THOR: THE DARK WORLD

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - MOVIES - Now show­ing at Vil­lage Cin­e­mas

Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hid­dle­ston, Natalie Port­man, Christo­pher Ec­cle­ston, An­thony Hop­kins.

Alan Tay­lor (

Stars:

Di­rec­tor:

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.

TOUGH GIG: Aussie Chris Hemsworth re­vis­its his star- mak­ing role in Thor: The Dark World.

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