Movie Review: ‘Thor: The Dark World’

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

Alan Taylor

Chris Hemsworth returns as Thor in this action-packed and humor-filled sequel from Marvel. When a 5,000-year-old evil awakens from its dark slumber, not even Odin and the armies of Asgard are capable of stopping it. Thor must embark on a perilous journey that will take him to the darkest part of the nine realms in order to stop the certain destruction of the universe and to save the woman he loves. But this quest will cost Thor more than anything he has ever encountered. And when it is over, he will not be the same.

In this highly anticipated sequel, Marvel sticks to the formula that has made its superhero movies so popular: very good good guys, very bad bad guys, lots of cool fight scenes, and an overabundance of tongue-in-cheek and slapstick humor. And it is still a winning combination. “Thor: The Dark World” delivers all the action, thrills and humor that have come to be expected from a Marvel film.

The main strength of the movie comes from an experienced cast that is capable of turning what typically would be serious situations into humorous ones. Viewers will find themselves laughing through most of the final showdown of good versus evil while the destruction of the universe is just moments away.

The movie’s weakness resides in the lack of complexity of the plot and in the main characters.

Thor (Chris Hemsworth), while having lost some of the childish ignorance portrayed in the first movie, is still stubborn, impulsive and hopelessly in love with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). His actions are predictable as Thor once again runs recklessly into a battle that his father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), the king of Asgard, instructs him not to.

Jane Foster is still smart, pretty, hopelessly in love with Thor and caught in the middle of something way beyond her. It seems that her main role is to be the beauty that motivates Thor to action and not a whole lot more than that.

Odin is still a stubborn old man who is consistently exalted for his wisdom and strength yet always seems to contradict Thor and underestimate the gravity of the situation. He is still critical of Thor’s love for a human and cares primarily about the fate of Asgard over any other realm.

Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), the new villain, or ancient one for the sake of being literal, is just as set on the destruction of Asgard and the universe as any evil power would be. The justification for the destruction is that he was there first.

The one character that seems to contradict this common weakness is Loki (Tom Hiddleston). Loki plays an interesting role in the film because he is not the primary villain as he was in “Thor,” where he was obsessed with obtaining the throne of Asgard, and in “The Avengers,” where he tried to subdue the earth and the human race. His intentions are never what they seem, and when Thor turns to Loki for help, the audience cannot help but wonder what Loki’s intentions truly are.

Despite the shallow plot and characters, the purpose behind “The Dark World” is to entertain, and that it does. Thor swings his hammer as mightily as ever, vanquishing any villain who stands in his way. Critical thinking can be left outside as the cliché but fun good versus evil plot is sure to delight any Marvel superhero fan.

P.S. Don’t miss the obscure scene in the middle of the credits that hints at the likeliness of a sequel.

Erik Johnson is a junior journalism major and sports editor for Cedars. He competes on the cross-country and track teams. Follow him at @edgejohnson49.

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