NOVEMBER 13, 2013

Progressing along wonderfully is the Marvel Universe with its latest success for “The Avengers” in “Thor: The Dark World.” Building perfectly off the previous films and adding an entirely new level of character development, the sequel delivers in all the right ways, bringing fantasy, action, and comedy together in a gorgeous kaleidoscope. Chris Hemsworth returns triumphantly as Thor, much bulkier than we last left him and still wielding the Hammer as he serves and protects the nine realms, having not returned to Earth since “The Avengers.” Natalie Portman once again enters the scene, bringing a high caliber presence to the film, despite her somewhat strange story-line of inhabiting the world ending matter known as aether. Anthony Hopkins and Idris Elba also reprise their Asgardian roles but failing to add anything to these supporting characters.

The star of the show becomes Tom Hiddleston, returning as the trickster god, Loki, whose character is much more three-dimensional than those surrounding him, with so much in Hiddleston’s performance even with the small screen-time. With a fantastic story-line of being locked in the Asgard dungeons and later having to help his brother, Thor, despite the complete lack of trust, there’s still an innocence to Loki’s character, brought out by his mother, played by the exquisite Rene Russo. Loki’s scenes steal the spotlight and make his involvement the best portions of the film. What Marvel is now relying too heavily on is the comedic element introduced by Whedon in “The Avengers.” Much of the comedy in his film is timed perfectly, with moments like the subtle bet between Fury and Captain America or the mention of shawarma by Tony Stark, to be later followed up by an after-credits sequence of the team eating in silence.

The comedy in “Thor: The Dark World,” sees moments like Darcy’s (Kat Dennings) intern and their strange relationship or Erik Selvig and his fragile state-of-mind, leading him running around naked or in his underwear for most of the film. Most of these moments feel out of place or unneeded and reveal a growing problem in trying to recreate gold and too often, instead of keeping the material fresh and interesting. Thor’s villain, Malekith is completely one-dimensional, with nothing but homicidal rage towards the nine realms. With superhero films being only as good as their villain, the “Thor” sequel falters slightly, despite the villain having an interesting look, he’s nothing more than the villain of the week. Overall, “Thor: The Dark World” has enough going for it to rise above some weak plot points, characters, and an overabundance of humor and produces yet another great notch in the Marvel annals. And once again, with an inventive after-credits sequence, the hype for the future Marvel films continues.

November 8, 2013

Alan Taylor

Christopher Yost
Christopher Markus
Stephen McFeely
Don Payne (story)
Robert Rodat (story)

by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, & Jack Kirby

Marvel Studios
Walt Disney Pictures

(for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, and some suggestive content)


112 minutes

Kramer Morgenthau

Brian Tyler

Dan Lebental
Wyatt Smith

Chris Hemsworth
Natalie Portman
Tom Hiddleston
Anthony Hopkins
Stellan Skarsgård
Idris Elba
Christopher Eccleston
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Kat Dennings
Ray Stevenson
Zachary Levi
Tadanobu Asano
Jaimie Alexander
Rene Russo

Kevin Feige

$170 million

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