediately plans his next move.

Furthermore, Alan Taylor, the director of Thor: The Dark World, and Marvel Studios have found the right balance between humor and intensity, unlike the never-ending cheesy jokes in Iron Man 3.

In Iron Man 2 and Iron Man 3, Marvel decided to stray from a deep, meaningful plot that made Iron Man such a success, and added frivolous humor that detracted from the storyline.

They have rediscovered the magic.  The humor in Thor: The Dark World is witty, well thought out and embedded in the plot.

At one point in the movie, Thor realizes that he cannot defeat the Dark Elves alone and he and Loki share a powerful common enemy.

Upon enlisting Loki, Thor explains the plan.  Loki, ever the troublemaker, is shapeshifting to annoy Thor.  At one point, he changes into Captain Steve Rodgers from Captain America: The First Avenger, and delivers a spot-on imitation.

The imitation was happening as the plot was unfolding, so the film did not get slow and dry.

Traditionally, Marvel has been known for having great heroes, but subpar villains.  Those days are no more.

They do so by making the viewer unsure of what Loki is.  Loki betrayed Thor while on a mission, but then turns around and fights their common enemy.

He is righteous one moment, yet diabolical the next.

Marvel and Taylor have struck gold with Thor: The Dark World.  It was launched to number one in the box office, making 86.1 million dollars in it’s first weekend at the box office.

They have been searching for the balance between humor and intensity, and between hero and villian, since Iron Man 2 came out four years ago.

In six months, Captain America: The Winter Soldier debuts this April as the next film in the Avengers series.  It would be lucky to have have the action, depth and charisma as Thor: The Dark World.