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Thor: The Dark World– Movie Review

Submitted by on November 16, 2013 – 3:43 pmNo Comment

CGI-heavy action films are notorious for cramming a lot of nothing into two hours. But Thor: The Dark World reaches impressive heights of action-packed filler. The lack of a minimally coherent plot or believable emotional stakes makes the wild actions scenes hard to engage with, and wastes a very talented cast.

Thor: The Dark World picks up after the events of the original film, and also those of The Avengers, with The Battle of New York referenced several times. Similar to both films, peace has been achieved throughout the universe, when an ancient evil suddenly comes back into existence. Here, it’s The Aether of the Dark Elves. And somehow, Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) old flame Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) is the one who discovers and absorbs the Aether, through a portal in London. Thor brings her back to Asgard for treatment, but the city is almost destroyed when the elves attack. Thor devises a dangerous plan that could destroy the Aether forever, but it requires the help of his traitorous (and imprisoned) brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston).

Meanwhile, Jane’s friends on Earth are doing their thing, and the Asgardians are dealing with internal politics, and Loki’s doing his thing, and the Elves are doing their thing.

While absurd plots could easily be forgiven in a Marvel film, Thor 2‘s are needlessly numerous and complicated. The exposition and backstory necessary to make sense of it all weights down even the film’s reasonable under-two-hour run time. And the various plots are held together by an unbelievable number of coincidences, even by superhero movie standards. What luck that a metaphysical event 5,000 years in the making just happens to connect the two random spots where our heroes are and need to be! What are the odds that of all the locations in nine different universes, Greater London would host so much action?

So while the battles are cool, it’s hard to care about what’s going on.

As often happens with films that take themselves too seriously, the best moments are when this pretense is dropped. The bon mots and wisecracks that the heroes throw around in the middle of tense moments and battles are ludicrous and funny, and the Earthlings in the film (Stellan Skarsgard, Kat Dennings, newcomer Jonathan Howard, and Chris O’Dowd) add lighthearted human moments, while Hemsworth, Portman, Anthony Hopkins, Rene Russo, Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston and others do their best with the godly posturing.

Did you see Thor: The Dark World? What did you think?

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