Thor: The Dark World Director: Alan Taylor
Screenwriters: Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Idris Elba, Christopher Eccleston Walt Disney Pictures
Rated PG-13 | 112 Minutes
Release Date: November 8, 2013
Directed by Alan Taylor (HBO’s Game of Thrones), Thor: The Dark World is the eighth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and a follow-up to both 2011’s Thor and 2012’s The Avengers.
Chris Hemsworth (Chiseled Man-Candyâ„¢) returns as Thor, the hammer-wielding god of thunder and protector of the nine realms. With his brother, the mischievous Loki (Tom Hiddleston), in Asgardian time-out for the destruction of New York, Thor is busy bringing peace to the warring factions of the universe.
Alongside the Warriors Three (Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, and Tadanobu Asano) and Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander), Thor battles rock giants and monstrous marauders while his long-distance love interest, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), waits for him to return to Earth.
Speaking of Foster, the astrophysicist is busy investigating a gravitational anomaly in London. While there, she stumbles upon the Aether – an ancient artifact buried on Earth eons ago by Bor, father of Odin. Turns out the Aether is a powerful weapon that was once wielded by the evil Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) and his Dark Elves, who sought to engulf the universe in darkness.
So there’s the basic premise: Malekith and his Dark Elves (who look like 1960’s Doctor Who villains) return to reclaim the Aether and shroud the nine realms in darkness. Thor, meanwhile, must begrudgingly join forces with Loki to vanquish this evil and save Earth, Asgard, and a bunch of other realms you can’t pronounce.
Thor: The Dark World is a lot of fun – an experimental amalgam of The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Doctor Who. Alan Taylor’s sci-fi fantasy film feels like Game of Thrones meets Masters of the Universe, complete with cool creatures, bad guys with laser blasters, and epic chases that feel straight out of Beggar’s Canyon back home.
The issue with Thor: The Dark World, however, lies in the screenplay, written by Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus, and Stephen McFeely. While this law firm of screenwriters nail the tone of the universe and its characters, the plot itself is in shambles. Major events within the story don’t make much sense, but we accept them because we’re well-versed in comic book logic.
Still, fantastic production design, fast-paced action, and Hiddleston’s sly, silver-tongued Loki make this Thor sequel more entertaining than both Jon Favreau’s Iron Man 2 and Shane Black’s Iron Man 3.
It isn’t as crowd-pleasing as The Avengers, but Thor: The Dark World is without question the best sequel in the MCU, furthering the story of its title character while expanding the Marvel Cinematic Universe and setting up dominos that will be knocked over in Marvel’s upcoming slate of films: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Guardians of the Galaxy, and The Avengers: Age of Ultron.
If you enjoyed 2011’s Thor – or just Chiseled Man-Candyâ„¢ in general – Thor: The Dark World provides plenty of the humor, action, and eye-popping visuals you’ve come to expect from Marvel Studios.