Reviewed: Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Thor-2-Le-Monde-des-ténèbres-2013Oh my god, how good was The Avengers? Talk about a high-water mark for a franchise (and comic films in general). I mean, the whole set of films is pretty decent but the success they’ve had in emulating the massive crossover universe that the world of Marvel Comics has, really is quite admirable.

The Avengers works as a standalone film but it’s essentially a further exploration of Thor’s mythology with the other heroes coming in to lend a hand. If we treat Avengers as part two of a trilogy, Thor: The Dark World fits rather snugly as the cadence (without limiting itself to a full-fledged ending).

As a reader of comics in my teen years, I never got into Thor. I wasn’t a huge fan of his “thee” and “thou” speak and figured he was essentially a big dork with a cool hammer. On the release of the first film, I had no real desire to see it and eventually only got around to it when I found out it was a major piece of The Avengers back story.

My favourite elements within Thor came from his “fish-out-of-water” interactions with New Mexico’s inhabitants and how it was played to full comedic potential. The Loki/Thor dynamic (further explored in The Avengers) was also something worth paying attention to and just so happened to be what I looked forward to experiencing in this one.

The film picks up where The Avengers left off (with a little interplanetary war in between) and it addresses the fact that half our cast from the first film (Thor) was not in the next one (The Avengers) but they all return (with the exception of the ones that died) for this outing.

So basically this film is about the nine worlds and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and co’s attempt to restore order after Loki’s (Tom Hiddleston) major cocking up of things. Loki has been brought to justice and much like The Avengers, spends quite a lot of time locked up in a box.

The enemy this time around are the Dark Elves who want some red stuff that Jane (Natalie Portman) somehow absorbs into herself when she investigates a weird warehouse anomaly in the UK. For anyone that’s a fan of the Animatrix, the short “Beyond” shares a few similarities with this little plot point (although the reasons why are quite different but equally science fictiony and fun).

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Christopher Eccleston plays Malekith, the Dark Elf lord with the digitally lowered voice (which is rather disappointing as it takes away from his wonderful Northern accent) and Anthony Hopkins returns once more as the mighty Odin and gets to narrate some of the silliest-sounding comic book back story he’s ever had the misfortune of reading.

The final battle is something worth watching, the effects are top notch and there’s some really fun character stuff in there too.

If you’re a fan, you’ve probably already seen this but if not – watch the other two movies before attempting this one or you’ll most likely find yourself a little lost.

Now to wait and see if Captain America: Winter Soldier tops this one. Excelsior!

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