Thor – The Dark World is the 8th installment set in the Marvel’s Interconnected Universe, and this time the franchise has a new director, Alan Taylor, taking over from Kenneth Branagh, who did such a great job introducing Thor to the cinematic world.
So what do we need to know about Thor: The Dark World? Well, it delivers much the same as the original Thor – there are intergalactic baddies (Elves lead by Malekith – played by Christopher Ecclestone) trying to kill the residents of Asgard as well as the other nine realms. There are amazing backdrops to set the battles in, there are ridiculously over the top costumes, and massive body counts, rippling muscle and a good thread of humour running through the film.
The premise of the film is as above, but for a more in-depth synopsis, one year after Loki helped destroy New York, Thor has been saving the other planets in the Realm, and now has to face the ancient race of Elves, led by Malekith, who is seeking revenge after recently being resurrected by a mysterious force named Aether. This Aether has been stumbled upon and accidentally absorbed by Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) in her quest to find her love, Thor. Malekith’s intention is to destroy his ancient enemies at Asgard and send the world into darkness (doesn’t every evil tyrant?) with the help of the Aether and with a natural phenomenon, a convergence which aligns all the planets of the realm together. This sets in motion events that eventually team up brothers and enemies Thor and Loki, as well as his merry band of warriors, along with earthlings led by Foster.
The film is an enjoyable romp, like many of these films. The previous history to set the film up is explained in voice-over form by (Anthony Hopkins, who’s perfect for this forum as orator) thus setting up the action to follow. Most of the original cast are all still there, including many Brits such as Idris Elba, Hopkins, Ray Stevenson and a Brit surprisingly taking on the role of the evil tyrant Malekith (Ecclestone). It was also filmed in the UK.
Taylor does a good job as director taking over from Banagh, The film looks very slick and is naturally very effects laden, with a huge part of the budget spent on making the destruction, spaceship chases, the Aether and the energy balls the Elves use as weapons look incredible and believable.
Other than the incredible effects, good solid acting (especially Hiddleston as Loki), it’s the humour that keeps the audience interested. Though at times Helmsworth seems very wooden, the twinkle in his eye and comic timing are excellent. Look out for the hilarious scenes where Thor places his hammer in a flat and gets on the Tube, and one of the funniest of all scenes where Hiddleston sends up another Avenger. Skarsgard is also excellent camping it up as Dr Selvig.
Overall Verdict: Another entertaining romp, the Marvel Franchise will roll on and on. Yes it has all been seen before, nothing new has been delivered, but enjoyable nonetheless.
Reviewer: Stephen Sclater