Northeast Times

Thor: The Dark World is action packed, lacks strong storyline

The first in­stall­ment of a su­per­hero series al­ways has it quite easy. It’s usu­ally a fish-out-of-wa­ter tale with a reg­u­lar guy get­ting some su­per­hero powers, fig­ur­ing out how to use those powers and sav­ing the world from some rav­ing lun­at­ic.

What makes the first flick a suc­cess is the cast­ing and act­ing over the story. Get the right per­son in the role (Iron Man and Robert Downey Jr. come to mind), and the fans will keep com­ing back for more. It’s the se­quel where things start to get dicey.

Thor: The Dark World is knee-deep in dicey-ness. But for those go­ing through su­per­hero movie with­draw­als, this will en­ter­tain un­til the next must-see movie comes out. For every­one else, I’d con­sider skip­ping this one and wait­ing for the (hope­fully good) Hun­ger Games se­quel to come out.

The Dark World picks things up where The Avengers left off. In The Avengers, when the Tess­er-act is stolen by the evil Loki (Tom Hid-dle-ston), head of S.H.I.E.L.D. Nick Fury calls in as-sist-ance from a team he has dubbed the Avengers: Iron Man, The In-cred-ible Hulk, Thor (Chris Hems­worth) and Cap-tain Amer-ica to take down Loki.

Loki’s got more than a passing con­nec­tion to Thor: he’s his ad­opt­ive broth­er. Back on their home plan­et of Arsgard for The Dark World, this time the en­emy is Malekith (an un­re­cog­niz­able Chris­toph­er Ec­cle­ston). Malekith is the lead­er of the Dark Elves, a group of weird-look­ing folks who speak in a lan­guage that we need sub­titles to read. Loki has been im­prisoned for his crimes in The Avengers, but Thor needs Loki’s help to take down Malekith and his army who want to des­troy the world us­ing something called the Aether.

Hid­dle­ston’s the reas­on to watch here. He’s clearly hav­ing a lot of fun with the role, but I would have liked to see more of his trick­ery and treach­ery. Hems­worth’s easy on the eyes for sure, but still a little wooden.

The Dark World is dir­ec­ted by Alan Taylor, who doesn’t quite have Ken­neth Branaugh’s (dir­ect­or of the first Thor) Shakespeari­an touch. Aside from a few hu­mor­ous scenes, The Dark World is al­most all non-stop ac­tion. More ac­tion than the first movie means things nev­er really stop to slow down, and that’s a good thing be­cause it kept my at­ten­tion. In that way, this Thor is bet­ter than the first flick, which didn’t have as much ac­tion.

Nat­alie Port­man’s Jane Foster is still the apple of Thor’s eye. She’s been won­der­ing why Thor dis­ap­peared, but she wel­comes him back in her life after he spouts some (ad­mit­tedly val­id) ex­cuses about sav­ing the Nine Realms. Jane has more to do this time, but still man­ages to be for­get­table (both the act­ress and the char­ac­ter). Port­man is a great act­ress, and I yearn to see her in more movies like The Pro­fes­sion­al, V for Ven­detta or Black Swan. Thor just seems like an easy paycheck. Jane Foster is no Lois Lane or Mary Jane Wat­son. She’s lack­ing the heat with Thor that makes me not really care about a ro­mance between them.

Thor is more ap­peal­ing along­side the oth­er Avengers. As a stan­dalone char­ac­ter, I am not all that in­ter­ested in his story. Maybe it’s one of those stor­ies you already need to be in­ves­ted in through hav­ing read the com­ic books. ••

Movie Grade: B

You can reach at shorbrook@bsmphilly.com.

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