Trailer Reaction: “Thor: The Dark World”

Thor - The Dark World poster.jpgMarvel pretty much shocked the entire world when The Avengers shattered the opening weekend record with an out-of-this-world $207 million and went on to gross $623 million domestically and over $1 billion internationally. Clearly, Marvel’s plan to create a superhero universe across five different films (Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America) paid off in spades, but can the studio do it again with Phase 2? While many are looking closely at May 3rd’s Iron Man 3 to see if the studio can defy the one-hit-wonder train, we’re looking more closely at November 8th when Marvel drops Thor: The Dark World, a trailer for which was just released yesterday. Since Iron Man is an established blockbuster franchise, boffo success should be coming quick and easy to the threequel this May; Thor: The Dark World however, is a much different story. In Summer 2011, Thor found $181 million at the box office, hardly a loss for Marvel but a gross that pales in comparison to the $300 million made by the Iron Man movies; even this year’s Oz: The Great and Powerful has found more money! The point here is that Thor is not a blockbuster brand individually, and the success of Marvel’s Avengers universe will be riding on whether or not Thor: The Dark World can boost its gross and popularity from the last film now that The Avengers has dominated the world. So can Thor: The Dark World pull through this November? Take a look at the trailer below and judge for yourself:

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Why We’re Excited:

1) Tonal Changes – The main problem I had with Thor back in 2011 was that it was a bit too light and pulpy. Listen, not every superhero movie has to be as dark as Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, but something about Thor was just too hammy and family-friendly. I mean, seriously, these are GODS we’re talking about! They shouldn’t be pulpy cute, they should be edgy, fearful, and intimidating! Luckily, Thor: The Dark World seems to be adding some much needed grit to the franchise and the pay off should work in the film’s favor. For starters, it looks like much of the film will take place on Asgard, meaning we won’t be getting comic relief every other second courtesy of Kat Dennings’ Darcy. This time, it appears the comedy is being replaced by emotional drama and the trailer packs plenty: the destruction of London, Lady Sif’s jealousy of Thor and Jane, Jane’s possession by some dark force, and the continued sibling rivalry between Thor and Loki. For our added benefit, there’s even a glimpse at an epic battle and, wait, is that some immersive shaky camera movements? I think so! This trailer is edgy without being too dark and should give skeptics of the first film a better understanding of the tone that Thor deserves.

2) Alan Taylor – Perhaps the biggest thing in Thor’s favor is director Alan Taylor, who’s replacing Kenneth Branagh this go around. As previously mentioned, much of this sequel looks to be taking place in the many exotic locations of Asgard, and who better to bring these fantastical worlds to life than Taylor, a master of the fantasy genre given his directorial credits on some of Game Of Throne’s must beloved episodes. Anyone who has seen the penultimate episode of season 1, entitled Baelor (it’s the big one with Nedd Stark and that brilliantly staged climax), knows that Taylor can direct in a way that simaltanoisuly draws attention to landscape and character and that’s exactly what Thor needs: a director who can wow us with jaw-dropping locations while not loosing sight of the characters who inhabit them. Taylor couldn’t have been a better pick, and from the few seconds of landscapes we see, as well as the shot of Rene Russo standing in a golden Hall, this is going to be one movie with immaculate effects and set design, all things Taylor should be used to after working on seasons one and two of HBO’s hit fantasy drama.

3) Thor Needs Loki: Of course Marvel savors the most tantalizing moments of the movie for the last seconds of the trailer! In a great marketing stunt, the trailer shows us a peak of what happened to the villainous Loki (the electrifying Tom Hiddelston) following the events of The Avengers. While Loki has seemingly been spending his days locked in a glass prison (and not washing his hair, apparently), it seems Thor is going to need Loki’s help to stop what dark things are going on in Asgard, and it’s that plot point that will keep all of our heads spinning in anticipation for November 8th. I mean, if Thor is willing to free his nefarious brother, than something pretty freakin’ HUGE must be going on, don’t you think? Plot details are scarce, and we only get a peak of Christopher Eccleston as Malekith, but if Thor needs Loki’s help in order to save the day, my god, Marvel must have something pretty sinister up their sleeve! It’s moments like these that are crucial to Thor: The Dark World’s success, for if the film doesn’t give us a well-executed, self-contained story, the sequel will be nothing but a temporary step in the build up to Avengers 2. Luckily, pairing up Thor and Loki is a step in the right direction in making Thor: The Dark World a must-see movie all on its own terms.

Are you excited for Thor: The Dark World?

Article by Zack Sharf

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