In the aftermath of the wildly successful “The Avengers” and “Iron Man 3”, “Thor: The Dark World” holds up to the rest of the Marvel universe and gives audiences exactly what they pay for. Following the incidents of New York in “The Avengers”, “The Dark World” picks up with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and his Asgardian friends restoring balance to the nine realms while his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) sits in a prison cell. An evil presence called the “aether”, an anti-matter substance capable of great destruction, awakens the evil Malekith (Chris Eccleston) and possesses Thor’s love interest, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). Malekith wants to use the aether to destroy the universe and return it to the darkness that it once was.
“The Dark World” is heavy in mythological backstory, and seems a little too complex for its demographic at first. But as the film progresses, the storyline makes much more sense and becomes the riveting superhero movie as expected. The film seems to have something for everyone, with some sci-fi intricacies about quantum physics and portals to new dimensions, a reunited romance with Thor and Jane, some witty humor, and brilliant sass from everyone’s favorite villain, Loki. The detailed effects in 3D are impressive, especially in the Asgardian realm. The entire cast shares such a chemistry that no lines or actions seem out of place and the scenes flow together really well. The best example of this is when Thor and friends are attempting to sneak Jane Foster out of Asgard, and the action cuts back and forth from planning and executing the escape seamlessly.
“The Dark World” handles much like every other Marvel film with some predictability, but still manages to keep fresh and tell a new story. However, it still follows the archetype of CGI action fight scenes and an epic final battle complete with a race against time. Like “Iron Man 3,” the film acknowledges the incidents of New York and The Avengers incredibly well without letting it overshadow the film, giving the audience subtle references to appreciate. The film moves slowly at first, but once Loki is introduced, the ball really gets rolling. Hiddleston delivers completely, portraying the misguided brother with the same wit and precision that we know and love.
“The Dark World” is a respectable sequel to the original Thor, and a decent follow up to the rest of the Marvel universe. There IS a scene at the end of the credits, along with a promise that Thor will return.
“Thor: The Dark World” is rated PG-13 for some intense sci-fi action and violence, and some suggestive content.