Chris Hemsworth is back for another round as Thor in Thor: The Dark World. This time Thor wields the power of Mjolnir to save not just the love of his life (Jane Foster, played by Natalie Portman) but his world and the entire universe to boot! All in a day’s work for the hammer-wielding god of thunder; except this time he may be in over his head as he faces his biggest challenge yet in the form of Malekith (Chirstopher Eccleston) and his Dark Elves previously thought destroyed many years ago, by Odin’s father, Bor.
Since the events of Thor and during the events of The Avengers, Asgard has been attempting to make peace amongst the Nine Realms whilst waging war across said realms. All this is because of Loki, who is now in prison paying for his actions. The only thing keeping Odin from executing Loki straight up, is Odin’s wife and Loki’s stepmother, Frigga (Rene Russo) who does everything she can to make her stepson comfortable whilst the demigod is holed up in prison for the rest of his lengthy life.
But, there’s something else going on – the Nine Realms are about to undergo an alignment, aligning all portals where the Realms connect for some time. The impending event awakens Malekith and his remaining men from suspended animation and they begin the search for the Aether, a dark element capable of destroying the whole universe, which is Melekith’s goal.
To fight the new threat, Thor forges an uneasy alliance with his brother, Loki, once again portrayed by Tom Hiddleston; perhaps Thor hadn’t lost all hope for his mischievous brother even after the events of The Avengers. Here we finally see what Loki is capable off beyond the mischief, strutting and the wordplay. He’s a trickster, shapeshifter, illusionist, and a constant annoyance to his brother, Thor. In short, for the audience – it’s comedy gold riddled with an array of different emotions each time Loki is onscreen. Hemsworth and Hiddleston play off of each other very well in portraying the relationship between two brothers and it is easy to see why Tom Hiddleston was asked to shoot more scenes prior to the movie’s release.
Overall, returning characters are given more to do this time around. Fandral (played by Zachary Levi), Volstagg (Ray Stevenson) and Sif (Jaimie Alexander) of the Warriors Three, each have their moments throughout the film whether battling it out to protect their world, or plotting further action against Malekith. Even Queen Frigga, masterfully played by Rene Russo, gets in on the action as Asgard is under threat from Malekith and his cohorts. Heimdall, played by Idris Elba, too is given a bigger chunk of the action; he has several moments to shine and show the audience he’s more than just the all-seeing, all-hearing guardian of the bifrost.
Whilst the romantic side-plot between Thor and Jane has hindered the prequel, and remains somewhat grating here; Jane’s contribution to the story is more effective (but not by much) and does go a little beyond ‘I just want a boyfriend’ vibes. However, there are parts that still drag on and make you wish the scene would end soon or you may just stick an arrow into your eye socket, but fortunately it never comes to that as those scenes end and the action moves on.
Kat Denning’s Darcy (Jane’s intern from the first film), newcomer Ian (Darcy’s intern, played by Jonathan Howard) and even Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) are the comedic relief, albeit the latter steps into somewhat darker comedy. The trio reconnect with adventurers from Asgard in the latter part of the film and take on Melekith as he pops up on Earth, London to be precise. It’s definitely refreshing to see the action take place somewhere other than a city in the US.
There are a few shocking and somewhat unexpected moments throughout the film, but they work well for the story and certainly keep the audience invested in the plot. The action sequences are mostly well executed, and the effects are certainly impressive which helps the audience immerse into the non-Earth home worlds depicted in the film. The imagery of Asgard is breathtaking and dazzling in some of the wider shots further driving the point across – the place is massive, certainly quite beautiful and definitely feels different to anything seen on Earth.
The Dark World is a 100+ minutes of dramatic, action-fuelled, in parts hilarious and witty scenes that leave little time to check your phone during the slow parts of the movie. For most part it holds your attention and keeps the story going forward through the use of humour. However the film isn’t without its flaws, whilst the increase in humour seems effective, it also makes the film seem somewhat like a yo-yo considering what’s at stake for the characters – the fate of the entire universe. The slapstick humour placed in-between moments of real gloom and doom and dealing with aftermath of war, leaves the audience gasping in horror or feeling sad one moment, only to be yanked away into the way lighter side to check in with Darcy and crew in London, the next moment.
The Dark World’s ending definitely leaves room for a sequel and sets up several more possibilities of expanding the Marvel Universe on screen. And TV’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is already hot on the heels by doing a crossover in an upcoming episode. The episode airs Nov 19th in US (Nov 27th on OSN in the Middle East) and will attempt to pick up the pieces of the carnage on Earth after Malekith’s attack. Speaking of Malekith, the character does little beyond several typical ‘they must be destroyed’ grandeur speeches and storming around looking threatening. But there’s not much to be expected from a seemingly one-time villain. However, to have Malekith and his Elves communicate in an entirely new language, is a refreshing change and adds a nice touch of ‘realism’ to the story. At least as realistic as a movie based on a comic book can be.
Thor: The Dark World stars Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Jaime Alexander, Christopher Eccleston, Zachary Levi and more. The film is written by Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely and is directed by Alan Taylor. The film releases in UAE Nov 7th, for timings check Me-Movies.com
P.S. Remember this is a Marvel movie.
But wait, there’s more! The Dark World has 2 post-credit sequences, so make sure you stick around until the very end.