Thor & Captain America

Welcome to the 38th edition of My Fortnightly Movie/TV Thoughts!  Last fortnight, I reviewed Marvel’s The Avengers (2012) and Iron Man Three (2013).  This fortnight, I’m reviewing:

  • Thor: The Dark World (2013), rated M for action violence
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014), rated M for action violence

Those of course are the Australian ratings; in the US, the ratings are:

  • The Dark World – PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, and some suggestive content
  • The Winter Soldier – PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, gunplay and action throughout

As usual, I’ll give the trailers and a clip each at the end.  And as usual, I offer the following disclaimer, just to be safe:

WARNING: POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD.  PROCEED AT OWN RISK.

Thor: The Dark World

Thor's hammer and the fight against fossil fuels - Generation180

Widely considered the weakest of the MCU, I found the second installment in the Thor trilogy to be darker and less family-friendly than the first, but nonetheless a very fun and very solid (and very underrated) movie.

Thor: The Dark World/Gallery | Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki | Fandom

In Asgard, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is imprisoned for his crimes in The Avengers.  His adoptive brother Thor (Chris Hemsworth), along with Sif (Jaimie Alexander) and the Warriors Three, repel marauders on the planet Vanaheim, one of the Nine Realms.  The Asgardians soon learn that the Convergence approaches; a rare alignment of the Nine Realms, during which portals between the world often open at random.

The Convergence | Marvel Amino

In London, Dr Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) discovers such a portal in an abandoned factory, and is teleported to a mysterious world where she reawakens and absorbs the Aether.  Thor comes to her aid when the almost-all-seeing Heimdall (Idris Elba) loses sight of her, but she releases an unearthly force, and Thor takes her back with him to Asgard.  Meanwhile, Jane’s actions have accidentally awakened the last Dark Elves from their millennia-long slumber, who begin to hunt for the Aether to bring about the end of the universe to restore it to its prior darkness.

Thor - The Dark World - Frigga's funeral scene - YouTube

One of my favourite things about Thor was how much it expanded the MCU universe.  Although no subsequent installment could add quite as much to the MCU as Thor did, The Dark World still manages to add even more, expand the Marvel mythology – to the origin & early history of the universe, as well as its species, and its worlds.  Which I quite enjoyed!

Marvel Cinematic Universe Fans Think Kurse Needs More Respect

I was once again pleasantly surprised by how much the movie was based on Norse mythology.  In addition to most of the mythology-based elements from the first film, The Dark World‘s main antagonists – the Dark Elves – are taken straight from Norse folklore.  We also get to see more of the Nine Realms (particularly Vanaheim), which are also taken from Norse mythology.

Vanaheim | Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki | Fandom

Speaking of which, I think the Dark Elves very underrated villains.  They’re very formidable, physically menacing antagonists whom I enjoyed watching – AND they posed  by far THE biggest threat to the universe (to the universe’s VERY EXISTENCE) in the entire MCU until Thanos in Avengers: Endgame.  While they don’t feel like quite as great a threat as some of the other MCU villains – probably due to being a Thor-only movie, rather than an Avengers movie – they stand alongside Thanos in terms of threat posed.

If Predator and a Rhino Had a Baby, It'd Look Like One of the ...

Christopher Eccleston provides a fantastic and sinister (and unrecognisable) lead villain in the form of Malekith, the leader of the last remaining Dark Elves who had led the unsuccessful attempt to destroy the universe 5000 years ago – and is attempting to do so again.  His character is made even scarier by the fact that he could do it, and almost did.

Thor: The Dark World clip - Malekith Wakes Up OFFICIAL UK Marvel ...

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje strikes a posing figure as Algrim, Malekith’s second-in-command, who transforms into the monstrous Kursed through a Kursed Stone.

Algrim the Kurse from Thor 2: The Dark World | The dark world ...

Chris Hemsworth once again provides a solid performance as Thor, heir to the throne of Asgard whose love interest accidentally absorbs the Aether, thus drawing him into the battle to save the universe.

Thor: The Dark World Will Lie to You, and You Will Love It | WIRED

And I once again quite liked Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, a human scientist and Thor’s love interest, who discovers a portal to the Aether’s hidden resting place, thus becoming the focus of the Malekith’s plot.  (And I still love Jane & Thor.)

Jane Foster in Thor: The Dark World | The dark world, Marvel ...

Anthony Hopkins is once again fantastic as Odin the Allfather, King of Asgard – who doesn’t want mortals on his city-planet.

Anthony Hopkins - Thor: The Dark World - Accessreel.com

Rene Russo is again excellent as Odin’s wife Frigga, Thor’s mother and the Queen of Asgard.

Thor loki Odin frigga thor the dark world Thor 2 spoilers ...

A special commendation goes to Tom Hiddleston’s excellent reprisal of Loki, bring quite a bit more grey – and even sympathy – to the role than in his previous appearances, and beginning Loki’s move away from being a villain (at least an outright villain).  I liked the relationship between Loki and his adopted mother Frigga, SPOILER ALERT and his reaction to his mother’s death is one of his best character moments END SPOILER.

The Greatest Illusion is Loki Himself - Road to Infinity War ...

I also liked Stellan Skarsgård’s return as Dr Erik Selvig, who is still recovering from the psychological effects of having Loki in his head, but who nonetheless recognises the threat of the Convergence before anyone else.

Thor: The Dark World had an X-Men Easter egg you will have missed

Even though he only appeared in one scene, Tony Curran was fantastic as the badass Bor, Odin’s father and predecessor as King.  I hope I’m not the only one who would like a series based around Asgard’s wars.

Bor | Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki | Fandom

The film’s action sequences are awesome, and the special effects are fantastic.  It’s a visually beautiful film.  It also never loses sight of its sense of fun, and makes great use of Marvel’s trademark sense of humour.

Frigga's funeral | World gif, The dark world, Thor

Battle of Greenwich | Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki | Fandom

Why didn't the Avengers get involved in Thor: The Dark World? - Quora

Thor-2-The-Dark-World-Official-Still-Photo-London-Portal | Geek Binge

A nice detail I noticed while watching Thor The Dark World. During ...

London | Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki | Fandom

Latest Malekith GIFs | Gfycat

Best Thor Vs Malekith GIFs | Gfycat

GIF math exam tfw - animated GIF on GIFER

thor 2 Thor: The Dark World TTDW gif: thor 2 reposting this ...

The dark side: behind the VFX of Thor: The Dark World – fxguide

What if Mysterio had access to the Reality Stone instead of ...

Aether | Marvel

Thor: The Dark World is a dark, fun & exciting continuation of the God of Thunder’s story – and a very underrated one, too.  (And as usual, don’t forget to stick around ’til the end of the credits.)

Thor Dark World - Stan Lee Cameo - YouTube

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Is Captain America: The Winter Soldier still the best MCU film ...

The intense second installment in the Captain America trilogy is one of the best films in the entire franchise.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) — Art of the Title

Two years after the events of The Avengers, Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) and Agent Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson) join a S.H.I.E.L.D. strike team to free hostages aboard a hijacked S.H.I.E.L.D. vessel.  Mid-mission, Rogers discovers Romanoff has another agenda: to extract data from the ship’s computers for Director Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Rogers returns to the Triskelion, S.H.I.E.L.D.’s headquarters, to confront Fury and is briefed about Project Insight: three Helicarriers linked to spy satellites, designed to preemptively eliminate threats.

Captain America The Winter Soldier - Extended Opening Scene ...

Unable to decrypt the data recovered by Romanoff, Fury becomes suspicious about Insight and asks senior S.H.I.E.L.D. official and Secretary of Internal Security Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) to delay the project. On his way to rendezvous with Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), Fury is ambushed by assailants led by a mysterious assassin called the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan). Fury escapes to Rogers’ apartment, and warns Rogers that S.H.I.E.L.D. is compromised. Fury is gunned down by the Winter Soldier, before handing Rogers a flash drive containing data from the ship. Fury is pronounced dead during surgery, and Hill recovers the body. The next day, Pierce summons Rogers to the Triskelion. When Rogers withholds Fury’s information, Pierce brands him a fugitive, and Steve finds himself on the run.

Attack on Nick Fury | Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki | Fandom

Winter Soldier is quite a change of tone and genre to the other MCU movies, and Marvel movies in general.  It’s a gritty political spy thriller that explores relevant (and controversial) political themes about government, surveillance and a police state – and gets the answers right.  It’s especially relevant to conspiracy theorists.

Project Insight | Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki | Fandom

And it is gritty.  While not graphic, the action sequences are quite intense and may disturb some younger viewers.  At the same time, they’re also incredibly thrilling and edge-of-your-seat, so I’m not really complaining.

The Winter Soldier Punches Cap 2 GIF by Subline | Gfycat

Dammit, I’ve already covered the film’s best aspects in only two paragraphs!  It’s quite excellently executed, with several surprising twists and turns.  The stakes, as usual, are quite high – albeit in a different way.

Watch An Alternate HYDRA Scene From Captain America: The Winter ...

Chris Evans is fantastic in his return as Steve Rogers, more popularly known by his World War II nickname Captain America, who’s still dealing with his emotional baggage – which doesn’t exactly get easier as the film progresses (unfortunately, that’s spoilers, so I can’t say why).  He perfectly fits the role.

Pin on Humana Humana

The real star, however, is Sebastian Stan, who is perfect for the role of the Winter Soldier, one of the franchise’s better villains/characters.  The Soldier’s on-screen presence is handled quite well in a gradual reveal that ends up quite shocking.  He’s also quite an intimidating figure.

Captain America Vs The Winter Soldier - Captain America The Winter ...

Samuel L. Jackson is once again perfect in his reprisal of Nicholas J Fury, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and founder of the Avengers – and victim of the Soldier.

Nick Fury "Want To See My Lease?"- Captain America: The Winter ...

I also rather liked Scarlett Johansson’s return to the role of Natasha Romanoff – aka Black Widow – and liked the depth given her character.

Black Widow transformation in Captain America The Winter Soldier ...

Robert Redford is quite suitable for the role of Alexander Pierce, a senior official in S.H.I.E.L.D. connected to Project Insight.

Alexander Pierce | Marvel Movies | Fandom

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is one of the MCU’s best (and most interesting) installments to date.

The Winter Soldier and Alexander Pierce | Captain america winter ...

The Dark World trailer:

 

The Winter Soldier trailer:

 

A Dark World clip:

 

A Winter Soldier clip:

 

[What do you think of these films?  Be sure to let me know in the comments!  Also, send me your review for any movie, and I’ll post it on Blockbusters Reviewed.]

Index of films

http://www.cepher.net/?af=59

31 thoughts on “Thor & Captain America

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