I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the first installment, but I’m not sure why it catches the amount of flak that it does. Having said that, there are things to love as well as things to hate here. Is it wildly uneven at times? Oh yeah. But it still contains the ever-present MCU sense of wit and humor. I like when they strike that balance between weight and levity, but other elements of the film fail to achieve that balance. Once again, the entire fate of existence is on the line (honestly, it’s getting to be tiresome…but maybe I’m just Marvel-overloaded of late), but at the same time Thor is tied down by a love story for a mortal. A friend of mine described the film as “Emo-Thor,” and he wasn’t wrong.
I think the issue I have is that I never feel like Thor is in danger. I mean, sure, you practically never feel that way in a superhero flick (though we ALL know bodies will hit the floor when Thanos arrives next weekend), but at the same time, it’s even more of an issue in these films because the hero is an invincible God. It becomes hard for the audience to connect with the character on a deeper level. And, as (for one example) Spider-Man: Homecoming showed us last summer, the characters are what truly drive the story, not the action set-pieces. Although those are fun, too.
This came across as somewhat disposable, save for the fact that we needed to learn more about the Aether, another of the Infinity Stones that will come to a head when Thanos kicks the door down. And now that I’m binging the MCU films I had missed, I once again find myself wishing I had seen them all in order in the theater, for the sense of continuity and the cinema experience. Oh well.