Thor: The Dark World – The mighty avenger returns in a better but darker sequel

     I’ve talked about the rise and control the superhero genre has on Hollywood right now and no other studio has a tighter bear hug around Tinseltown than Marvel Studios. Phase Two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe released its second film last weekend and you all know I had to check it out.

     Thor: The Dark World is the second movie in the planned Thor trilogy and the eighth installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The film picks up a year after the events of The Avengers with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) trying to bring peace to the nine realms. When Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) is put into danger, Thor brings her to Asgard and embarks on his most perilous and personal journey, teaming with his estranged brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to battle an ancient evil, led by the dark elf, Malekith (Christopher Eccleston).
     I thought this movie was better than the first Thor, even though it was not its finest out of the universe. While I wouldn’t go flocking to it like I did with The Avengers, The Dark World does not seem to take itself seriously and a perfect blend of fantasy, romance, science fiction, and action.Thor’s struggles come from his impending rise to the throne as king of Asgard and how ready he feels for that title. In the first film, the God of Thunder seemed overeager to take the throne but, as this character grows, Thor is not so sure that he is ready or wants to rule Asgard. That evolution is what makes Thor more of a likable character to me.His mind is still on Earth and his love for Jane Foster, even though he has responsibilities on Asgard and being observed by Sif (Jaimie Alexander) as more than a fellow warrior. 
     While it’s hard to take an immortal being seem more human, Thor: The Dark World did a better job of it than Man of Steel. The Dark World was grounded by strong performances by Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and the chemistry between the two, but the movie was taken by Tom Hiddleston’s anti-hero, Loki. While I like Thor, I found myself waiting for Loki to appear. Tom Hiddleston did a great job in commanding the God of Mischief as he looks for a purpose after his defeat during the events of The Avengers. The charisma between Hiddleston and Hemsworth made the movie more watchable as their characters’ sibling rivalry took center stage once again while the world is being threatened. Nothing against Oscar-winner Natalie Portman but the Thor-Loki dynamic was more impressive to watch.
     Stunning special effects kept the action going, especially during the final battle between Thor and the villainous dark elf, Malekith, played wonderfully by Christopher Eccleston. The balance between the action, romance, and fantasy was great and not easy to do. Director Alan Taylor does lose his way a little while flashing between Asgard and the other realms along with Earth but did get everything together for the final battle. 
     This sequel seems to be following the current common theme of Phase Two of the MCU, giving audiences a darker tone to their heroes’ adventures. As with all Marvel movies, it’s best to stay seated during and after the credits. I won’t spoil it for my readers but it does a great job in setting up next summer’s Guardians of the Galaxy and the potential for the third Thor film. 
     I hope you all go out to the theaters and enjoy this superhero film. Take care!

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