Thor: The Dark World

Chris Hemsworth

Natalie Portman

reviewed by Tom-Tom

starstarstar

        The Norse god of thunder is back in a rather light adventure full of jokes, mostly risk-free action and a closer look at more of the Nine Realms. Darcy Lewis the Intern (Kat Dennings) is back and this time she has her own intern. Natalie Portman is just as girlishly charming as ever as Dr. Jane Foster but this time is a central part of the plot, rather than a wide-eyed onlooker. The plot is quite simple. There were once Dark Elves who ruled in darkness. Now they’re back led by Malekith (Christoper Eccleston) and they want to make everything dark again.

Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is also back imprisoned but no less charming. As Robert Downey Jr. did with the frankly rather boring Tony Stark character (as he is in the comics), Hiddleston has elevated the somewhat silly comic book villain to one with depth, with pain behind that charming smile, to an almost Shakespearean scale. One of the Warriors Three, Hogun (Tadanobu Asano) who had almost no speaking parts and very little to do in the first film sits out most of this film after an action packed low-stakes beginning, which qualifies all of the powers of the Asgardians not the least, Thor’s awesome power. He’s a changed god after the first film and the events of Marvel’s The Avengers. Wiser, quieter, and more of a thinker. There is none of the foolhardy braggart like behavior which characterized him at the beginning of Thor.

Also, while we weren’t looking, the Asgardians decided to completely fix the Bifrost, which Thor totally wrecked last time. Meanwhile, back on Earth, Dr. Jane Foster is having a terrible blind date in London, in which she hides behind a menu. In his defense, a god is quite a hard act to follow. She escapes the date to an odd location in which construction vehicles float at the touch of a child’s hand, bottles disappear and appear in an unending loop when dropped down from an upper floor of an unassuming apartment block. Jane finds herself finding something that sets the major plot of the film in motion.

Soon enough, she is reunited with Thor and spirited off to Asgard, which is brutally attacked by Dark Elves. Seeing Natalie Portman in Asgardian clothing and in the somewhat Classical settings reminded me of Naboo for some reason. One somewhat polarizing element of this time around in the non-Midgard realms is the sudden emergence of spaceships and energy weapons. What happened to all of the horse riding and medieval like weapons? Either it works for you or it doesn’t. For me, it rankled just a little bit but then I got used to it.

We get to see Heimdall (Idris Elba) kick some major butt this time around as does Frigga (Rene Russo) but it all seems (with good reason) otherworldly, a sort of mix between Lord of the Rings and some world in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. There’s even a funeral that reminded me of the end of the 6th Harry Potter film. There’s just so much that is derivative but thankfully the movie doesn’t make the mistake of taking itself too seriously. Before you know it, even Loki has a role to play.

Loki’s role in Thor: The Dark World is the only significant thing to come from this movie which is unnecessary but not lacking in entertainment value. The Easter Egg in the end credits sets up the then upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy  film quite nicely.

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