Monday, November 18, 2013

Movie: Thor, The Dark World 2013

Thor, The Dark World picks up where the first movie left off. But first movie goers are given the backstory to this installment in the Thor franchise. Long ago there was a mighty battle between Odin's father, Bor, and the dark elf, Malekith, who wished to unleash a terrible weapon called the Aether, on the world in order to return it to darkness. Bor defeated Malekith who escapes and the Aether is buried deep, hopefully forever.

It is a year later and because Thor and his men had to deal with the Bifrost and the Frost Giants of Jotunheim, they have spent the last year cleaning up rebellion and evil in the other Nine Realms. Against the advice of his father, Odin, Thor continues to pine for the Earth woman, astrophysicist, Dr. Jane Foster. Odin tells Thor he must accept his responsibilities as heir to the throne and look to Sif as a companion.

Meanwhile in London, Jane who is out on a date has her evening interrupted by her intern, Darcy Lewis, who tells her that something strange is going on. Darcy takes Jane, along with her intern, Ian, to an abandoned factory where the laws of physics do not seem to be functioning properly. Children who discovered the anomaly demonstrate to Jane and Darcy how items seem to disappear. After wandering off on her own in the warehouse, Jane disappears for five hours and finds herself in some strange world (possibly the home of the Dark Elves) which contains the buried Aether. There she is infected with the Aether which causes her to black out and then she is transported back to Earth.

Back on Asgard, Odin and Thor learn that a rare event known as the Convergence will soon take place in which all Nine Realms will align. At this time, Heimdall, the gatekeeper to Asgard tells Thor that he can no longer see Jane. Deeply concerned, Thor goes to Earth where he discovers that she has some kind of power contained within her. Thor takes Jane to Asgard, but the Asgardians do not know what the energy is that infects her. Odin, however does, as he recognizes the Aether that his father fought against so long ago.

Thor must work together with his brother Loki.
Jane's absorption of the Aether has caused Malekith to awaken and he sets out for Asgard to reclaim it. After causing tremendous destruction in Asgard, Malekith flees injured but without attaining the Aether.

Thor realizes that he must rid Jane of the Aether and at the same time lure Malekith and destroy both him and the Aether. He concocts a plan but in order to make it work, he needs the help of his brother, Loki, who is currently banished to the underground prison for life. With the Convergence due anytime, Thor must prevent Malekith from obtaining the Aether and subsequently using it to turn all Nine Realms - including Earth - to darkness.

As usual Thor, The Dark World is filled with heart-pounding action right from the beginning starting with the battles between Bor and Malekith, to those on Vanaheim, to the surprise attack on Asgard and onwards to the final confrontation between Malekith and Thor in London. But scattered throughout the action sequences are moments of comic relief that are well done and well placed, making this movie one that doesn't take itself too seriously.

This film which was directed by Alan Taylor, is well cast, with Chris Hemsworth as a muscular, imposing Thor, Christopher Eccelston as the evil dark elf, Malekith, bent on revenge, and Tom Hiddleston as the mischievous Loki. In fact, Hiddleston completely steals the spotlight in this movie. He has mastered the character of Loki, always a trickster with a twist up his sleeve. The audience is in the same situation as Loki's brother, Thor - we don't know what to believe when it comes to Loki!

The dark elves are suitably creepy with their eyeless masks, and Algrim, Malekith's right hand man and monster, is pure evil. Natalie Portman's performance is adequate, as she tries to help Thor defeat his powerful adversary and save Earth and the other realms. However, there is very little chemistry between Portman and Hemsworth, which leaves viewers wondering if the Jane Foster character is just a vehicle to incorporate Earth into the storyline.

Recommended for anyone who enjoys comic book heroes and plenty of action! Enjoy the trailer if you haven't yet seen it and then go see the movie!

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