Let this be a warning. If you are trying to hop on the Marvel Movie Bandwagon, Marvel Studios will grant you no mercy. Going into this film, there is an expectation that you have seen all the movies up to The Avengers. If not, good luck understanding much of what is going on in this film.
More so than Iron Man 3, Thor: TDW is a sideways sequel to The Avengers. A couple story lines from The Avengers are carried into this film. The most obvious is Loki’s fate and the ramifications of his actions. In fact the film opens with Odin sentencing Loki to solitary life in an Asgardian dungeon.
From there we are whisked away to Thor and the Warriors Three defending one of the realms from an invasion. Then we are taken to London to find Jane Foster trying to get back to a normal life, but still obsessed with Thor. Back to Asgard and we find a sullen Thor trying to accept that he has to be King, and only wanting to be with Jane. And then back to London where Jane finds a temporal anomaly and gets sucked into another realm, where she comes into contact with the Aether, a mysterious dark force hidden away eons ago by Odin’s father, Bor.
When she makes contact with the Aether, she absorbs it into her body. This does a couple of things. It makes Thor come to Earth to see what the hell happened, and it wakes up Malekith, a dark elf who wants to use it to plunge the universe into darkness. Thor takes Jane to Asgard, and this is where the film really starts to shine.
Malekith and his dark elf army discover that the Aether is in Asgard and attack. Asgard suffers pretty significant losses because they were not prepared. Thor is forced to team up with Loki to defeat Malekith.
The relationship between Thor and Loki is tumultuous at best, and this film really has fun with it. Loki is probably the coolest villain in the world. The banter between Thor and Loki is really quite funny in this film as well.
My only real beef is with the bad guy. Malekith is kinda boring. You never really know why he wants to plunge the universe into darkness. He just wants to. The threat seems bigger than is actually portrayed on the screen.
This is a fun movie. I really enjoyed it, and recommend it highly. However, if you have not watched Thor and the Avengers, you may want to do that.
Marvel has once again shown that they get it. They understand that these characters are great, and are only made better by sharing a universe together. I have said it before, but that was always the best part about reading the comics. Knowing that these characters live in the same universe and would interact with each other made reading the stories all the more exciting. The Marvel cross over events were legendary. 6 or 12 issue mini series that all characters participated in. One story that affected every hero in the universe. Secret Wars, Inferno, The Infinity Gauntlet.
Ahhhhh the Infinity Gauntlet. Let’s talk about that.
The mid credit scene all but announced what Avengers 3 will be. Some version of the Infinity Gauntlet. We got a hint of it in the Avengers mid-credit scene, with Thanos smiling when his minion speaks of “courting Death”. The mid-credit scene in Thor: TDW all but confirms this is where the story is going.
Seriously, stop reading because I am going to tell you.
Still here? Ok.
Sif and Volstagg deliver the Aether to THE COLLECTOR.
Yes….the COLLECTOR. He then says, “one down, five to go”. So the AETHER is an infinity gem. And we also learn the TESSERACT is an infinity gem.
MARVEL NERDS will note that The Collector was one of the keepers of an infinity gem. We know that Thanos is alive in this universe. We know that next summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy has Gamora and Drax, two characters with very close ties to Thanos and have prominent parts in the Infinity Gauntlet. This is happening.
I seriously cannot wait for Guardians of the Galaxy.
Make Mine Marvel!