Thor: The Dark World

***½

It sucked!It'll be on cable.I liked it.It was good!It was awesome!! (1 People gave this 4.00 out of 5)
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Brotherly betrayal on an interplanetary scale!

Thor: The Dark World

Swift shot: Better than Thor (2011) – Marvel builds the film around the characters while managing to deliver a fun, fantastical story-line that delivers a few surprises by Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor.  Stick around for the credits . . . of course, but only die-hard movie nerds need to remain after the FINAL credit rolls.

Aceman reviewed Thor for us back in 2011, and he led with how the Thor character impacted him.  Let me piggy-back on that and let you know what Thor was like for me growing up.  I wasn’t a comic book fiend, like a lot of my friends, but vikings and Norse mythology has always fascinated me.  It’s probably a big part of why I lived in Norway for three years.  And when Marvel started getting serious about putting Thor on the big screen, and he was cast as James Kirk’s dad, Chris Hemsworth . . . I was pretty thrilled.  Thor was one of the few comic books I would borrow from my comic hoarding comrades.

It wasn’t Thor that kept me reading though, it was Loki – his mischievous antics were unpredictable, often funny, and full of personality.  When Thor (2011) made him more than just a prankster, and basically downright evil in The Avengers, I wasn’t quite as thrilled.  They made him more evil than I wanted, or at least than I remembered him from my limited comic perusals as a kid.  But, with Thor: The Dark World, the writing team redeemed this error on all accounts.

Thor: The Dark World features real personality, and not just Kat Dennings as wise-ass intern Darcy.  This time all the characters involved were given opportunities to create audience connections.  I jotted down in my notes each time someone clapped or laughed, and it was more than a handful.  A few of the scenes were more revealing than you might want, so be warned.

Loki (Tom Hiddleston) opens the dialogue of the film as he faces judgement for his crimes on Earth.  He is confined to live out his days in the dungeons of Asgard.  Meanwhile, Thor is raging a campaign on Vanaheim, making up for all the damage Loki has caused with his allegiance to the Chitauri and the release of elemental forces wreaking havoc across the universe.  Really, this was just a chance for Thor and the Warriors Three (plus Lady Sif) to show off their skills for the audience.  And, yes, ladies, for Hemsworth to take off his shirt for you.  He didn’t want Cavill to have all the fun.

But, as Thor dispatches his enemies with fervor, his celebrations are lacking, and Odin (Hopkins) tells him to stop pining over Earth girl, Jane Foster (Portman) and start enjoying life as an Asgardian and to assume the throne with Sif (Jaimie Alexander) as his queen.  Thor likes Sif, but the thought of not being with Jane is too much for him to just ignore.  But, there is an ancient darkness that creeps up.  It is this event that reunites Thor and Jane Foster.  The ancient evil becomes a part of Jane, the Aether, an element so powerful it can only be collected, as it is impossible to destroy.  But, this power is killing Jane.

The architect of this evil essence is an ancient enemy of Asgard, the dark elf king, Malekith (Chris Eccleston), who should be no stranger to Mighty Thor readers.  The art department had a lot of fun designing and deploying all of the dark elf forces and weaponry.  With all the chaos upon them, and when a dark elf commando, no, more like a Predator . . . called Kurse penetrates Asgard’s security, Loki and Thor are reunited as brothers with a single focus . . . revenge!

The story becomes fairly emotional at this point as one of the most incredible funerals I have witnessed on screen, maybe second to Darth Vader, takes place.  The Warriors Three each remind Loki that to betray Thor is to court death, as he aids his brother in their common vengeance.

The audience is treated to a climactic final battle between light and dark across all Nine Realms, and Thor and Loki face real peril in this film.  Jane is dying, Loki and Thor are reluctantly reunited, in hatred of their mutual enemy, Odin chooses an heir, and Earth is about to “go dark.”  If you are a fan of Thor, you simply can’t pass up the opportunity to watch the Asgardian in action.  My new buddy, Curtis, of 95.5 had this to say after the screening, “It was better than what I expected. Formulaic, but effective.”  I agree.  When I saw in the previews that Loki and Thor were going to align, I was having doubts, but the film did a great job removing my doubts.  Sometimes blind rage can make even a God lose himself.  See Thor: The Dark World, and you will know of whom I speak.

 


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