FINALLY getting down to posting this review – mainly because I wrote it, forgot to add picture and it sat in my drafts folder while more urgent concerns and writing projects deviated my already flighty mind and attention.
Sorry about that!
… took me forever to get to actually watching the movie, but I’m glad I caught it in the hall rather than ending up downloading a crappy print or waiting for a DVD.
Basically, quite liked it, felt so much more fleshed out and more solid in some ways than the first movie which I enjoyed but felt they rushed over a lot of stuff to fit an Asgardian origin and a new adventure once he got to Earth.
I should point out before I say more that I missed everything pre-Thor and Odin chatting on a balcony before Portman finds that warehouse and all. 😦 But thankfully not a huge chunk.
…yes my luck has been pretty shit with this movie, hell I had the same problem with the first one where I missed almost EVERYTHING before his banishment.
[b]*SPOILERS AHEAD!*[/b] (in case you live under the proverbial rock)
The Loki-Thor dynamic was excellent and I like the way they are building Loki’s character, from the first Thor, to Avengers to here and makes me really look forward to his next outing. Definitely had some of the most unexpected and entertaining stuff happening to or around him. His “death” and his “return” BOTH were both deftly handled and left one a bit shocked and stunned.
It is to be remembered while watching this movie however that this is by no means a brilliant scripted story – there are a few too many deus-ex-y moments and a tad too much coincidence just to fit the story they wanted to tell, but all in all it’s a good fun action, scifi romp and if you try not to think too hard about a lot of the broad explanations, it works pretty well. For me who appreciates a pulpy, b-movie-ish touch now and again, this movie drew just enough to work though I can’t say how well that sits with other people.
Hemsworth seemed more in the zone for this one and Natalie Portman and him still looked good together and worked well as a couple (HUGE size differential aside :D). GLad they didn’t focus too much on a love-story here more than necessary – though it was still a lot in focus, but that seems to be a bit unavoidable. Portman though, while not having a bad dynamic per-se and being an actress who I have a lot of appreciation for, seems to be giving in a weaker performance here than one would expect – though still less awkward than in the first movie where the romantic angle felt rushed and a little surreal, so that’s a big step up
Anthony Hopkins and Rene Russo were just plain awesome and while I’m sad at what transpired and curious about Odin’s ultimate fate here, Freya got more screen-time after being a decoration in the first movie, was truly kick-arse here and I’m happy they gave her more than just the mumsy role to play.
Tom Hiddleston is hands down the standout in this movie. Not only is his portrayal of the trickster still spot-on, he remains the most well fleshed out and rounded character in the entire movie. If you’ve seen the first movie, then like me you might see how he might legitimately have cause to bear the grudge and anger he did then and see him as a more sympathetic villain and in the excellent touch in The Avengers, we got to see him as a bad guy and a trickster as is his nature, but also in his own way a pawn who feared those who lorded over him secretly. In addition, when Freya dies, it is his reaction, his emotional turmoil before, during and after that which is the strongest emotional performance and characterisation in the entire film.
Do wish the warriors three could have gotten a little more in the later parts of the movie but no complaints. Zachery Levi was a great change because while I like the guy, I was unsure, however he exceeded expectations and blended the quirky funny guy he does with the swashbuckling-y dude he voiced in Tangled (though I wish he’d had more screen-time), Jaimie Alexander was under-used but awesome as Sif and our Volstagg… Ray Stevenson remains solidly well-cast and mostly well-used.
We desperately need a stand-alone movie of The Warriors Three! Hell I think they would make awesome guest stars on the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D television series! This however has been a desire partly coming true with the news that JUST came out regarding Sif getting a major guest spot on the shows upcoming 15th episode!
I’ve heard a fair bit of criticism at Christopher Ecclestone, personally I think he was suitably menacing without being over the top and even Kurse was suprisingly well-rendered in concept and design. Though why they didn’t go the uniform way and give ALL the elves the white-face of Malekith, I don’t understand, was it some kind of refusal to paint a black dudes face white? Was it meant to be that way or is it a “politically correct” thing?
And lastly, the after-credits reveal:
First reaction was “What the..?!?!” but by the end of the scene and since then I can see how well it works with the more science oriented way they’ve stayed with the movies and that Del Toro while good at this soft-spoken kinda guy as he was here, can play dark and disturbing pretty well so watching him go bad later could work well.
All in all, a more cohesive and well laid out movie than the first one by just a bit with everyone now well settled into their roles. Definitely looking forward to the Cosmic Marvel movies even more now and if they can keep to this level of quality, the 3rd movie in this series should be something to look forward to eagerly!