The Marvel Cinematic Universe is back again, and this time they’re bringing Thor into his second solo adventure: Thor: The Dark World, directed by Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones, The Sopranos) and staring Chris Hemsworth as the titular hero, along with his scheming demigod half-brother Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston. Bringing back the entire cast from part one, they all join Thor in this new tale as he tries the stop the Dark Elves from destroying the universe. All this combines into one hell of a great movie that is thrilling, funny, action-packed, and one of the most entertaining movies of the year.
We join Thor months after the events of The Avengers. His trusty sidekicks, The Warriors Three, The Lady Sif, and all of Asgard are keeping the peace in the Nine Realms after Loki’s alien mischief. Thor is torn between his love for his people and his love for Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who has never stopped looking for him. She accidently discovers a long lost weapon of mass destruction that awakens one of Asgard’s oldest enemies, The Dark Elves, led by the evil Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), who wants the weapon to destroy pretty much everything in revenge for being beaten thousands of years ago by the Asgardians. Thor must reluctantly work with the evil Loki, help Jane, and save the entire universe before Malekith can align the Nine Realms and destroy them all.
Once more the world of Thor is over flowing with talent: Anthony Hopkins, Rene Russo, Stellan Skarsgard, Idris Elba, Jamie Alexander, Ray Stevenson, Kat Dennings, and newcomer Zachary Levi. All give some of the best performances in a comic book inspired movie. This time around, we don’t need to be introduced to them, so from the start of the movie we all hit the ground running and enjoy each of them again as we learn more about the characters. They are all amazing characters and add so much for an already favorable movie. Each is given their scene, with their moment to shine, and each performs as amazing as the next.
Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman are once again perfect in their roles as Thor and Jane Foster respectively. Portman feels more real this time around, she looks more comfortable in her role. The first film she seemed to be a little lost in the comic-book genre, but here she feels just right. Hemsworth is Thor. The talent he keeps bringing with each movie he plays The God of Thunder in is astounding, he keeps getting better and better. Knowing we get him in two more Avengers movies and one more Thor movie is a comfort knowing we’ll get to see him be this good a few more times.
But lets be real, it’s all about Tom Hiddleston as Loki. With a cast of Oscar winners and nominees, it would be very difficult to steal every scene, but Hiddleston does so. He is an actor who loves playing this role. You can see it in his eyes. Hiddleston brings down the house with each line and movement Loki makes. The cheers in the theater and the feeling everyone had was almost palpable. And if you love watching Thor and Loki have brother time, you will not be disappointed. They bring a love and hatred that isn’t done well in movies in general, but here it’s perfected.
The Dark Elves are good villains for the movie, expanding on the history of the world they’re in. The filmmakers set them up in the beginning, and the plot never really allows them to waiver from their motivation. Their leader Malekith doesn’t have tons of scenes, but when he does, then you know why he is the film’s main adversary. Doctor Who alum Christopher Eccleston plays the role of Malekith, who will stop at nothing to destroy everything no matter the cost. He has already lost everything, giving him nothing to lose, which is always one of the best motivations for the bad guy. It makes him unpredictable, which Eccleston portrays wonderfully. You never know what he’s going to do next, making him that much more ominous.
The movie’s special effects are top notch and never once looked “fake”. You know the actors are all on green/blue screens, but it never looks or feels like they are. Everything looks right and in place. All the environments, space ships, weapons, costumes, and Asgard itself all look like a real place you just want to visit. All the special effects and CGI monsters are so good in some parts, you would swear Thor just hit a real thing.
From start to finish, this is one great movie, full of action, humor, wonderful acting, and a story that keeps you interested right up until the end, and by that I mean all three endings! As you know, Marvel likes to do its little post credit scenes we all live for. This one gives you two! So stay seated until the lights come on. Not going to spoil anything here, but lets just say we get to see where the Marvel Universe is going, and it looks damn good. Go see this, hell, leave work now, you won’t be disappointed. In a year that has been very lackluster for movies, it’s nice to see that the end of the year has more than made up for the beginning. It other words, Thor: The Dark World is awesome!