Thor: The Dark World ★★

*yawn*

Look, Thor bores me as a character in general unless he's in Twisted Mego Theatre. I found the first movie dull and its production design and effects entirely too "late-90's". Tom Hiddleston was likable enough as Loki, though I'm not nearly as gaga over him as many fans appear to be. (Seems like an okay dude in general, though.)

To be honest, I had no interest in even seeing this entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is why I skipped it during its original release almost two full years ago. Now that I'm going to be moderating a panel about the MCU at next month's Wizard World Louisville, though, I pretty much had to see it. (As moderator, I can simply abstain from chiming in entirely, but I want to be prepared to have something to say in case the need should arise.)

My chief complaint about this outing, aside from how recycled it is, is that entirely too many shots are so obviously CGI that there's no reality to anything - including the emotional honesty of any given scene. The closest to legitimate emotion in the film is when we see Loki lying distraught in his cell, mourning his mother. Hiddleston is pitch perfect in that scene, and yet even there, we're inundated with the visuals of not just his initial projected fake self, but the prison walls themselves.

In other places, the entirety of what we see is surely CGI. Like other contemporary action/sci-fi/superhero films, Thor: The Dark World devolves into little more than watching someone else play a video game for two hours.

Of what little positive I have to say, I'm a sucker for situations that put adversaries side-by-side, as we see Thor and Loki here. Kat Dennings is charming and delightful, and a breath of fresh air anytime she reappeared on-screen. Anthony Hopkins has all the requisite gravitas to be Odin, and Natalie Portman...Oh, Natalie Portman. They just keep handing you gobbledygook and task you with elevating it and creating some kind of humanity for us to relate to, and by God, you do the best anyone could reasonably ask of you. It's a shame to see such talent wasted on such mediocre material.

How Thor: The Dark World Entered My Flickchart

Thor: The Dark World < Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) → #1693
Thor: The Dark World < Failure to Launch → #1693
Thor: The Dark World > The Wizard of Oz (1933) → #1489
Thor: The Dark World > Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt → #1383
Thor: The Dark World < Mr. 3000 → #1383
Thor: The Dark World < Silver Blaze → #1383
Thor: The Dark World < White Noise → #1383
Thor: The Dark World > Stubble Trouble → #1375
Thor: The Dark World < Welcome to Mooseport → #1375
Thor: The Dark World > DC Showcase: Green Arrow → #1373
Thor: The Dark World < Welcome to Mooseport → #1373

Thor: The Dark World Entered My Flickchart at #/1701