Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Review: Thor: The Dark World (Alan Taylor, 2013)

In the latest Marvel installment, Thor: The Dark World, helmed by Alan Taylor (a director on many of television’s greatest shows – Game of Thrones, The Sopranos and Mad Men amongst them), events follow not only those in Thor but also the titular God’s heroics in The Avengers. Since then Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has returned to Asgard with his treacherous brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), who is imprisoned in the depths of the city (and remains there, looking increasingly like a doped-up ex-rocker, for half of the film), and has been protecting the Nine Realms in preparation for taking over the throne currently resided by his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins).

But, a primeval race, known as the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim, led by Malekith (Christopher Eccleston, barely recognisable) awaken and seek revenge on their ancient enemies, who have hidden the Aether, a powerful weapon capable of plunging all of the nine realms into eternal darkness, in an unattainable place. When human astrophysicist Jane Foster (a very unconvincing, and bland, Natalie Portman) and her intern Darcy (Kat Dennings, a comic-relief sidekick, who actually steals scenes here) discover a portal that results in Jane unwillingly becoming a host for the Aether, she finds herself in serious danger. Recuperating on Asgard she joins Thor, Loki – released, and desperately called upon as an ally – and Asgard guardian Heimdall (Idris Elba) amongst others, in an elaborately staged mission to return to Earth and stop Malekith’s reign of terror.

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