Sunday, November 17, 2013
Movie Review: "Thor: The Dark World"
Thor: The Dark World definitely falls into that category. While, like many sequels, it doesn't quite capture the magic and charm of the original, it's fun, familiar and everyone plays their parts well. And these days, could you really ask for much more?
The plot is a little more complicated than it should be. A long time ago, in a galaxyoh, wait. Years and years ago, the Asgardians faced off against a race of evil dark elves (who looked like a cross between the Sand People from Star Wars without the desert garb and the Teletubbies), led by Malekith, who was prepared to release a powerful substance called aether (pronounced like the old-fashioned sleeping gas), a force of energy which was pure evil. But Odin's ancestors were able to defeat the elves, purportedly destroy the aether (although it was actually buried far underground), and Malekith was doomed to a life of comatose exile, much like General Zod and his crew in Man of Steel.
Fast forward a while. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is trying to bring peace and order to the kingdoms of the Nine Realms, while Jane (Natalie Portman, perkier than normal), who hasn't spoken with Thor in two years, is in London trying to move forward with her life. But when Jane suddenly becomes a host for the aether (well, it's complicated), Thor reappears, and brings her to Asgard. Of course, Jane's brush with the aether has awoken Malekith and his crew, who are determined to recapture this evil force and destroy Asgard and its people once and for all, before taking control of the universe.
The fact is, it's more entertaining and interesting than it sounds, although the preamble which explains this takes a bit longer than it should. But needless to say, Thor must both save Jane and Asgard from Malekith and the elves, a battle which takes them throughout the Nine Realms and takes more of a toll on everyone than they would have hoped. Thor must enlist the help of his troublesome stepbrother, Loki (a dastardly fabulous Tom Hiddleston), who has been imprisoned for life for his treachery, although he knows inherently he shouldn't.
Will Thor save the day? Will Loki betray him once again? Will true love win, or will Thor and Jane continue to truly live in two separate worlds?
What do you think?
Hemsworth still looks appropriately super in his third outing as Thor (after the first movie and The Avengers), although because his character is so conflicted, he seems a little less commanding. Hiddleston is twisted and evil and entertaining, and he is the one you can't take your eyes off of every time he's on screen. Portman has far less to do in this movie except play the classic woman-who-needs-saving-by-the-superhero (see Kim Basinger, Nicole Kidman, Katie Holmes, or Maggie Gyllenhaal in any of the Batman movies, etc.), although she did get to spout some authentic-sounding scientific dialogue. And Anthony Hopkins, as Odin, gets to chew the scenery as only Hopkins can.
But despite all that I've said, this is a fun, entertaining romp, that you'll enjoy if you liked the first movie. I'm guessing the next Avengers movie should bring these folks back again, and I'm looking forward to that. I guess as long as they keep making these movies, I'll keep watching.