Thor: The Dark World

Director: Alan Taylor

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Christopher Eccleston, Zachary Levi, Idris Elba, Rene Russo, Kat Dennings, Stellan Skarsgard

Rating: PG-13 (sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, and some suggestive content)

When Dr. Jane Foster gets cursed with a powerful entity known as the Aether, Thor is heralded of the cosmic event known as the Convergence and the genocidal Dark Elves.

 

Thor: The Dark World

By Cole Schneider

Marvel Studios keeps churning out movie after movie as mediocre placeholders for the next Avengers film and Thor 2 is among the worst yet. Fans of the original Thor will find plenty to enjoy here as many of the characters have more substance and there is certainly an intent to capitalize on the silly nature of the universe it lives in. However, it’s that universe that causes most of the problems with the film. What are the nine realms? What, for that matter, is a realm at all? Thor 2 spends a copious amount of time explaining these things to us without actually transferring any information or interest.

Meanwhile on Earth, the logic isn’t grounded any more. Who is funding these rogue scientists and what is the purpose of Jane Foster’s (Natalie Portman) intern, Kat? What is the purpose of Kat’s intern, Ian? At one point, the script acknowledges this problem. It would have been better to just fix it. There are a plethora of different examples of this kind of oversight. That might be forgivable if it was more entertaining, but in Thor 2 there are no stakes, there is no drama, and truly there is no point whatsoever. Rather than being entertaining in its own rights or truly deepening the Marvel universe, it exists merely to make interim money for The Avengers 2. Talented actors such as Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Hopkins, and Idris Elba are again reduced to bland roles, although Tom Hiddleston does return with another outstanding performance.

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

 

Thor: The Dark World

By Matt Greene

“Thor: The Dark World” has problems.  Actually, it has a few problems. The battle scenes are generic. The editing is sloppy. There are moments of cheese, and the dialogue needs some spicing up.  Most dubious is the confusing main conflict with the forgettable villain, Malekith.  However, despite the corniness and the convoluted elements plaguing it, “The Dark World” is a highly entertaining, engaging, and surprisingly funny addition to The Avengers universe.

In order to buy into these Thor films, one must be okay with Thor being a stupid, albeit fun, Marvel character. Sure, his entire lore is hokey, but it is intentionally so, and the filmmakers behind this installment are well aware of this, using it to their benefit in great humorous effect.  And while Portman seems bored playing love interest Jane, most other performances are strong and lively. Hemsworth, Dennings, and Skarsgard are better fleshed out and play their roles with ease.  However, the real winner here is Hiddleston, gleefully villainous as Loki, one of the most complex and sympathetic baddies in years.

Outside of “Star Trek”, this is the best big franchise film of the year. Even though Marvel slightly missed the mark with “Iron Man 3”, they have returned to solid filmmaking form here through great cartoony graphics, unique superhero cinematography and a solid action movie score. So while it won’t win over many new fans for Thor, it will satisfy old ones biding their time until the next Avengers movie.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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