Thor: The Dark World has big shoes to fill. It’s following The Avengers and Iron Man 3, which were billion dollar successes. It also has to cater to an audience whose love for its villain rivals that of its hero. After Kenneth Branagh set the groundwork in 2011′s Thor, director Alan Taylor tries to expand upon it. He delves deep into Asgard’s mythology leaving Earth as an afterthought.
- Director: Alan Taylor
- Screenwriters: Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. Don Payne and Robert Rodat (Story)
- Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Christopher Eccleston, Anthony Hopkins, Idris Elba, Renee Russo, Jaimie Alexander, Kat Dennings, Stellan Skarsgard, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi and Tadanobu Asano
- Cinematography by: Kramer Morgenthau
- Original Music by: Brian Taylor
After repairing the damage caused by Loki (Hiddleston) and his alien forces, Thor (Hemsworth) attempts to take a break. Odin (Hopkins) wants him to step up as king, and eventually get married (preferably to Sif). Unfortunately, those plans take a backseat to the arrival of a power hungry creature called Maliketh (Eccleston). He’s in search of a force called the Aether, which has made Jane Foster (Portman) its host. In order to defeat Maliketh and save Jane, Thor seeks help from his greatest enemy, Loki.
- Thor and Loki: If we’ve learned anything, it’s that Thor and Loki’s relationship is cinematic gold. Hemsworth and Hiddleston have great chemistry and work well off each other. Despite their characters’ rocky history, you still feel the love between them. Yes, they’re enemies but they’re still brothers. Their scenes are easily the best in the entire film.
- Renee Russo: Finally, Ms. Russo gets something to do! In the previous Thor, we’re sure she had less than a page of dialogue. In The Dark World, not only does she have wonderful moments with her family but she also kicks ass. She must have channeled her character from Lethal Weapon 3 because she’s a brawler.
- Scale: The Dark World is more than the title suggests. It really includes the entire universe. Earth, Asgard and various other planes are used as Taylor’s playground. The story literally drops in and out of different settings within seconds. Those who complained about bland New Mexico in Thor are in for a treat.
- Cameos!: Marvel films are synonymous with great cameos and Thor: The Dark World delivers not one but two. We won’t spoil them, but keep an eye out. One appears in the middle of the movie, while the other is in the post-credits scene.
- Malekith: What is Malekith’s problem? As a character, he’s very one note. The last villain Thor faced was Loki, and Malekith isn’t a worthy successor. He wants the Aether so he can plunge the universe back into darkness. That way he and his Dark Elves can thrive, while everyone else dies. That’s a fine motivation, but he barely speaks and when he does it’s stereotypical gibberish that every bad guy doles out. It’s unfortunate because Eccleston is such a strong actor, but he’s not given anything to work with.
- The Dark Elves: Malekith’s army of elves look like Halloween leftovers. They’re very reminiscent of the Putties from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. You just can’t take them seriously. The aliens in The Avengers looked much more threatening.
Thor: The Dark World is a solid movie. The good definitely outweighs the bad making it a worthy follow-up. It may have a disappointing villain, but the story between Thor and Loki is its saving grace.
The Rating: 8/10
Thor: The Dark World opens in theaters November 8.
Will you be seeing Thor: The Dark World this weekend?