And still they come… another Marvel movie hit cinemas this month, in the rugged and burly shape of Thor’s first post-Avengers movie, following the super “Iron Man 3” earlier this year.
I love Thor. I think it’s all the Norse mythology stuff, mixed with the sci-fi stuff, all the different worlds … oh who am I kidding? IT’S HIM, IT’S ALWAYS BEEN HIM. Much as I loved “Avengers Assemble“, I was keen to see Thor’s domain stay intact, just as Iron Man’s did in his post-Avengers sequel. Fortunately that’s what happened, and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has been keeping busy since the last film by bringing peace to the nine realms. A big old job for sure, and I didn’t feel the need to question it.
Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) has been though, and her quest to find her lost love interest leads her to stumble on an ancient power source, setting in motion a chain of events that lead back through millennia of Asgardian history. As with these power sources, a baddie wants it, so we have Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) as the leader of the tougher-than-they-sound Dark Elves, keen to seize the power source and destroy the universe, which seemingly is in the way of the Elves’ preferred universe of darkness and lots of scowling.
The old cast are there too, mostly on the fringes; Jane’s annoying friend Darcy, him off Mamma Mia, Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Rene Russo as Mama Thor, and they all play their varying parts in the action. Thor’s gang get hardly any screentime though, to the point where after seeing Thor two or three times and now the sequel, I still don’t know their names. Let’s see, there’s Sporty, Ginger, Thor, Posh and Chinesey (quickly deported in the first scenes, did his working visa expire?). Poor Sporty, sorry, Sif (named after the bathroom cleaning fluid?), sidelined by Thor because he doesn’t fancy her, she plays out the rest of the film by just giving Jane evils.
They can’t resist using Loki (Tom Hiddleston) again, but he is used sparingly. Still don’t quite get what the fuss is about, but a good villain is necessary, one of the few flaws “The Dark World” has. After establishing they are baddies, the Dark Elves show us they are pretty good at being bad, but otherwise sit inert through most of the film while the cast decide how to deal with them when they finally do something. As a result, the actual nature of the threat feels a bit 2D.
Fortunately an utterly shameless topless scene of Thor randomly standing around all shiny and rippling is in glorious 3D. HOLY FUCK I CAN’T STOP, I WANT HIM. AND HIS BROTHER TOO. NOT LOKI, I MEAN HIS REAL BROTHER OFF HUNGER GAMES. I’D FEEL MIGHTY THOR AFTER THAT ONE… whew.
So yeah, really good, great effects, solid cast, it felt in keeping with the last film and didn’t just feel like a cog in the Avengers 2 preparations (can’t imagine Captain America 2 will escape that fate though, looking at the trailer). In fact, I’d go as far as saying that it’s ASGARD as the first one, even better I think! #punmaster
Bonus points for using London as the big set-piece, though Londoners’ insistence that it’s the centre of the known universe will only be strengthened by the events in the movie. Just pleased they didn’t blast the shit out of it like most movies do (though some of that pavement could use a Lottery grant before someone trips over).
Just go and see it, I need a lie down.