We have finally reached the newest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe! “Thor: The Dark World” will fly into theatres November 8 and it has been well worth the wait.
Director Alan Taylor (“Game of Thrones”) has taken the helm from Kenneth Branagh and improved upon the mythology established in the 2011 film, and furthered in 2012’s “The Avengers.” Taylor keeps the “historical” feel of Asgardian civilization intact, and makes ‘The Dark World” a shining gem in the Marvel Universe.
The movie picks up post-New York, as Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and the armies of Asgard are restoring piece to the Nine Realms. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) has been searching for the Norse god, but it’s not until an ancient weapon, and with it an ancient enemy, surface, does the pair finally make it back to each other.
The enemy is the Dark Elves of Svartalfheim, led by Malekeith the Accursed (Christopher Eccleston), who seeks to return the universe to darkness. Their appearance causes Thor to make an uneasy alliance with Loki (Tom Hiddleston), as they face off against the frankly creepy looking elves and their leader bent on destruction.
This alliance is cause for more than a few tense moments, momentary panic attacks for fans of Hiddleston’s Loki, and keeps the audience captivated by the swift movie story.
Following the success of the witty “Avengers,” “Thor” seems to be following the trend of interspersing humor throughout the film. Characters offer witty quips in the midst of battle, and even Darcy (Kat Dennings) is offered a chance to be even more wisecracking than before.
A difference in the casting is the exchange of Josh Dallas, who stars as Prince Charming on ABC’s “Once Upon A Time” with “Chuck” star Zachary Levi. While Dallas did an admirable job as Fandral, Levi brings the character to a different level equal to the tone of the film, which can only be applauded as a brilliant re-casting decision on the part of the filmmakers.
Alan Taylor interjects a bit of darkness to this new entry, setting it apart from its predecessor, a bright spectacle amongst the Phase I movies. Marvel has fit the balance of humor, action and enough darkness to motivate the heroes into their movies, perfectly at this stage in the world building.
“Thor: The Dark World” gets a big shiny A from me (and I promise it’s not just because Tom Hiddleston gets a ton of screen time). Marvel has proven it gets better with each installment, which means by the time we reach the apex of the Thanos story arch in the far-flung future, audiences will continue to be drawn in by these superhero movies.
The 3D, as usual with most films, is not really a must for viewers. It lends a beautiful depth to the landscapes, but not much else. Just make sure to stay through the credits for a progression in the said Thanos story-arch.
“Thor: The Dark World” is rated PG-13 for sequence of intense sci-fi violence and some suggestive content.