No major spoilers. Super hero movies, gotta love them, right?
There’s nothing to not like. It’s gorgeous and fun and funny. There’s action and romance and Chris Hemsworth with no shirt on. There’s fake science, there’s drama, there is effing KAT DENNINGS.
Thor (Chris Hemsworth, Avengers, Star Trek, Cabin in the Woods) returns to do battle with Malekith (Christopher Eccleston, 28 Days Later, “Doctor Who”), the vengeful leader of an ancient race of dark elves that seeks to destroy the Nine Realms. I won’t spoiler this for you, but it involves something that Jane Foster -in a role reprised by Queen Amidala herself, geek goddess Natalie Portman- while inspecting an anomaly that defies physics and logic.
Odin (Anthony Hopkins, Hitchcock, Hannibal) doesn’t even know how to handle the dark elves (who have spaceships- that doesn’t really make sense. elves are supposed to be tree-people… and if the had been nearly obliterated wouldn’t someone have destroyed their tech?)
When they attack Asgard they wreak havoc in ways that makes busting Loki (Tom Hiddleston) out of jail and committing treason seem reasonable.
Loki is imprisoned after, you know, wreaking havoc on New York in the Avengers. I personally never really had a soft spot for Loki but this movie definitely won me over. You can’t trust him, but you can trust Loki to be Loki.
Kat Dennings, as per usual, plays a sassy, immature, bold, awesome chick as Darcy, Jane’s BFF and intern. She’s just there for the laughs. But she gets them, so there you go.
What’s unfortunate is that none of the characters has any real character development, everyone leaves pretty much the same way they came. It’s throw into discussion more than once that Thor is going to live 5,000 years longer than Jane. That human lives are a flash in the pan compared to Asgardians, but it is quickly disregarded. The villain in this picture, Malekith, the dark elf is completely unsympathetic, he wants to destroy all the nine realms. He’s evil. There’s nothing redeeming. Loki is the only complex character, which is probably why I fell for him.
Loki surpassed my expectations in his third pass as antagonist. While he won’t be back for the Avengers sequel, sources say there may be another chance for the God of Mischief to scheme against (or with?) our Marvel heros.
You should definitely see Thor: the Dark World. The special effects are off the chain, and lets face it, the current stretch of Marvel movies is so good, there’s no point in acting like you are too cool for this one. But nothing ground-breaking happens here. One thing I was impressed with, all the women in this movie have their own unique strengths and weaknesses, it would have been really easy to make Jane into an action chick out of the blue, or make her helpless without Thor. Neither of which happens. Darcy is a one dimensional big mouth, but I like her. Sif… oh man, we needed more Sif (played by the wonderful Jaimie Alexander, who -please please please- may be Wonder Woman).
I give in a 3.5 …it was formulaic, but flashy enough to make up for it.
Side note- In Norse mythology, dark elves were subterranean and would turn to stone if touched by sunlight. In some mythos they would sit on a sleeping person and whisper evil things to them to create nightmares (which has no relevance within the film) and in other myths, dark elves had more magical potency through causing death, they would absorb the life-force and it would make them more powerful (which would have explained why they wanted to destroy all nine realms in this film.