Imagine what movie would have happened if this actual bit of casting had come true- if Tom Hiddleston had gotten the part of Thor and not Chris Hemsworth? Hiddleston got Loki as the consolation prize and the Marvel movie universe is better for it.
Now as far as Thor goes, well without Loki to goad him into some righteous edge the God of Thunder would be a total bore. Why did the producers wait until almost the end of principal photography was over to realize that Loki was the whole show- and that more scenes featuring Hiddleston would be worth an extended shooting schedule?
My ideal Thor movie would have Thor and Loki as warring identical twins-- and Hiddleston playing both parts! One can dream.
Thor: The Dark World has twice the action and twice the characters and ends up being twice the mess.
Director Alan Taylor handles the Game of Thrones elements fairly well. He should, because he directed a bunch of GOT. The plot elements that require subtitles, malevolent stares and sotto voce dialogue are GOT-ty , gnarly and exude Westeros and Esso flare. The 20 minutes were Thor and Loki bicker, fight and attempt to sort out their complicated sibling rivalry are The Dark World's highlight. And Taylor leaves Hiddleston alone to play Loki in the only way he can play him. Taylor knows not to mess with something that doesn't need fixing. The problem: Loki gets only 30 minutes of screen time and is cut out of the action when Thor 2 can use his mischievous evil bounce the most.
Unfortunately it's the special effects and sci-fi elements that cause Taylor to stumble. The retro-flying boats and the red and golden clouds that swirl, the Aether-zation of Asgard as a whole has a anesthetic effect that just produce golden slumbers because they are so under done. It is like watching a good GOT episode spoiled by inserted highlights from a bad Flash Gordon serial.
The final epic battles were worlds collide or more like inter-collide into portals has a jarring Loony Tunes effect. Just let them fight. Thor and Malekith don't need portals and laser blasts, just their two fists and some serious earth shattering. And the main villain is seriously undercut in the evil department when he looks like a pissed off Ben Stiller with a dirty face. Promising an army of evil elves and delivering a bare dozen scrunched up garden gnomes in hockey masks doesn't even scare Jason.
With twice the characters comes considerable role shortening. Sif, she of the hot armor body gets very little screen time as do the Warriors Three. Jane Foster and the other earthlings get too much in moments that are just marking time until the next action scene. Taylor and company blew their opportunity to have Sif and Jane have the cat fight of the ages.
Sure it is nice too see the two main contenders (Jamie Alexander and Kat Dennings) for the next wonder woman in the same movie, but real fan boys want and deserve to see a smack down between the two to settle who really is the worthy Diana. Thor: The Dark World gets a B- from me.