Last weekend saw the North American release of Thor: The Dark World but while fans and others may be gloating about the insane box office returns for the film, the critics around the country aren’t joining in the fun and are instead saying something Marvel fans and websites don’t want to hear — the movie isn’t very good.
The film has a very firm rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes among top critics, as Thor: The Dark World looks like it has clocked in at 38 percent and is not going to reach fresh territory.
Critics like Peter Travers, James Berardinelli and Claudia Puig have helped the film clinch the low rating and their defense of their bad reviews makes sense when you look into the film. The consensus seems to be there isn’t enough story to care about and far too little Loki for the film to stand on it’s own as a good Marvel film.
This sequel (** out of four; rated PG-13, opens Friday nationwide) to the 2011 flagship from Marvel Studios is leaden, non-involving and filled with mind-numbing computer-generated effects. The story gives a nod to Norse mythology, but it should have focused less on the brawny god Thor and more on his cunning brother Loki, the god of mischief.
Most of the action is generic, though sufficiently straightforward to provide relief from the incoherent storytelling. Which realm are we in now? Where were we a moment ago, and how did everyone get here? Such questions seem not to have troubled the writers or producers. As for the director, Alan Taylor, he has done a lot of top-drawer television, including episodes of “Game of Thrones,” but there’s no sign he has a feel for feature films; his emphasis is entirely on big set pieces at the expense of narrative flow.
Thor: The Dark World offers the kind of straightforward action/adventure yarn that adherents of the genre will appreciate. It’s an example of superhero filmmaking 101 at work with high octane fights and special effects-fueled eye candy trumping narrative. The movie is pretty to look at in aTransformers sort of way and moves briskly enough that it never threatens to bore, but it’s hard to feel much of anything about the characters and, when it’s all over, there’s a sense that everything that happens is obligatory.
Not enough Loki. Too many tacky 3D effects. And then there’s the hard fact that everything old isn’t necessarily new again just because the bottom line wishes it so. That’s the skinny on the big-budget Thor: The Dark World, a sequel to 2011’s surprisingly passable Thor and 2012’s surprisingly better The Avengers (thanks, Joss Whedon), featuring a large chunk of Marvel superheroes. The new Thor just has Thor (and one surprise cameo).
Whenever you’re compared to Micheal Bay and Transformers in any way, it’s not a good thing. But that’s the case with Thor: The Dark World which once the Kool-Aid Marvel mixed for the film with some wears off, the film isn’t that impressive.