Early THOR: THE DARK WORLD Reviews Positive, But Mixed

Thor: The Dark World
Credit: Marvel Studios

Reviews for next month’s Thor: The Dark World, the third film featuring Chris Hemsworth as the titular Thunder God and Tom Hiddleston as emerging Marvel M.V.P. Loki in as many years started breaking Tuesday, and so far the returns are relatively strong, though even the most positive reviews seem to acknowledge the film is somewhat uneven.

The film currently had 11 reviews on Rottontomatoes.com, with 9 of those characterized as positive by the review aggregation site, for an early score of 82% ‘Fresh.’

So far uncounted are reviews by Empire.com (positive) and The Hollywood Reporter (slightly negative).

The bad news for Marvel is the Joss Whedon rewrites and Tom Hiddleston’s post-production new scenes we’ve learned about in the last several months make themselves pretty obvious, with Christopher Eccleston's Malekith apparently the loser in the equation.

“The problem is that no amount of tool-wielding heroism can save The Dark World from being a startlingly unbalanced movie,” writes The Guardian’s Ben Child. “It's no secret that Loki was gifted extra scenes in the post-production process, while Eccleston's Malekith had a whole lot of backstory wrenched from beneath his elven feet. The result is a film in which an unmissable Hiddleston once again does a superb job of blending vulnerability with searing evil as he's freed from prison to help Thor take down the new threat. Yet there are times we almost forget Malekith is in the movie.”

The most interesting news may be that Hiddleston is getting the best reviews, interesting because he’s made it know he will not appear in 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron (although that could change), which might mean it could several years before his Loki is seen on-screen - if ever - again.

“Chris Hemsworth is on charismatic, physically imposing form once again as the hammer-wielding hero (look out for a genuinely awe-inspiring shirtless scene within the first 15 minutes), but the film belongs to Tom Hiddleston,“ writes Digital Spy’s Emma Dibdin, “which is all the more remarkable given how much of its running time he spends off screen. Additional scenes were filmed to flesh out Loki's storyline, and watching the final cut you only wish they'd gone further.”

Perhaps the best news for Marvelis the humor and character interaction, which has become Marvel Studio’s house brand, seems in-tact, coming particularly in play during the film’s climatic action sequence, a formula that worked to spectacular effect for last year’s The Avengers.

“…the final showdown between Thor and Malekith is gloriously entertaining,” writes Empire’s Chris Hewitt. “Yes, it’s set in a city (London, with the ever-telegenic Greenwich coming to the fore again), and yes, it features two powerful foes knocking seven shades out of each other, but this isn’t the city-smashing snoozefest that mired Man Of Steel’s climax; instead, it’s tricksy and inventive, constantly wrong-footing not just the audience but its combatants to great, and often genuinely hilarious, effect. For a movie that has dark in its title, and which is — yes! — darker (people die, Asgard is grimier, as befitting Alan Taylor’s Game Of Thrones heritage), Thor 2.0 is consistently amusing, and the three biggest laughs in the movie all come during this sequence — a bold gamble when, ostensibly, the fate of the universe itself is at stake.”

Look for updates as more reviews as aggregated.

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