THOR: THE DARK WORLD
Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman, Christopher Eccleston, Anthony Hopkins.
Alan Taylor (
THE latest to roll off the ever- quickening assembly line of Marvel Entertainment is a second solo sashay for the mighty Thor ( played again by Australia’s Chris Hemsworth).
In case, you’ve forgotten, Thor is that strapping god from another realm that has fallen in with the Avengers crowd. Comes across as a male stripper made good. Nice fighting skills. Wields a mean hammer. Impressive diction for such a big hunk of beefcake.
This new offering is the first of the modern Marvel movies to settle for something approaching second- best.
While you wouldn’t dismiss The Dark World as feebly formulaic – there’s just enough weird ’ n’ wacky stuff in the mix to kill that notion – it never really takes flight like a Marvel movie should.
If anything, the production bears all the hallmarks of a rushed job. The special- effects lack both clear detail and innovative finesse. A scrappy screenplay stays firmly lodged in a grey area somewhere between rambling and confusing.
And to cap it all off, much of Thor’s legendary thunder is effortlessly stolen by his mischievous brother Loki ( a standout display by Tom Hiddleston).
The story picks up a few years after the original. Thor hasn’t called his Earthling girlfriend, geo- scientist Jane Foster ( Natalie Portman) in all that time.
He’s been busy mopping up the mess left by Loki after the last Avengers movie. As for Loki himself, he’s now a prisoner for life in a jail on his home realm of Asgard.
That is until the dark elf Malekith ( Christopher Eccleston) reappears on the scene in search of a lethal paranormal force known as the Aether. Which has somehow become the physical property of Ms Foster.
Later on, Jane will get to go to Asgard with Thor, where she is sniffed at royally by an unimpressed King Odin ( Anthony Hopkins).
However, after Malekith orchestrates the death of Thor’s mum Queen Frigga ( who makes up these names?), the battle lines between good and evil are re- drawn in London for a final smackdown over control of the Aether.
Got all that? Doesn’t really matter if you don’t.
Just be grateful Loki is given a leave pass from the slammer to join the fracas just in time. Hiddleston’s lively, snarky presence saves the day repeatedly in the second half of The Dark World.
Rumour has it re- shoots were required to beef- up the Loki factor when it became clear the character of Thor ( who does curiously go MIA on occasions) wasn’t quite cutting it. A wise move on the part of the filmmakers.