Thor’s Dark Side

It’s hammer time once again with a new villain tying to destroy the universe

By Lori Hoffman
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Nov. 13, 2013

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Although I didn’t like the original Thor movie, I became a bigger fan of the character and Chris Hemsworth thanks to the delightful superhero team adventure The Avengers. Superhero movies certainly earn more gravitas when they go for a darker element and Thor: The Dark World puts its bid for displaying a more serious side right in the title.

The story begins with a preview of the newest villain. The Dark Elves were vanquished thousands of years earlier when the soldiers of Asgard, including Thor’s grandfather, were able to steal the weapon known as the Aether and hide it.

Flashing forward to modern London, Thor’s (Hemsworth) scientific main squeeze, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) has found an anomaly that is similar to the portal that brought Thor to earth and later unleashed his brother Loki’s (Tom Hiddleston) army of darkness/world domination bid in The Avengers.

When Jane finds the Aether at the other end of the wormhole, she is soon in the middle of another battle for control of earth and the nine realms as the Dark Elves leader Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) is brought back from suspended animation to lead his army to earth. Our poor planet can’t catch a break. Malekith’s ambience and visual look is very much like the revenge-minded Romulans from Star Trek: Nemesis.

One element of the new movie that gives it more energy and sparkle is the renewed sibling rivalry of Thor and Loki who must now team up to stop the Dark Elves. Hiddleston proved to be a dynamic villain in The Avengers and that star power explodes again when Loki changes into the anti-hero Thor must reluctantly join forces with in this quest.

Thor: The Dark World has all the CGI action sequences one expects in a superhero movie, and if you have been watching the TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. you will recognize the geek/nerd comedy asides provided by Foster’s lab buddies Darcy (Kat Dennings) and Ian (Jonathan Howard) as very similar to the geek scientists on the TV series. Why Stellan Skarsgard, introduced as Dr. Erik Selvig in The Avengers movie, is also treated as a comedy aside, even though he has figured out how to stop the Aether, makes less sense.

The Marvel universe is shameless in plugging its other movies so they manage to bring Captain America onboard for a brief cameo. You get extra points if you spot Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Borg Queen (Alice Krige) as an Asgard healer, and Chuck’s Zachary Levi all covered in makeup as Thor’s buddy Fandral. Rene Russo also provides a supporting turn as Queen Friga and another Thor regular back for the sequel is Idris Elba as the all-seeing Heimdall.

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