Wow. I did not expect the deleted and alternate scenes to add so much to the film. In addition to the many scenes mentioned by the other reviewers (alternate ending, Frigga's farewell, etc), I really appreciated the line about the relics appearing as stones except for the Aether - it helps establish the continuity in the Infinity Saga,
However, I was surprised to notice so many jarring transitions, both in audio and video. Partial list of timestamps: 00:41:46, 00:42:48, 1:01:11, 1:02:18, 1:06:00, 1:33:48, 1:51:44.
Another major issue for me was the first act - as several reviewers mentioned, the new sequence of scenes suffers from pacing and narrative flaws. While I appreciated how capturing Kursed was integrated into the end of the battle on Vanaheim, and see sense in establishing the Convergence as the precursor to Selvig's behavior and the awakening of the Dark Elves, the discovery of the Aether functions a lot better as the inciting incident that sets the plot in motion. I strongly recommend reconstructing the first act - either as Nic suggested or as TM2YC's Hard Forged cut (i.e., a minor sacrifice in pacing with the capture of Kursed).
All in all - the opportunity to watch all of these deleted and alternate scenes in itself is a sufficient reason to watch this edit. But to paraphrase Pedro Pascal in WW1984: This edit is wonderful, but it can be even better.
I’m glad I watched this. Thor: The Dark World is one of the weakest MCU entries, but it could have been so much better had Marvel not interfered behind the scenes. The deleted scenes are proof of that, and this fanedit comes close to restoring Alan Taylor’s original vision and the film’s full potential.
The edit isn’t perfect. I especially had the most problems in the first act. Some of my issues:
-Vain is misspelled as vein
-4 minutes in the audio glitches/repeats
-The flow of the first act reeeaally didn’t work for me. Overall the restructure really hurts the flow as it goes from random location/situation to another. Cutting from the mention of Thor to London with Jane is weird for example.
-Cutting from naked Selvig to Malekith awakening is really jarring flow wise (technically it sounds good). Originally having them awaken due to the inciting incident (Jane finding the Aether) worked well because all the events of the movie begin to unfold here. They don’t HAVE to be tied of course but it feels random, it doesn’t feel like the convergence Malekith mentions (which hasn’t even been established properly yet) is the reason they awaken. Since the convergence can’t be established before the Dark Elves awaken I think the Aether being found should still be the reason they awaken.
-Thor not appearing until 21 minutes in is a real structural problem. We have to wait for the inciting incident (Jane finding the Aether) to reach Thor until his setup stuff are done before the inciting incident. This is, again, jarring and hurts the pacing considerably. I understand most audiences won’t notice these as structural problems, but they will notice how it doesn’t flow well from one scene to another and feel that it’s slow, and also wonder in confusion and possible boredom as to why Thor doesn’t appear until the 21 minute mark, and will be bored to see the slow setup stuff come after, essentially, the plot of the movie begins.
-The rescore cuts off when the Thor & Odin’s first scene begins.
-Sometimes the deleted scenes are noticably a little lower quality and a bit stretched
-Again, the cut from the storybook exposition to Selvig explaining the “alignment” is pretty jarring
Beyond that the edit sounds technically fine besides some musical transitions. I watched it with headphones so I noticed a lot of edits, however I think they’d sound fine watching from a TV and sound system, besides the aforementioned jarring musical transitions of course (worth looking at again) I have to agree with another reviewer that the bitrate was kinda low.
All of this is made up for with the integration of many deleted scenes (a few are unnecessary but most of them add a lot) especially alternate ending which TRULY resolves the movie. The original’s ending always felt incomplete with nothing from Thor’s inner conflict, the relationship with Thor & Jane, Thor’s arc of becoming a king ever resolving. Thor doesn’t change nor does he change anyone around him at all. Nothing is ever learned thanks to the dumb, crowdpleaser ending.
Until now. Thanks to the alternate and CLEARLY originally intended ending, every story thread that was set up is resolved perfectly. We see Thor and Jane’s “mutual dumping” and it’s heartbreaking because their paths are diverging after their convergence. Everything that happened, the Convergence, around them was a reflection of Thor & Jane’s relationships and their character journeys portrayed through the cosmos, and that was clearly what was lacking in the original.
The movie’s still not great, only so much can be done with what we have. Malekith is still a dull and uninspired villain (though Odin’s reinstated hatred for him does add some personal stakes) and the plot is still a little messy with the plot and subplots not connecting very well with each other (again a result of extreme studio meddling). But the deleted scenes do their best to remedy the issues, especially the new ending.
What would really be perfect is a FanFix in the vein of the Hard Forged Edition or Thor: Convergence that also adds the best of these deleted scenes and the alternate ending.
Alright, first off, HOW did they not go with that alternate ending?! I know, Marvel movie, crowd pleaser, but this is just such a revelation for movies like this that it more than makes up for the films other shortcomings! And it actually makes prior scenes make more sense (Thor explaining why he was off Earth, Thor explaining Convergence by showing their hands drifting and entering different paths, the constant talk about how Asgardians will outlive humans by millennia)! If this were the ending we got, people would speak more highly of Thor 2, and not feel obligated to watch it due to Endgame.
The second MVP of the deleted scenes is the alternate Frigga's Death Scene. Not only does it give Frigga, Odin, and ESPECIALLY Malekith more personality, but it serendipitously plays into Thor Ragnarok later on. We know that Odin whitewashed Asgard's legacy, so having Malekith imply that Bor did the same to Odin is a really good touch, makes Odin feel more human & flawed.
Anyway, explaining my rankings. Video is at 9 because there's not enough breathing room between Loki's fantasy as king of Asgard & him snapping back to reality. Also, during Loki's "death," there was a weird white glow as Loki's body "returned to its Jotun state? I don't remember that being their in TM2YC's Hard Forged edition, but it's been awhile since I saw that edit.
Narrative & Enjoyment are at 8 because it was just too slow in reintroducing Thor in the movie. I understand not wanting to break continuity with the Warriors Three & Lady Sif returning to Asgard while also having captured Kursed/Algrim, but I think there's a way around that:
- Start movie off with a pre-credit scene, an abbreviated version of Jane's date (probably just the sea bass part), Jane arriving with Darcy & Ian on the scene, messing around with the weird gravity (imply they already know the kids there), Jane wonders off and finds the Aether.
- Once the Aether is found, Malekith wakes up, sensing its call.
- Now we get the Marvel Logos
- Loki meets with Odin, Thor fights all over, bring home prisoners, Thor meets with Frigga & Odin, etc.
- Once we cut to Kursed in prison, we *flashback* to Malekith and Algrim seeing the wasteland that is theirrealm, as well as Algrim becoming one of the Kursed, and Kursed breaking out of prison.
You get the same information without sacrificing pacing, I imagine.
But still, this edit gets my recommendation from those two scenes I mentioned at the top alone!