Thor 2: The Dark World - Preview Review
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Verdict: See It!     
David's Review
After 20 superhero movies in the last few years, as much as I love the fun of these movies, they have run out of original stories to tell. Someone wants to destroy everything. The superhero has to stop that someone. He barely survives and succeeds in protecting everyone and everything. He learns valuable life lessons and gets a dose of humility. Now, this next entry in the Marvel/Avengers/Thor franchise has a great pedigree - Chris Hemsworth embodies Thor, and Tom Hiddleston is so much fun to watch as Loki. Natalie Portman returns as Jane so it's a great cast helmed by a great director, Alan Taylor from Game of Thrones. The trailer and the movie clips make it one big CGI-fest with grand vistas that make the people look insignificant. So while I do not have huge expectations, I am cautiously optimistic.

FINAL VERDICT: SUPRISE ME!

Jami's Review
I have loved comic books and superheroes ever since I was a small child, my father raised me on them, so to see the genre take off in the film industry the way it has over the last decade has been a dream come true for me. I always thought that this was an untapped market of storytelling that Hollywood was missing. As Marvel Studios has proved, it's possible to take second tier characters that are not as well known as Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man, and make them into box office hits like Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America. I can't wait for even more obscure comic book heroes to get their due on the big screen like the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy (which features a talking Raccoon for God's sake!), and other possible Marvel projects like Dr. Strange, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist. To be honest, Thor is actually one of my least favorite films of the Marvel Studio projects, but if you understand how much I LOVE Marvel movies, than you'll understand that that really isn't saying much. Every Marvel film has been so good that it's really hard not to love them all. The Avengers is by far the best, which was essentially a sequel to Thor, The Incredible Hulk and Captain America: The First Avenger, and a follow up to Iron Man 2. The fact that Marvel Studios was able to pull off one coherent universe in several different movies all leading up to one summer event is an amazing cinematic achievement. If even one of these films had gone terribly wrong then the whole plan would have gone in the toilet.
What I was missing from The Avengers was Thor making good on his promise to Jane Foster to return for her, so I'm looking forward to how that storyline plays out, as well as the idea of her traveling to Asgard with Thor and how she will fit in there. I'm also looking forward to seeing how Thor will be treated on Earth in the aftermath of The Avengers now that we know Gods exist. It seems from the clips and trailers that I've seen that Thor will need Loki's help to save Asgard, which will be very interesting after what happened in The Avengers. Watching Hiddleston chew up the scenery again as Loki will be worth the price of admission alone. The other thing I'm really looking forward to in Thor: The Dark World is the famous Marvel final scene and how it will play into the rest of Marvel's Phase 2. While director Alan Taylor brings his knowledge of medieval type storytelling from Game of Thrones with him, he's no Kenneth Branagh and has yet to prove himself as a big screen director. Thor screenwriter Don Payne conceived the film's story but Christopher Yost, and Captain America 1 & 2 writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely wrote the script for the sequel. Yost is an accomplished Marvel Comics writer so he clearly understands these characters, yet this is his first screenplay. That being said, I have a lot of faith in Yost, Markus, and McFeely and think they have what it takes to pull it off. But the final question is this: do audiences have enough invested in Thor to want to see the sequel and not just a prelude to The Avengers 2? If the film can focus on the characters and develop them more to where we care about what is happening with the action, then I think the answer is yes.

FINAL VERDICT: SEE IT!

Brenna's Review
I'm a huge comic book fan, and right now nobody is making comic book movies as well as Marvel. Comic books are the best form of escapism because not only do they help us escape from the dredgery of real life, they let us see others escaping in ways we wish we could: with super powers. Humans have always been obsessed with the idea of super stuff, whether it's the supernatural or the superpowered, and comics help us realize both of these worlds in ways that no other medium can. However, comic movies are coming up close. They bring comics to life in a completely new way, and now that we have had a bunch of really good comic movies (that made a lot of money), we can continue to have them.
Why do I love this particular franchise? Tom Hiddleston. But seriously, this franchise takes two of my favorite things and blends them beautifully: super heroes and mythology. Also, this franchise has some amazing actors attached: Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Idris Elba, Kat Dennings, etc. We've gotten great things from these actors in this great genre and I expect we'll get more.
What do I anticipate will be great? Tom Hiddleston. But really, everything. Christopher Eccleston has been added to this incredible cast (another favorite of mine), as the villain Malekith, and I expect he'll be phenomenal. On top of that, I've seen the 15 minutes of behind the scenes footage Marvel released, and everything looks incredible, just in the B-roll.
However, from everything we've seen from the previous Marvel films, the trailers, and the B-Roll footage, Thor: The Dark World looks like it's going to be a visually stunning (and not just because of Tom Hiddleston) and amazing sequel.

FINAL VERDICT: SEE IT!

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