Expensive computer-generated landscapes and effects bedeck Earth’s Mightiest Avenger sequel, but combined with formula “save-the-universe” story and Hiddleston’s allowance to overshadow Hemsworth; Thor: The Dark World is simply not good enough. Thor 2 lands in theaters November 8, 2013. Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, and some suggestive content.
Thor’s opening sequence is backstory narration on the Dark Elves attempts to overthrow the universe, thrusting it into darkness using a super-weapon called the Aether. Aether is a red gaseous blob, but apparently, the stuff is pretty hazardous. Aether grants its users ultimate power over their foes. In this case, it’s an epic battle versus the forces of Asgard. Thor’s ancestors seemingly defeat the Dark Elves and lock away the Aether somewhere. Fast forward to present day and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has been fighting to ensure order in the Nine Realms following the Avengers team-up and calamitous events in NYC. Loki (Tom Hiddleston) has been imprisoned within the jails of Asgard for his crimes. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and team are stationed in London researching a scientific anomaly referred to as the Convergence by the Asgardians. The 5000-year cycle event signals the alignment of all galaxies, but incidentally, it awakes the last of the surviving Dark Elves and their leader Malekith (Christopher Eccleston). Malekith seeks the concealed Aether and total domination of the Nine Realms through the Convergence.
Thor: The Dark World is a bit of a letdown. There are a few quality special effects and action sequences to gawk at, but one can’t help but think Marvel Studios has taken their foot off the gas and holding back the quality employed in the big-brother franchises. Battles occur at such break-neck speed, it’s difficult to discern what is actually taking place at any given moment. It does irreparable harm in a department that when done right, can convince audiences to forgive lax storytelling. Unfortunately, Thor suffers there as well. Penning Dark World is Christopher Yost, of Marvel animation fame. His script is interpreted by Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor, who executes unsuccessfully – opening up plot line after plot line in a fervent binge. If it weren’t for Tom Hiddleston (overshadowing his super-brother), there’d be a time investment shortfall here. Loki’s good, really good. Hemsworth’s soulless portrayal of the headlining hero would get lost on a battlefield if it weren’t for the supporting cast lifting the God on their shoulders. And by supporting cast, I really only mean Hiddleston and Jamie Alexander (Sif), as the remaining team aimlessly auto-pilots through this procedural as well. It’s no more than platitudinous comic book nonsense.
That sounds bad. I’ve gone too far explaining what I disliked about Dark World that I forgot to mention how much I enjoyed the experience. It is still superheroes kicking supervillian butt. It is still one of Marvel’s mightiest. My son…LOVED IT! There are a few frightening images, but overall, Thor is a kid-friendly affair. The Avengers perhaps, has mutated into a sort of curse for this off-shoot franchise. It’s perfection has set an unreachable bar only Iron Man 3 has come close to matching. As for Thor: The Dark World, it simply isn’t good enough.