Before light, there was darkness. This darkness ruled the universe almost absolutely, until light found its way into the universe, and by the actions of Thor’s Grandfather, conquered the darkness. At least temporarily. The Aether however, an infinity force of destruction, was only able to be contained. It was Contained until it escaped through a human mortal, waking the dark elves who give it power.
Now the entire universe hangs in the hands of Asgard, Thor, Loki, and three human mortals. If they fail in destroying the Aether, every living thing in existence will be consumed by darkness- never to exist again. With past family issues, treason, and the aligning of the nine realms to deal with, Thor is going to need more than his hammer to succeed.
Things I Liked
Thor has changed for the better since we last saw him. He has continually grown in wisdom , honor, and peacekeeping. Early one we find him fighting a hostile world. Instead of beating up the entire army, he defeats one rather large foe so that the rest may surrender. He has developed a love for retaining the life of his soldiers, and is incredibly hesitance to send them into battle. He also chooses several times, as always, to risk his life to save another, or even the known universe.
Thor winds up making a choice that will have incredibly negative consequences on his standing in Asgard, but does so anyway, because it is best for the people. We see here Thor truly has relinquished his desire for the throne, and simply desires to protect the innocent who are unable to defend themselves.
Evil (darkness) is shown to be truly evil and undesirable, whereas good (light) is shown to be the thing which is commendable. There is no overlap in any sense whether the good could be bad (or vice versa). This clear contrast was refreshing, as there is no “grey” in true good and bad.
Per the courtesy of Marvel, sacrifice is yet again, a prevailing theme in the movie. All of the characters and soldiers who are on the side of light wind up sacrificing each other for the benefit of the other. Oftentimes, most usually, with there lives. Thor keeps his promos to Jane in the first film, and does come back to get here. Both were faithful in the promise kept (even over two years) and their relationships blossoms from there. Both try to save the other when in danger, and provide support for each other.
Things I Didn’t Like
Perhaps the most disturbing thing about this film, yet also the most important, was the “Infinity Relic” called the Aeather. It can never be destroyed, yet is not alive, it feeds on the host’s body it possesses for strength. It isn’t supernatural, but is not of the world either, it has always existed as an object of destruction and death. It is neither enjoyable to watch it work, nor watch it posses a person should it desire. It is violent, and causes its host to behave in abnormal manners.
The violent content is also worth mentioning- as it is a lot and rather ruthless. while the majority of baddies smashed are soulless Dark Elves- we do see some men of other worlds get killed in a war. When the Dark Elves invade Asgard, scores of soldiers are mercilessly gunned down, or collapsed into nothing through a weird grenade weapon. Killings involves swords, laser guns, hammer slams, and snapping of Alien Necks. We see one person stabbed in the torso with a long knife (we get a close up)- killing them in a truly heart wrenching fashion. We see one alien get his arms chopped off before. Another gets crushed by a ship. We see a man’s hand sliced off Luke Skywalker style, and a man is stabbed through the chest while saving another.
Darcy, Jane’s assistant, curses many many times, and eventually passionately kisses her intern as well. Dr. Selvig has grown older and isn’t quite right in the head. He walks around without pants on in his underwear- mostly for comedy attempts. We also see him streaking on a public news broadcast. His midsection is pixelated out news style.
There is nothing more relaxing than knowing that the world is crazier than you are. ~Dr. Erik Selvig~
Thor 2 brings to our world a deadlier, more serious flick than the first, yet all the while interspersing bits of comedy throughout. As Thor has grown up, the movie focus turns from Thor becoming a man, to him making decisions based on what is right for Asgard. It also focuses immensely on the nature of evil vs. light. And of course, revenge.
Thor is a hero to be admired as always, and Loki the brother to be wary of- as always. Through a tragedy however, they work together towards a common goal- that is fighting the Aether. Indeed, on the surface, that’s what the film is about. Dig a little deeper though, and you’ll find at the core what the universe has been fighting since the fall. That is, destructive evil vs edifying light. The contrasts of these two things could not be more clear in this film. And in the end, the light does clearly triumph, but not without great loss.
And that loss is what casts a shadow of tragedy on this film. This movie is indeed darker than the first, more mature, more serious. It is mostly tragic however, in the terms of seeing the great suffering Thor is put through before he accomplishes his goal. This isn’t a feel good happy kind of film, this is a film which addresses not only the seriousness of evil- but also its unforgiving brutality. We see this in one tear jerking death, and the masses destroyed through its quest for power. We are shown the sheer capability of evil, and that is not enjoyable at all.
However, without an understanding of evil- one cannot appreciate the light. And this film touches on many illuminating, tried and true, themes so often found in these Marvel films. Sacrifice, honor, courage, bravery, and the ultimate power of good over evil. We are shown through the actions of Thor, Loki, Jane, and others that a little bit of light is all it takes to destroy an invite power of evil. That good is so much more powerful than bad and light does triumph in the end.
P.S. Oh, and stay until the end of the credits. The VERY end. ;)