Favorite

Movie review: Thor: The Dark World 

***1/2
click to enlarge thor2524c7e0d8a412.jpg

Last things first: Do not leave your seats at the end of this movie. There are two bonus scenes awaiting you — the first adds a tag to the story, the second teases next year's Marvel space epic, Guardians of the Galaxy. By the way, the guy under the makeup in the final scene is Benicio del Toro.

Thor: The Dark World is the second film in the superhero series. It's ponderous at first, but gets better as it goes, with lively action segments and a good sense of humor. The film opens with the words, "Long before the birth of light there was darkness ..." Darkness, huh? As opposed to what? The sound of stubbed toes? An albino cave fish? The narrator went on to describe the backstory, which involves trolls or elves or something Lord of the Rings-ish. Whatever the critters are, they're pissed-off and planning to destroy or conquer pretty much everything. Yawn.

Don't worry, it gets better. Thor (Chris Hemsworth), he of the mighty hammer and bitchin' bod, has gone home. Papa Odin (Anthony Hopkins) is ready to make him King of Asgard (you remember Asgard — it's like the Emerald City, only more butch). But Thor doesn't want the throne. He pines for his earthly honey-bunny, astrophysicist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). Odin is dismissive of the relationship. "Human lives are fleeting," he sniffs. Queen/mother Frigga (Rene Russo) is more understanding. Meanwhile, Thor's wicked, cool brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) mopes in prison, and the majestic Heimdall (Idris Elba) guards the city.

Back on Earth, Jane, her wisecracking assistant/bestie Darcy (Kat Dennings) and Darcy's wide-eyed intern Ian (Jonathan Howard) — yes, the comic relief character gets her own comic relief character — discover a groovy anti-grav time-and-space transporter column in London. Jane's former mentor Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Sjarsgard) turns up on the TV news, running around Stonehenge naked and ranting. He joins the group later, working in a shirt and tighty-whiteys because he doesn't like trousers (Memorable exchange — Jane: "The very fabric of reality will be torn apart!" Dr. Selvig: "I better get my pants!").

The cast is strong, though Hopkin's Odin grows tiresome and sidekick Darcy, while amusing, seems to have wandered in from the set of New Girl. Hemsworth does a particularly good job, appearing bombastic and/or noble when appropriate while getting along nicely with his human pals. Though the villains-of-record are unmemorable, their threatened actions force Thor and evil Loki to team up, which makes for some dandy moments. Battle scenes are enlivened by holes in space and time which abruptly pop the warriors from one place to another. Neat!

Thor: The Dark World is uneven, but the combination of strong personalities, humor and clever battle choreography keeps the Marvel superhero movie formula from dragging.

Trailer


Thor: The Dark World
Rated PG-13 · 120 min. · 2013
Staff Rating:
Official Site: www.facebook.com/ThorMovie
Director: Alan Taylor
Writer: Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely and Don Payne
Producer: Kevin Feige
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgard, Idris Elba, Christopher Eccleston, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson and Zachary Levi
Thor: The Dark World 3D
Rated PG-13 · 120 min. · 2013
Staff Rating:
Official Site: www.facebook.com/ThorMovie
Director: Alan Taylor
Writer: Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely and Don Payne
Producer: Kevin Feige
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgard, Idris Elba, Christopher Eccleston, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson and Zachary Levi
Favorite

Now Playing

Sorry there are no upcoming showtimes for Thor: The Dark World

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

What others are saying (10)

Tucson Weekly The Loki Show The eighth film in the Marvel series is here and it's no Iron Man, but it's acceptably entertaining by Bob Grimm 11/14/2013
Portland Mercury Gods and Monsters Thor is back—and more importantly, so is Loki. by Erik Henriksen 11/06/2013
7 more reviews...
L.A. Weekly Thor Returns, Diminished Among the Avengers, Thor should reign supreme. Sure, Captain America is the de facto leader, but even he — like the others — is just a jacked-up human. Thor is a god. Or if not quite a god, as he demurs, he’s the next best thing: a flying titan with... by Amy Nicholson 10/31/2013
L.A. Weekly Thor: The Dark World: Can We Get This Superhero a Real Identity? Among the Avengers, Thor should reign supreme. Sure, Captain America is the de facto leader, but even he — like the others — is just a jacked-up human. Thor is a god. Or if not quite a god, as he demurs, he's the next best thing: a flying titan with... by Amy Nicholson 11/07/2013
Creative Loafing Atlanta 'Thor: The Dark World' brings more fizzle than thunder A perfunctory follow-up to 2011's 'Thor' will make you wonder, "So, how long until the next 'Avengers' movie?" by Curt Holman 11/08/2013
Connect Savannah Review: Thor: The Dark World As with the first film, the characters and their interactions again provide all the high points, with the cluttered storyline and routine action sequences jockeying for place position. by Matt Brunson 11/06/2013
The Coast Halifax Thor: The Dark World Loki love by Jacob Boon 11/07/2013
Creative Loafing Tampa Thor: The Dark World shines brightly There’s a lot to love about the latest adventures of Marvel's hammer-swinging god. by Kevin Tall 11/07/2013
Arkansas Times 'Thor' swings, misses Dullsville. by Sam Eifling 11/14/2013

More by Ed Johnson-Ott

Latest in Film + TV

Feedback

Recent Comments


© 2015 NUVO | Website powered by Foundation