Friday, November 22, 2013

Thor: The Dark World - Movie Review

Starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgard, Rene Russo, Christopher Eccleston, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi and Jaimie Alexander.
Directed by Alan Taylor.


The sequel to the superhero movie is the one with the most opportunity to be interesting. You've done your origin-story heavy-lifting in the first one, now give us a regular adventure.  Superman II, Spider-Man 2, and The Dark Knight are some examples of the successful superhero sequel.  Was Thor able to achieve the same success?

For the most part, yes. While The Dark World won't be hailed as a classic, it's still a ripping yarn that combines elements of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings with the already established Marvel sensibilities.

Thor is a little grounded after his first film and his detour helping The Avengers.  Now he must restore peace in Asgard and the nine realms, but a new, ancient menace has reawakened.  There's this billion-year-old space blob of destruction hidden in the middle of a distant planet, but when Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) finds herself sucked through a wormhole, she lands next to it and wakes it up.  Ruh-roh.

It takes us a while to get to that point.  I appreciated that most of this movie took place away from Earth, and it gave Jane the chance to be the fish-out-of-water this time around.  Portman seems to be having a lot of fun, and Hemsworth is more relaxed in his role. The real star though is Loki (Tom Hiddleston).  The villain in Thor's story the past two movies, he's been imprisoned for life in Asgard's dungeons, but Thor hits a point where he needs Loki's help, and I liked watching the whole time wondering if Loki was capable of turning a new leaf, or when was that inevitable betrayal going to happen?

Anthony Hopkins and Rene Russo make fine godly parents, and they actually gave Russo a little more to do.  Idris Elba's back as the Guardian, although I could have sworn his character died in the first one.  No complaints.  Jaimie Alexander should be the next Wonder Woman. This movie had a little too much Kat Dennings for my taste.  She's fine here and there, but her shtick grew tiresome for me, like she still expected to have her 2 Broke Girls laughtrack follow her every line.

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