“In Marvel movies, the characters always seem to die but they come back to life and not ever really die.” – 9-year old exiting the theater
Better than the first movie, has moments, but still over-crammed with junky nonsense. Thor: The Dark World spends more time on planet Asgard than the first movie, and our Norse god of thunder hero (Chris Hemsworth) transports his girl Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) there for a lengthy visit before returning to London on Earth for the earth-shaking climax. As is, the sequel is a heavily drawn-CGI movie with lots of kingdom shots by poorly composed angles. The dialogue is thumpingly bad, with endless and endless pronouncements about honor, defeating evil and not trusting evil brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston).
This time, the Dark Elves from another unpronounceable planet want the Aether, a magical and indiscernible power that is first seen sapped in tree bark. There is also fantasy hooey about the Convergence, where every 5,000 years the galactic systems are all lined up and good guys must stop bad guys from… what? Take a metaphysical crap through all of it to impede Existence? “Every fabric of reality will be torn apart,” Jane helps explain.
Thor beats up on a lot of pig-faced mutants and pale reptile-faced demigods in this movie (those gnarly Elves), but I liked his sweet scenes with love interest best. Jane wants to know where he’s been for two years, and why he didn’t call when he was in New York (She’s referring to his stint in “The Avengers”). On Asgard, there is an insurgence, putting Jane in trouble and Thor in the thorny predicament of trusting Loki, who has been confined to a cell by father and King Odin (Anthony Hopkins, always treating his part like it’s Shakespeare’s “King Lear”). Is Loki on another Coup d’etat bid to overturn the kingdom?
Hemsworth, who has undeniable valorous charisma, is less of a meathead this time which diminishes the humor. I happen to feel Thor is simply a lot more entertaining when he’s in the company of the Avengers, and not on his own. Chris O’Dowd, in a token role, might have more big laughs as Jane’s temporary suitor before Thor’s return. Simply, there are a lot of wormholes, a lot of grimy wastelands on various planets, a lot of face-punching and hammer-slams during fights in this latest sequel. It’s the kind of movie where 9-year olds have better sense of the “plot” than the 30-year olds in the audience. That is because we’re too cagey to not notice the holes in all of it.
Stellan Skarsgard returns as the going bonkers Dr. Erik Sevig, Kat Dennings is futile as Darcy the best friend, Jaimie Alexander as a female warrior with no suitor, and Rene Russo is the Queen except for her one fight scene where it’s obviously a stunt double. If you do see this sequel, sit through the entire credits to see not one, but two additional cookie scenes.
112 Minutes. Rated PG-13.
ACTION-ADVENTURE / COMIC BOOK LORE / WEEKEND AFTERNOON MOVIE