North Texas Daily

Review: “Thor: The Dark World”

Review: “Thor: The Dark World”

Review: “Thor: The Dark World”
November 08
14:12 2013

Preston Barta / Film Critic

Rating: 3.5/5

It’s hard to believe movies like this can make you think as much as it thrills you and makes you laugh, but “Thor: The Dark World” does just that. While it may not be the finest film to come from the Marvel Universe, this much-anticipated sequel to the hit 2011 film, “Thor,” and the massively entertaining 2012 blockbuster, “The Avengers,” offers enough high-stakes action to keep rooting for the god of thunder.

Chris Hemsworth, who proved that he could do more than have an ab-off with Taylor Lautner in this year’s “Rush,” is back at the center, kicking butt and charming filmgoers yet again. This time around, like all superhero sequels, our mighty hero is faced with a new enemy that is more dangerous and ruthless than ever before.

An ancient race led by the merciless Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) returns to throw the universe back into darkness. Faced with a vicious enemy that even Thor’s home of Asgard and father, Odin (a loud and yelling Anthony Hopkins) cannot withstand, the flying Norse god must reunite with his beloved Jane Foster (a subpar Natalie Portman) and sacrifice everything to save the day once again.

“Thor: The Dark World” is nothing new in terms of the superhero genre, but the way the events unfold is captivating. This is partly because the artistic quality brought by director Alan Taylor, who crafted a few episodes of HBO’s celebrated series, “Game of Thrones.” The visionary filmmaker presents the film in a way that can be savored. Many scenes are classical drama, while other aspects are just plain-old-fun action scenes. It’s a perfect blend that proves this franchise is going to be around for a while.

There isn’t as much character development as the first film, and Thor’s friends are nowhere near as interesting as his pals in “The Avengers.” But one could guess the folks at Marvel simply needed these characters to all remain as they were in order to keep continuity within the Marvel universe.

Eccleston (“28 Days Later…,” 2002) plays a competent villain, although his intentions for what he wants to do is a little unclear. It’s simple to say he is insane, wants to kill everybody and see the universe turn to darkness, but when a threat of that magnitude appears, you would expect half the universe (including the Avengers) to show up and stop him. But this is Thor’s show, so roll with it.

Overall, this follow-up brought much more than the original in terms of action, plot and performances, especially Tom Hiddleston as Thor’s diabolical brother, Loki. Major plot twists are well thought out and unexpected, which should please fans and have them ready for what’s to come in next year’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and Joss Whedon’s “The Avengers: Age of Ultron” in 2015.

P.S. Stay for ALL of the end credits.

“Thor: The Dark World” opens today.

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