So I found that I quite enjoyed this latest Star Wars prequel. Thor is finally reunited with his beloved Natalie Portman, reprising her role as Padme, only for her to come into contact with a dark presence that attracts a phantom menace from Asgard's history. And so, in order to fight off this attack of the elves, Thor is forced to turn to the dark side himself and form an alliance with his brother, Loki, as they seek revenge of the gods in their efforts to restore peace within their galaxy far, far away.
But seriously, this movie may borrow a bit from some other properties here and there, including more than a handful of Star Wars tributes that really gave off a vibrant vibe similar to that of the prequel trilogy (which I personally was a fan of, by the way), but it all comes together to form a highly entertaining and much more cohesive continuation of the Thor saga. Unlike the first entry in this series, you can tell that this one's going to be a much more solid outing right from the outset just by the mere coherency of the opening action sequences.
Where the first one was very much a mixed bag that felt like a disjointed comedy with some tacked on action scenes tossed in, this one's solid all around. For one thing, the settings actually look and feel like real worlds, unlike the small scale movie sets that the scenery in the first movie more resembled. And while I most enjoyed the focus on Earth in the first one, I think the opposite might actually be true in this instance, as I really found myself truly able to ground myself in Thor's world this time around, which just felt so much more alive.
And as lively as the world was, it was made that much more so by the liveliness of the whole cast. Chris Hemsworth really has found his grounding as the God of Thunder, and a lot of the supporting cast is given quite a bit more to work with this time around, including Idris Elba and Kat Dennings, who both particularly run with their extended material and shine brightly. But really, we all know who the real star is here.
That's right, it's Loki, bitches. And Tom Hiddleston steals this whole damn movie from start to finish. He's just as charming as ever, more akin to his portrayal in The Avengers than the first Thor, though he certainly undergoes quite an interesting development that ultimately leads to him teaming back up with Thor. In fact, that's always been the great thing about this character is just how intriguing he continues to be. He's by far the deepest and most complex character in the entirety of The Avengers, and I don't think that anyone else could pull it off quite like Tom Hiddleston does. But yeah, anytime Loki appears on screen is definitely when the movie shines brightest, with a particular Avengers cameo bringing the biggest laughs in a movie that's full of 'em.
But even though the film is fun, unlike some other recent films that have failed on their promise to take a darker approach (Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness), this one definitely delivers on that note. This movie gets damn dark. And these darker moments actually pack quite a punch along with them. In fact, for a brief period of time, things got so dark that I actually felt some of the comedic moments following it felt out of place as a result (a feeling that subsided as the movie went along, mind you). But yeah, this movie may be funny, but it ain't no joke, and the fact that they managed to balance these aspects out so well is what I loved so much about this movie.
I gotta say that I'm really digging the hell out of these phase 2 Avengers movies significantly more than the first phase so far, and that definitely continues with this movie. And part of what I love about these movies is their willingness to break the mold and try out new creative avenues, and that was certainly the case with this movie's climactic final battle, which played out like the most epic game of Portal ever. Yeah, it may feel a bit familiar to some other certain properties at times, but it only borrows the best of those other worlds and brings them all together to form a mighty fine movie.