Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

***Contains spoilers***
After last summer's Star Trek Into Darkness, using the word 'dark' in a sequel set in a devastated London seems to be becoming hip.

Although it has to be said, this is one film that is pretty dark anyway.

Literally, about half of it is set off in Asgard again, much of which is just not terribly well lit. Last time I could blame this on the airline seat in front of me, but my local Odeon cinema has less excuse. When we get to gaze upon the famous rainbow bridge, we have to wonder just how the Asgardian sun managed to come out without the rest of that world noticing.

I'm afraid I found all these scenes to be, in every sense of the word, dull. Even the pseudo 3D barely noticed, although admittedly this made for a much more convincing effect than the exaggerated cardboard cutout look of other movies lately that have lazily been converted from 2D. If you're making a 3D film then please just use 3D cameras already.

As a result, I found myself switching off and tuning out so much of this that when it all suddenly went into slow motion I realised that I must have just missed something important. Hang on, wasn't Thor's mum in this a moment ago? Has she just died or something? Oh, right, she did die, and I missed it, even though I had apparently been looking straight at the screen throughout. I'm sorry for your loss Thor, I for one missed her immediately.

Erik: "Your brother isn't coming, is he?"
Thor: "Loki is dead."
Erik: "Thank God! [BEAT] I'm so sorry."

I have much better things to say about the other half of the film - that's the stuff set on Earth, in daylight!

Early on the story follows Jane Foster investigating a levitating automobile in London, and I admit that at this I was duped into erroneously believing two things:

1. That this film was about to tie into the recent floating phenomenon seen just two episodes earlier in the TV series Agents Of SHIELD, an effect which had even been caused by a virus from one of Loki's aliens in Avengers Assemble.

2. That Jane was turning into good character material.

Nah. On both counts. Jane spends most of the rest of this one in need of being rescued. :( Ah well.

These Earth scenes are realised and played much more for comedy though, and as a result they garnered quite a few laughs from the giggly yobs sitting just behind me annoyingly repeating lines. Being a Hollywood movie set in London, and also being screened in that city, one line that particularly meritted some chuckles was 'Greenwich'. We expect a film by Edgar Wright to set such major global events in such a mundane sounding suburb, but not Marvel. Excellent!

All the same, for all the enjoyment that this one place name caused around our theatre this evening, much funnier surely had to be that commuter informing Thor that he could somehow get to Greenwich by travelling a mere three tube stops from Charing Cross station.

Yes, the Hollywood rule that all references to journeys on the London Underground must be complete nonsense remains intact, as does casting American actors who cannot do British accents, and one rather US-looking apartment.

However lest you get the wrong idea about me, I found this film okay, and indeed amusing for all the right reasons as well. Having played similar comedic roles in The IT Crowd and Frequently Made Mistakes About Time Travel, guest actor Chris O'Dowd now seems happily typecast as a stressed single office worker. Again both his scenes here are funny simply because we are expecting him to be. The presence of the ITV newsreader is embracing for similar reasons.

Also nice cameos from Captain America (Chris Evans) and Himself (Stan Lee), the latter of whom appears to have had a rough year since Avengers Assemble. Is he in that mental ward for thinking that he was Hugh Heffner in Iron Man 1, Larry King in Iron Man 2, or himself in Rise Of The Silver Surfer? (bit of a shoe theme going on through this one too)

There were a few other bits of the story that I thought didn't work, however since I didn't bother following it much, perhaps I should keep those to myself. (But the convergence's occuring naturally every 5,000 years still sounds like too round a base-10 Earth number to be mere chance, and the same alignment by definition doesn't just happen on Earth but on all those other worlds too. Oh, look what I've just gone and done.)

Ultimately though, I'm glad to have got to a cinema in time to catch this, and also pleased that Nigel and I failed in our attempt to see it on its UK release night recently, simply because the preceding episodes of the TV series Agents Of SHIELD have since been broadcast. Yes, the one time British TV screened a US series in sync with America, we somehow got the tie-in film eight days before the States did. Thanks Marvel UK!

Thor 3? Oh all right then, if you must.

However if I'm honest, I'm only following the Thor movies because of the other cinematic worlds that they themselves converge with.


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