Thor The Dark World Review

20131104-135303.jpg

I saw Thor The Dark World (aka Thor 2 in my head) last Thursday evening. I enjoyed the movie very much and will put down a few thoughts about it here.

Chris Hemsworth is back as Thor accompanied by his fellow Asgardians with of course Anthony Hopkins as Odin. The villains this time out are the Dark Elves lead by Christopher Eccleston’s Malekith. They just want to end the universe using some Aether. Anthony Hopkins’s Odin gives a voice over at the start of the movie where we see some a fight between Asgard and the Dark Elves. To his credit Hopkins doesn’t burst out laughing over his dialog. It all feels like they’re going for that scene from the first The Lord of the Rings movie where we see ye olde battle.

The majority of the movie seems to take place in Asgard or the other “realms”. Actually I’m not sure if a “realm” is just another planet or if it’s some kind of whole other universe. In any event there is a good chunk of Asgard action as well as scenes on at least one other planet. The Asgard sequences are certainly impressive and it is a movie that should be enjoyed on the big screen as a result.

Natalie Portman is back as Jane Foster, for some reason transplanted to London for no apparent reason. While the majority of the movie’s action is on Asgard pretty much all the remaining Earth set action is based in London and to their credit they film makers don’t overuse the traditional London locations like big Ben, etc.

The big climactic fight takes place in Greenwich and to explain why the fate of the universe depends on a battle in Greenwich they have Stellan Skarsgård drawing a few random lines on the map and saying “look, we need to go to Greenwich” or words to that effect. In reality the movie was being made in British studios and I guess they wanted to use London and save some airfare money. But I’m fine with that, it’s a nice change to the usual New York or Los Angeles.

The final battle is good fun with weird portals opening and closing between the “realms” which creates some interesting visuals.

Most of the supporting cast are also back including Stellan Skarsgård as Dr Selvig and Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis. Skarsgård‘s role seemed to me to be reduced from last time and if anything he is used even more for comic relief now. I remain fond of Darcey simply because of her inability to pronounce the name of Thor’s hammer and instead calls it “mew-mew”.

Of course Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is back to steal the show. There’s a brilliant little moment where Loki and a character called Kurse regard each other in the Asgardian prison and Hiddleston just cocks his head to the side and I thought, “that’s Loki!”

The movie knows it’s bonkers and has a bit of fun with the outlandish situations. One of my favourite moments takes place in the London Tube.

I would suggest that a movie-goer new to the Marvel universe at least watch Thor first.

As usual there are some after-credits scenes, the first of which looked horribly cheap and tacked onto the main movie.