Marvel has done a great job of establishing a cross franchise universe in Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, and the other Avengers. Because of this success Thor got an extra 20 million in its budget and it really shows with some great actors. There were some real missed opportunities though.
“Thor: The Dark World” continues the big-screen adventures of Thor as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself. In the aftermath of “Thor” and “The Avengers,” Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos…but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.
This installment of Thor occurs almost exclusively in Asgard and we really get to see this magnificent world up close and in person. The special effect settings are very well done and supporting cast is excellent. Thor: The Dark World has some heavier moments, but for the most part with is very light and I was laughing along with the rest of the audience in the theater. Chris Hemsworth’s Thor and Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster have great on screen chemistry. That same chemistry is seen with Thor’s Asgardian friends Sif and the Warriors Three. Their role is brought more forward and it was for the better. Along with Heimdall, they are significant defenders of Asgard when it comes under attack.
The strongest character though is Loki. Typically in comics a villain continues on for decades and often returns to plague our hero. Yet in the comic book movie adaptation a villain is dispatched after one film; Whiplash, Red Skull, Two-Face, General Zod. Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is so enthralling he has been a major villain in three Marvel films in as many years. This time Thor must strike an uneasy alliance with Loki to defeat a common enemy. Loki is complex and layered in Thor: The Dark World and his motives are always in question. As depraved and he is, you cannot help buy like him. Especially when be shows off his shape shifting ability. “Feel the righteousness surging!”
While we are talking about villains, Thor: The Dark World really missed the mark with Malekith. There were high hopes for this character when it was announced they he would be played by Christopher Eccleston. Malekith is almost like the anti-Loki when it comes to on screen charisma. He is one dimensional and uninteresting. A good villain has a story arc just intriguing as the hero. It makes sense now who more Loki scenes were added to the film after a few test screenings.
One of the great lines from The Avengers is by Captain America upon meeting Thor for the first time, “There is only one God… and he doesn’t dress like that.” Thor 2 goes into more detail outlining how the Asgardians are not Gods, but merely age very slowly and have the ability to quickly heal and have super strength. The sense of mortal danger is very confusing in Thor. It seems like a laser will kill an Asgardian, yet being pounded into pulp by the Hulk will not. So the best way to kill one is for the script to say that they die.
In Marvel fashion there are two after credit scenes you will want to stick around for. The first will send neophytes to the Marvel Universe to Google to figure out what is happening. The second one is for the ladies and will help to cap off your date night right. Yes this one is for the guys as well as the ladies.
Thor: The Dark World is rater PG-13 for intense sci-fi action and violence, and some suggestive content. Malekith brings death and destruction where ever he does and many faceless characters are killed by lasers and run through with swords. Some of these deaths are more personal though. Some characters are mutilated in a bloodless way.
There are a few vague curses, but one blatantly obvious excrement related curse and young kids might just pick up. There is no sexual nudity, but there is scene where an insane man runs around naked on TV with with loins blurred out.
A PG-13 rating is a good fit for this film, but most adults will feel perfectly comfortable seeing this and will have a great time doing so.