Film review: Thor: The Dark World (2013), directed by Alan Taylor
In the second (okay, third) outing of the Asgardian Avenger Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and his pals (Jaimie Alexander as Sif, Zachary Levi as Fandral, Ray Stevenson as Volstagg, Tadanobu Asano as Hogun) are off-world being Big Damn Heroes. Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is locked up in an Asgardian dungeon, and Odin (Anthony Hopkins) thinks Thor should stop moping about over an Earthling girl.
Said Earthling, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), is in London with her intern Darcy (Kat Dennings) and Darcy’s intern Ian (Jonathan Howard), looking at sciency things. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) seems to have gone a bit mental, but then he did have a hard time in Avengers Assemble. Jane is trying to move on with her life by attempting to date Richard (Chris O’Dowd), but how can any mere mortal compare to the hunky Norse god of thunder?
And then there are the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim, namely Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) – who lost nearly all of his people back when Odin’s father ruled Asgard – and he wants to get his hands on a very special substance which will allow him to do Very Bad Things Indeed to the known universe.
In the middle of this, Earth, with Jane becoming an unwitting pawn in a cosmic game of Chess. The only thing that could possibly mess things up even more would be if the nine worlds were to, I don’t know, be scheduled for their 5000-annual alignment or something. Oh wait …
Also starring Idris Elba as Heimdall, Rene Russo as Frigga, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Algrim/Kurse, with Alice Krige as Eir and Clive Russell as Tyr.
From some comments I had read about the film before watching it, it seemed as if Loki was stuck in a box and didn’t get to do much more than look menacing. Well, he does get to do more than that.
There is so much to say about this film I’m not quite sure where to begin. Or are there really that many things to say? Is Thor still amazingly handsome? Yes. Is Asgard still a breathtaking place? Yes. Are there funny lines and/or moments? Oh yes, plenty of those. Selvig, for instance, is hilarious. Are famous landmarks completely obliterated? Not so much. There’s a building in Greenwich that gets the superhero treatment, but it’s not as if it’s the Houses of Parliament or Buckingham Palace or anything. Does Loki get up to audacious shenanigans? Uh, you could say that. Is it a film worth seeing? Most definitely. Is it better or worse than the first film, Thor (2011)? Probably about the same, I reckon.
We still don’t get to see a lot of Thor’s Asgardian pals, Eccleston only gets to speak, uhm, Dark Elvish, there is no direct connection to North Greenwich from the Charing Cross tube station, and there are apparently two credit scenes. The mid-credit scene sets up a forthcoming film, as per usual. The end-credit scene is cute but doesn’t add anything important.
I like the films about Thor and I think it’s an interesting universe. Jane doesn’t get to do much, sad as it is (her part is very well summed up on the poster), it’s more that stuff happens to her and then Thor is there to save her, which is disappointing considering we know she’s a brilliant scientist. Yes, fine, she gets to twiddle a few knobs and answer her phone but that’s about it. Kudos to Sif and Frigga who actually got to kick ass, however briefly.
Ah well, it’s a well-made sci-fi fantasy story with great characters and plenty of things to amuse and entertain.
4 out of 5 braids, and Thor 3 is going to be very interesting indeed.