With the Marvel Cinematic Universe currently in what they call “Phase Two”, the Marvel Movie Studio is following the philosophy of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Such is the case with their latest film, THOR: The Dark World, starring Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman and directed by Alan Taylor.
Picking up where MARVEL’S THE AVENGERS left off, THOR: The Dark World bring us up to speed on what the God of Thunder has been up to since he and his new allies stopped Loki from destroying New York City and taking over the world. It also introduces us to a new (or in this case ancient) villain named Malekith – played by former Doctor Who star Christopher Eccleston – who is another one of those vengeful baddies with an axe to grind against our heroes.
This sequel is very much like another in the Marvel series, namely Iron Man 2. Just like they did with that installment, THOR 2 takes everything that worked in the first film and adds more of it.
More epic battle scenes with the Asgardian army fighting evil hordes? Check.
More amusing interplay between Thor and Loki? Of course.
More scenes showing that Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster character is really a brilliant scientist and not just another pretty face? Yup.
More of Idris Elba (as Heimdall) being a total badass? Hell yeah.
More scenes with Chris Hemsworth shirtless? Ummmm…okay, the movie failed to deliver on that, giving beefcake fans the same ration of Thor’s pecs and abs as the last film.
Then again, it did have a more generous serving of humor; oft times taking what could be an overly-serious moment and poking fun at it. And it’s the humor of the film that helps it succeed where other comic-book movies have failed. (Yeah, I’m looking at you “Man of Steel.”)
Even though the third act lacks the epic scope of the previous two, and the villain ends up being severely underused, the overall tone and roller-coaster-ride experience of the film makes up for it.
I mean, the little kid in me was simply agog during the battles where director Alan Taylor showed how war in the Nine Realms was very much like Lord of the Rings with laser cannons. I’m so buying those toys!
THOR: THE DARK WORLD has a Geek Factor Rating of 3 (out of 4) Uru hammers.
REMINDER: As is the custom with Marvel films, there are 2 post-credit scenes. One after the first set of credits - which presumably sets up the upcoming "Guardians of the Galaxy" film, and another at the very end. I'm guessing that the final scene sets up the announced cross-over with the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television show.
Elliott Serrano is a Redeye special contributor, resident geek and Jedi-in-training.
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