The film has been warmly received, but the solo outing from the Avenger comes nowhere near the quality of some earlier Marvel releases. Is this a sign of declining quality?
Thor 2: The Dark World has been entertaining audiences to a variable degree since it was released this week in the US, and even earlier in some overseas markets. The film already looks on course to be a big hitter at the box office and earn Disney and Marvel even more in their already record breaking annual revenue. Still, the film has not been universally acclaimed and is a shadow of the quality on offer in some of Marvel's most beloved outings. With no end in sight to the ongoing force of the superhero movie realm, does Thor's limited quality indicate a continuing drop in quality?
Chris Hemsworth stands tall as Thor - but does he stand tall enough?
The film has had a considerable amount of negative press to go with the good reviews and positive box office gross and forced one critic to describe it as "a superhero movie that feels like it might have been made by anyone and no one at the same time, simply space-filler before the next big team-up movie."
Compare that to the wholly positive reception given to The Avengers, which holds a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and the early predecessors to The Avengers thenThor 2 really doesn't live up to standards. Captain America: The First Avenger is arguably one of Marvel's most underrated films, featuring an engaging story and some strong performances, particularly from Steve Rogers himself, actor Chris Evans. Whilst not the most loved of the Marvel films, it is one of the most enduring films in the roster and has a quality to it that seems to be lacking in some of the newer Marvel films.
Evans will be back next year in Captain America: The Winter Soldier
The same too can be said about Iron Man, which began life in glory and acclaim, but has seen its quality diminish over the course of two more films. The earning power may still be there in force, but tentative care and the showcase it offered was never close to being matched by numbers 2 and 3. The first film was a hit with critics and scored highly on RT, but in the 5 years since the film was released we've only had one more thoroughly successful outing from Tony Stark and that was in The Avengers.
Lets look at this year's The Wolverine; another film that, like Thor 2 has been given a relatively warm reception, but again it was as though we were supporting a friend through a transitional period. It was good, but not anywhere near the quality of the first two X Men movies and as reports of another sequel emerge, what are the chances of it being anywhere near as good as X2?
However, looking at the trailer for X Men: Days of Future Past, it looks like Professor Xavier's team might be back on form with their next outing.
X Men: Days of Future Past might be a return to a successful mutant formula
Even some of the newly launched franchise have struggled to reclaim past glories, as The Amazing Spiderman showed us when it barely managed to swing to the same heights as Sam Raimi's Spiderman and his magnificent first sequel (we can ignore Spiderman 3 for arguments sake). Compare the 73% RT rating the latest Spidey adventure has with the 89% of the original and the 94% of its sequel, then it probably isn't unfair to say that Electro and Rhino will have to be formidable foes to improve the newly launched franchise.
Tobey Maguire's Spiderman has so far gotten more love than Andrew Garfield