The saga of “Thor” continues with the same cast of characters in the just released “Thor: The Dark World.” What? You didn’t see the first “Thor?” Not to worry because the introduction to the film explains everything you need to know---and many things you won’t remember and don’t need to know---to enjoy this film. Under new direction and different writers, the film tries to continue the same “good vs. evil with a splash of fun” type of movie.
Thor, his father King Odin, and all on the planet Asgard must fight to bring peace and harmony to the 9 realms. Unfortunately, those from the Dark World want to bring death and destruction to Asgard using the new-found omnipotent Aether. As Jane Foster’s body is the unwilling host of this Aether, Thor must fight to save not only his world, but Jane as well.
Thor and Jane’s story picks up right where it left off: worlds apart. With many battles being fought to bring peace back to the 9 realms, there is no lack of special effects, explosions, and 3 Dimensional stunts. Thankfully, after bringing the audience up to speed on the plot with the narrative and then witnessing the righteous slaughter of evil aliens, the real story begins. Like the first “Thor,” the interaction between characters, their dialogue, and the lighthearted humor is what makes audiences love “Thor.” This film never takes itself seriously which is a wonderful thing. It capitalizes on the "swoon factor" that Chris Hemsworth elicits from women as you have a completely unnecessary scene (that I am thankful for!) showing off his wonderfully flawless bare chest, sculpted arms, and exquisite back. Sorry, I got a little carried away there! Then the scene where a woman "accidentally" gets knocked off balance on the subway and she MUST hold on to Thor's chest is definitely there for the sake of fun! The film is completely entertaining in the predictable good versus evil sort of way, but it has surprises along the way as well. There are several instances where you just didn’t see “that” coming. Unfortunately, the middle of the movie slows to become a bit monotonous as the space ships fight and the battles continue on and on. Just when it seems “Thor: The Dark World” loses its momentum, that’s when the banter, humor, and ironic situations return and it reminds you why you love escaping into this comic book world.
Chris Hemsworth is truly the perfect Thor with his chiseled physique, his charming and chivalrous manner, along with his ability to truly act. Hemsworth can take any role and make it real. He becomes the one and only hero to be a part of “the real world” where Jane exists and the audience willingly suspends belief. Natalie Portman, again a talented cast member, can reel the audience into believing she is Jane Foster; the fun, smart, spunky, and completely smitten physicist. As for the rest of the cast, Hopkins is the king. What more can be said? And Hiddleston, although the evil son, really saves many scenes with his timing in comedic delivery. With Kat Dennings as the intern and Jonathan Howard as the intern’s intern, silly, but fun situations arise. That brings us to Stellan Skarsgard who lets it all loose for his small, but oh-so funny role as Erik Selvig. Yes, some men do sit around in their underwear which helps them think. The writing of this film is similar to the first “Thor” and the direction attempted to be the same, but this is where I think the second film is a slight let down. The first film focused upon human (and alien) interaction and really developed each person. It was easy to connect with the characters even though you knew they were comic book people. The second one seems to be a bit more interested in the filming of special effects than the dialogue and connections, but does find its way back. Still a very entertaining film, especially for a sequel, but the first one hit the nail on the head. (Pun intended)
If you loved the first “Thor,” then go see the sequel. Go see this sequel even if you haven’t seen the first one! “Thor: The Dark World” is completely entertaining and engaging even though it’s not quite up to its predecessor. This sequel is funny, lighthearted, and even surprising in parts so you’ll be sure to escape reality for a couple of hours. This is a film that will appeal to both genders and anyone over the age of 15. Please be advised that you must stay for the credits! First of all, they are artistically appealing, but it’s what follows the credits that you must see. This final scene sets the stage for---you guessed it---Thor #3!