Thor 2: The Dark World
Director: Alan Taylor
Writers: Mark Bomback, Scott Frank
Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Christopher Eccleston, Jaimie Alexander, Rene Russo, Zachary Levi, Ray Stevenson, Tadanobu Asano, Idris Elba, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Stellan Skarsgård, Jonathan Howard
American Superhero Movie
I’ll say up front that I loved this movie, and a big part of it is the awesomeness that is Tom Hiddleston as Loki.
I was looking forward to seeing what Christopher Eccleston (Ninth Doctor Who) did as Malekith (the dark elf), but the entire subplot that was focused on him kind of fizzled. I think it was partly the choice to have the dark elves speak almost entirely in elvish with subtitles, and partly from an overall lack of anything really interesting going on in their plotline.
They made up for it with the rest of the movie.
We see more of Asgard and the aftermath of Thor and Loki’s return. We see far more of the character dynamics of the royal family, and what Loki’s betrayal has done to the power balance and the nine worlds.
The story of what’s happening here on an Earth that is still recovering from the Chitari attack (on New York) is made interesting by the characters populating it: Jane Foster, Darcy, Dr. Selvig, and Darcy’s intern Ian. Using simplistic instruments, they can explain anything that’s going on with convincing techno-babble. We may not understand it, precisely, but they take us along for the ride.
Eventually, the two worlds come together, and the momentum builds. There are chase scenes and explosions and lots of fight scenes with interesting weapons. Family squabbles. And even romance.
More than anything, this continues the story of Thor and Jane Foster, begun in Thor–two people from very different worlds who nonetheless want to be together. It also highlights the long time rivalry between Thor and his brother Loki, who is down but very much not out of the picture.
I really liked the non-linear flow of one of the pivotal scenes, structurally similar to one of the caper scenes in The A-Team–it was a great use of characters and locations, including fun cameos.
There’s also a really nice balance between action and humor throughout the whole movie, reminiscent of The Avengers. The nearly two hours go by in a snap.
Tom Hiddleston really steals the show as Loki. We’ve come to know this character through two previous movies, now more pieces of the puzzle fall into place, and whether you love him or hate him, Loki makes you feel. Intensely. Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Natalie Portman (Jane Foster) are also eminently watchable, and the superb supporting cast are tons of fun, especially Anthony Hopkins (Odin), Rene Russo (Frigga), Idris Elba (Heimdall), Jaimie Alexander (Sif), Zachary Levi, Ray Stevenson, and Tadanobu Asano (the Warriors Three) on Asgard and Kat Dennings (Darcy) and Stellan Skarsgård (Dr. Selvig) on Earth.
Of course, with the great convergence moving in, I kept expecting Lara Croft to come dashing in to help out. Oh, well.
A solid entry in Marvel’s Phase II–and be sure to stay for not one, but two stingers during the credits.
Written by Elektra Hammond