(DL) – Thor scores a SOLID three out of five Dangers breaking the sophomore sequel pitfall not overworking its debut characters. The family dynamic of Loki and Thor continues without wearing itself out. Understanding these characters motivation and maturity between Thor, The Avengers and now Thor: The Dark World becomes a sub-plot if not the real story. After all, we know in super hero movies, there will always be outrageous threats to humanity, but how often do we get to follow the lives of characters we want to invest ourselves in? Before you become sold that Thor: The Dark World is more a drama in this description than it is an action blockbuster, also be advised it could be sold as a romantic comedy. Okay, this is a play on words. There is of course the continuing romance of Thor and Jane Foster. That thread alone is not funny. What is funny is the entire movie. Aside from the opening prologue, there are sight gags, call backs, and a litany of visuals, banter and satirical innuendos throughout the film. Yes even the fight scenes have occasional laughs. There's even one last visual gag after the film (no spoiler!) The title of Thor: The Dark World is truly misleading. If there is any flaw to the story it's that you enjoy it so much you don't concern yourself with the threat. What you are getting is a comic book come to life. A genuine escape from reality that doesn't take itself too seriously.
When it comes to the core Avenger characters, Marvel's celluloid universe has become as cohesive and as deftly independent as the original sister print universe. Now if only Thor can avoid the final hurdle of director burnout in part three of super hero trilogies. Examples? What do I mean? Look at Spider-Man 3 and Ironman 3. There was even X-Men 3. Where each started with energy, originality and passion, the last installment in each case felt lifeless. Let's just be happy that part two Thor is a great ride free of false tension that perhaps is only oversold in the title. Thor: The Dark World. Neither the story nor the atmosphere is dark. In fact in today's all inclusive geek society, it could be sold as a date movie. Despite a few telegraphed comedic bits, the overall bounty satisfies. Action? Just right. The action scenes are played out with purpose, ebbing and flowing between the build ups. There is no major crescendo, so you don't feel over-hyped. Thor: The Dark World isn't over sold, and works just a perfectly as its monthly print comic book counterparts. This Thor fits in perfectly enabling him to dance as a solo act and a member of the Avengers.
Our timeline is established as two years since The Avengers (2012). This isn't immediately evident because after the establishing fight scene, we cut to Loki's fate for losing the battle of New York City. Odin (Anthony Hopkins) condemns him to life imprisonment. Who knows if someone at Marvel or if Josh Whedon stepped in and insisted on it, but someone made the genius move of keeping the character Loki involved to the point he's almost over-used.While Chris Hemsworth is the embodiment of Thor, Tom Hiddleson as Loki has managed to make the ornery pain-in-the-ass, borderline hated character of Loki a likeable villain. Even more Hiddleson has made the public want to see more of him as an actor on screen.
NOTE: There are TWO sets of credits with TWO bonus Easter egg scenes. No spoiler here.
Trivia: The Stonehenge scenes were in fact on location. The Kronan rock monster was originally fought in Journey Into Mystery #83, Thor's first comic.Cast: Thor / Chris Hemsworth, Jane Foster / Natalie Portman, Loki / Tom Hiddleston, Odin / Anthony Hopkins
Director: Alan TaylorWriter: Don Payne (Also wrote Thor, died during filming)
Run Time: 1 hour 52 min