The release of a new Marvel film always brings excitement. Why wouldn’t it? The studio has set the expectation bar so high that it doesn’t take much more that a teaser of a teaser trailer to whip us fans up into a froth of giddiness and anticipation. Thor is a character I am very fond of. He carries a hammer, wields thunder and lightning and is a general badass. I was pleased with the first film, which stands as my favorite of the solo films, and loved all of his moments in The Avengers. The studio’s upcoming release (for those reading in other countries, this will be old news to you) of Thor: The Dark World has me eagerly waiting to buy a ticket to see the further adventures of the God of Thunder. Here are some reasons for those of you who are more on the fence (and if you are reading this article on We The Nerdy, I’m sure you are already excited)
1. It’s Part of Phase Two
The Avengers culminated Phase One of Marvel’s plan. With the heroes brought together with such an epic event, how could they possibly split and still me awesome? Marvel promptly answered with Phase Two. Starting with Iron Man 3, Phase Two has become the Empire Strikes Back of the Marvel Films story. It has raised the stakes for the characters and is leading towards a somewhat darker tone. While Phase One had a certain kind of levity in all of its films, a tone set by Iron Man and continued through Avengers, Phase Two looks to lose some of that levity to the shadows. The important thing is that there is cohesion in the franchise. This darkening of the material looks to continue in Thor: The Dark World and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Now darkening isn’t a bad thing. It is setting the stage for what is to come. What can they put the heroes through that will only make them coming back together feel that much more satisfying? One of the criticisms of Phase One was that all the films felt the same (not a problem I had, because you know, shared universe). Using Iron Man 3 as a guidepost, Phase Two is also allowing the newer creative teams to leave their mark on the character, as Shane Black did with Iron Man 3. This should define each character a little more, with each director bringing some style to each film. With Thor: The Dark World being the second film of Phase Two, it should explore the Thunder God more as now the general audience is familiar with him.
2. It Will Explore Asgard and the Other Realms
In Thor, a majority of the film takes place on Earth, or as Thor calls it Midgard. But some of the more stunning scenes happen in Asgard, or more accurately the palace in Asgard. It was glimmering kingdom, bright as could be. So what is this Dark World? In Captain America: The First Avenger, we saw a tapestry of Yggdrasil, the Life Tree with its various realms, and in Thor, the God of Thunder visited not only Midgard, but also Jotunheim, realm of the Frost Giants. Is the Dark Realm another of these realms? Is it a place in Asgard outside the palace walls? Whatever it is, it is sure to challenge Thor and his allies. With the reveal of Malekith the Dark Elf as the villain, (played by Destro himself, Christopher Eccelston) I’m sure his name gives us a little insight to what the Dark World contains. Also worth mentioning, it looks as if Thor’s love interest, Dr. Jane Foster will be the fish out of water this time, coming to Asgard. With this as a plot point, I’m sure the creatives will use it to expand the Asgardian realm and the Norse mythological basis of the characters. With what looks like an impending war between Asgard and those who wish for its destruction, there is sure to be some nice action sequences with Thor using the enchanted Mjolnir for what it was meant for.
3. Director Alan Taylor
With Phase Two comes a new batch of directors. Gone is the esteemed Kenneth Branagh, who brought a Shakespearean flair to the characters. There was a bit of controversy with who would take the reins, with a revolving door of prospective directors. Enter Alan Taylor. With a resume that includes many episodes of HBO’s Game of Thrones, he seems like a natural fit for the characters. Thor: The Dark World is sure to be heavy on Asgardian warfare. The action in Thor was well done, but almost an afterthought, with a third act that resolves itself without much fanfare. With the things I have seen and read regarding The Dark World, it seems like the action is taking center stage. The episodes I have seen of Game of Thrones that Taylor has directed were very well done, and the very nature of the show is similar to the content of Thor. It also helps that each Game of Thrones episode is closer to an hour long movie than a television show, so I’m sure Taylor’s style will translate fine. With such well defined characters, it’s hard to think that Taylor will squander the good faith we fans have invested in them.
4. More Loki
An old adage says that a hero is only as good as his villains. For Thor this is a strong point, especially when it comes to his brother Loki. Comic fans and followers of Norse mythologies know that Loki is the God of Mischief. The things Loki has done in his two Marvel Films appearances go far beyond mischief and into mayhem territory. Loki was so much a threat in Avengers that it took Earth’s greatest heroes to come together to finally take him down. Tom Hiddleston has become the easily the most talked about player in these movies, and has stolen the spotlight from even the tile characters. And as well he should. Its clear Hiddleston enjoys the role (he appeared at this past years San Diego Comic Con as the character to tease The Dark World) and plays a perfect foil to the lumbering God of Thunder. The actor brings charisma to the character and when he talks, you want to listen, complementing the more physical Thor. Early reports were that reshoots were done to add more Loki footage after director Alan Taylor realized how great the actor was in the film. While mischievous, it looks as if Loki will be forced to work beside his brother this time, which is sure to create some of the more memorable moments. What force could be so sinister that these two have to come together? And how will Loki react to his brother needing him now more than ever?
5. It’s a Marvel Film DUH!!!!
What self respecting geek isn’t excited for the next movie with the Marvel brand on it? Whether it’s an official Marvel Films movie or a contracted out X-Men or Spider-Man, Marvel has fared well at the movie theatres. Marvel Films have done something not many film franchises have done: made each movie the next chapter in a much larger story. It may seem that Thor: The Dark World may seem self contained, but with Marvel’s penchant for post credit scenes, it is sure to set up some thinks in the future. What better film to plant some of those seeds than one that has a realm hopping hero who has a brother that can travel between worlds? While not on the top of everyone’s favorite list, Thor introduced some major concepts to the franchise and provided the major villain for Avengers. It showed the world within the movies that there is more going on the universe than what is going on here on Earth. With Captain America: The Winter Soldier coming out April and Guardians of the Galaxy in August, each building on the next. Phase Three will be on us soon, continuing the grand scale, and that’s something that excites me.
With Marvel’s track record, I’m sure Thor: The Dark World will meet expectations, if not rise above them. Marvel seems to know what they are doing, and this one looks to use their successful formula to its advantage.