The Marvel movie machine continues its cinema dominance with Thor: The Dark World, their second film since Marvel’s Avengers.
If you’re a fan of what Marvel Studios has done over the past five years, you can summarize the film’s plots as, “A superhero must save the world from disaster.” Simple and accurate. What the film’s plots really depend on is not just the story, but the dos and don’ts – Do tie in with the other Marvel films. Do not mess with the comic book lore. Do be as entertaining as possible. – Thor: The Dark World hammers home all the do’s and don’ts.
Sometime after the events in The Avengers, while Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is helping bring peace to the Nine Realms, a dark elf named Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) is awakened after Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) accidentally comes in contact with a force called The Aether. Malekith and his dark elf army come looking for Jane because the Aether trapped itself in her body. To save Jane, Asgard, and the Nine Realms from Malekith’s disastrous plan, Thor reluctantly teams up with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) – his brother who was being held prisoner on Asgard for his crimes on Earth.
Chris Hemsworth once again shines as Thor, the larger than life Avenger with a soft spot for the people of Earth. Hemsworth’s onscreen presence is not only what makes him a fine actor, but also adds a dimension to Thor that makes the character more than just a hammer swinging meathead. He plays Thor as a man with boyish charm, a sense of humor, a son seeking his father’s approval, and a fierce warrior. Hemsworth has turned a character that could easily be one note into one of the most charming onscreen superhero in years.
Tom Hiddleston’s brilliant performance as Loki picks up right where he left off in Avengers. Loki doesn’t take up a lot of screen time, but when Hiddleston is on it’s impossible to take your eyes off him. Everything from Hiddleston’s condescending smirk to his evil laugh will have you wanting more Loki cameos in the future.
The biggest thing separating Thor: The Dark World from 2011’s Thor is the action sequences. Director Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones, The Sopranos) does a masterful job directing action sequences that are heavily CGI’d and making them look as real as possible. The special effects used on Thor’s cape and when he uses Mjolnir (his hammer) look even better than they did in Avengers. The film isn’t just Thor swinging his hammer, it has a lot of hand-to-hand combat and a few pretty good fight scenes. Towards the end of the film there’s a wormhole heavy sequence that gets a little goofy, but even entertaining.
Although not perfect, the film is exactly what you expect from a Marvel movie in 2013. It doesn’t have the same cache as an Iron Man film or the blockbuster appeal of The Avengers, but it is a fun movie with good action, a little romance, and some surprisingly good humor. It’s the perfect getaway from the buzzworthy Oscar films that are flooding into theaters right now.
Thor: The Dark World even has two post credit scenes that are sure to make comic book nerds smile.
Next stop, Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
review also posted on http://blog.seattlepi.com/peoplescritic