MCU guide – Thor: The Dark World

Posted on 2 April 2016
By Alex Green
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The sequel to the much loved Thor film arrived in cinemas just over two years after the first films 2011 release.

Set one year after the events in The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World reunites our titular character with Jane Foster, brother Loki and Dr Selvig as they investigate a new threat to the universe.

When mysterious portals appear that link different worlds in space, Thor, Jane and even Loki must work together to find out what is happening. When it’s revealed that the Dark Elves and their leader Malekith, long time foes of Asgard, are behind them in search of an infinity stone called the Aether, Thor reluctantly lets Loki help in defeating the Elves.

Whilst Iron Man 3 lent itself to a more character driven plot, Thor 2 produces more of a big picture story regarding the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With the introduction of another Infinity Stone in the form of the sought after Aether or Reality Stone, Thor 2 marks itself as an important stepping stone leading to the Avengers: Infinity War double bill.

The story itself isn’t one that stands out in any particular way but with Thor, the whole history and stunning visuals of Asgard can make an average film into a good one. The rich history of these cosmic characters is still excellent to see on screen, despite the film not reaching the heights of the first Thor film with particular praise going to the chemistry between Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston as Thor and Loki.

Both give an excellent performance after their roles in the Avengers, as does Stellan Skarsgård with his role as Dr Erik Selvig. Natalie Portman is also on top form as Dr Jane Foster, with this film giving her character more time to interact with Thor’s world of Asgard rather than staying on Earth.

The films villain isn’t as menacing as he could have been, for such a famous and deadly foe as Malekith. However, Christopher Eccleston gives an excellent performance as the main antagonist.

The film also continued on from the first film by keeping the climatic fight to a different location than most superhero films, opting this time for Greenwich in London and being very careful not to include a heavily populated civilian area. The film’s climax is an excellent action scene which really shows why Thor is so popular a hero.

It also lets the audience glimpse into several new realms that have yet to be explored in the cosmic Marvel cinematic universe, with some possibly serving as locations for any future adventures that include Thor.

As for the geekier spots in the film, as ever, Marvel packed this film with many Easter Eggs for fans to figure out and locate.

Odin explains to Jane how the Aether inside her is liquid although they are normally Stones, confirming the Infinity Stones existence.

Thor fights and defeats a rock like creature at the start of the film from a species called the Kronans. The Kronans just happened to appear in Thor’s first ever appearance in a Marvel comic.

Dr Selvig is explaining the Tree of life (seen in the previous Thor film) to an elderly group but on the chalkboard he has also wrote about ‘the fault’, which is a major plot point in a famous Marvel comic story “The Thanos Imperative” regarding another universe called The Cancerverse where death itself does not exist. This could serve as a potential future storyline involving Thor and/or Thanos but that is yet to be determined.

Also, of course, Stan Lee cameos in this same scene as an Elderly resident in the home where Dr Selvig is being housed. Dr Selvig has taken Stan’s shoe to use in his teachings and is politely asked for it back by the writer.

Next up is Captain America: The Winter Soldier in our guide to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

If you missed the previous instalment of our MCU guide, we looked over The Avengers, you can check that out here: