Film review: Thor: The Dark World
25th October 2013
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★★★★☆The Walt Disney Company is really putting a lot of effort into turning out the big-screen Marvel features. It barely seems like yesterday that I was reviewing the rather awful third instalment in the Iron Man series. Just six months on, we have another feature that feels like a sequel to 2012’s Avengers Assemble (though is officially a sequel to Kenneth Branagh’s Thor, released in 2011). Thor: The Dark World is tremendously enjoyable. It has its weaknesses (what film hasn’t), and there are big issues with plotting (a long-running problem with Marvel adaps) but this is a much stronger entry into the canon than anything the studio has churned out in the past couple of years. Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor has a lot of fun with the material. He has a lovebale Norse God (played by the adorable Chris Hemsworth), a bunch of feisty human heroes (Natalie Portman, Kat Dennings, Stellan Starsgard), and two terrific villains in the form of Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and an evil elf-guy (Christopher Eccleston). To simplify an occasionally muddled plot, the Eccleston elf-guy and his pointy-eared friends want to mess stuff up in Asgard which also leads to complications on Earth. Of course, Earth is home to Thor’s human love interest (Portman), so he isn’t too happy about this. Things get even more intense when he asks his nasty brother (Hiddleston) to help him fight the bad elf. If this sounds like nonsense to you, don’t worry, you are not wrong. It is nonsense, but it all fits together in such an entertaining way it really doesn’t matter. There is such a rich flare for fun in this film that the weaknesses barely even hit home. After the annoying wise-cracks that littered Iron Man 3, it’s terrific to get a script that has the confidence to be funny without being smug.
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