Thor: The Dark World ups the ante

Thor and Loki return for another round

Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston make a triumphant return as Thor and Loki in Thor: The Dark World, the latest movie from Marvel Studios.

The film picks up one year after the events of 2012’s The Avengers. Thor has become a revered warrior and leader on the battlefield. He’s wiser, noticeably older, and now greatly respected both in Asgard and in the eight other realms. But he misses his love interest, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). Thor’s brother Loki, the villain from the first film, is imprisoned for the crimes he committed in the previous film.

The threat in this film comes in the form of Malekith (Doctor Who’s Christopher Eccleston), an enraged dark elf who, eons before, lost in a battle with Bor, Odin’s father, and the Asgardian army. His goal is to find the Aether, a powerful substance that will help him both avenge his people and restore the world to darkness. Because this threat affects everything he has worked to protect, Thor reluctantly teams up with his villainous brother to save all nine realms from destruction.

This movie is far more epic then the first. Everything feels bigger, including the sets, the threat, and even the roles of some previously minor characters, which are further developed in this film.

Frigga (Rene Russo), the queen of Asgard and Loki’s adopted mother, shines as a woman who is a mother first and a queen second. The film explores the relationship between Loki and Frigga to great effect.

Malekith makes a fantastic villain. His threat is far greater, as it affects not only Earth and Asgard, but every other realm. While I would say Loki is the slimier, more terrifying villain, Malekith is angrier and more vengeful. This villain just seems more grown-up and dangerous because the viewer doesn’t know his weaknesses like they do Loki’s.

That being said, Loki makes the film. Hiddleston is perfect as the pale-faced wicked brother who keeps us on our toes, while showing the god of mischief’s sassier side. Loki surprises the audience with his wit, and the banter between him and Thor is utterly delicious. Make no mistake, though—they aren’t friends.

Hemsworth and the writers have beautifully developed Thor from an impulsive warrior into the wise leader we see in this film. He’s still powerful and slightly cocky, but this Thor has earned the respect of his people and has become his father’s right-hand man. Hemsworth did an amazing job in the battle scenes, and I couldn’t picture a better Thor.

While Portman’s great in this film, Kat Dennings really stands out as Darcy Lewis, the intern. She’s funny and her perhaps too familiar quirkiness works for this role. Dennings’ character is the voice of the sarcastic viewer, and while I imagine her loopy personality will grate on the nerves of some, I welcomed the comedic relief, especially during the more intense moments.

One excellent aspect of this film is the transitions from serious to comedic moments, which don’t feel forced or out of place. Everything just fits, and this made the film more engaging.

My only complaint with this movie concerns its ending. While I won’t ruin the surprise, I will say it’s bit confusing. Being that this is Hiddleston’s last film with the franchise, it will be interesting to see what Marvel does with his character.

Thor: The Dark World is a great film: well-written, well-acted, and well-shot. It manages to be both heartfelt and exciting and will be a treat for new and old Thor fans alike. MMMM

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