The Avengers
Photo: Zade Rosenthal (Marvel Studios)

One of the great miracles of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is that all of the movies so far have at least been fine. Some fans who haven’t succumbed to the full indoctrination yet may argue that Doctor Strange was a little boring or that Avengers: Age Of Ultron displayed a wild misunderstanding of nearly every central character, but even some of the shakiest entries in the MCU canon have their good parts (the suitcase scene in Iron Man 2 still kicks ass, for example). That being said, you’d have a hard time finding anyone who would argue that Thor: The Dark World lives up to the MCU’s highest highs—which, for the record, are the three Captain America movies.

In fact, Thor himself is willing to rag on The Dark World director Alan Taylor’s attempt to expand on the sci-fi Shakespeare nonsense of Kenneth Branagh’s original Thor movie. In an interview with GQ, Chris Hemsworth dismissed The Dark World—which he simply calls “the second one”—as being “meh.” He chalks this up to an outdated notion of “masculinity,” in that The Dark World’s version of the God Of Thunder felt “very familiar,” so for Taika Waititi’s Thor: Ragnarok, he tried to make the character more human and “truer to his own spirit.”

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Going back to The Dark World, though, Hemsworth’s take on the movie is solid. The movie features the MCU version of Malekith The Accursed, a classic villain from the Thor comics, but Christopher Eccleston plays him so flat that he manages to make the inherent weirdness of the Thor series feel dull. Plus, it introduces one of the Infinity Stones, but in a way that fails to really indicate what the thing’s power is beyond making the sky all dark and spooky. Really, one of the only good parts is when Loki disguises himself as Captain America, proving once again which Avenger is the best: