Thor, the Mighty Avenger, returns in his third outing in as many years. His latest installment derives plot strands from Thor and like Iron man 3, deals with the residual effect of Avengers Assemble.
With Loki imprisoned in the dungeons of Asgard, Thor strives along with his loyal comrades Lady Sif and the Warriors Three to maintain equilibrium across the nine realms. However, unbeknownst to Asgard, an old nemesis resurfaces in the form of the dark elves. Circumstances dictate Thor to forge an unlikely alliance with the captive Loki, in order to prevent an impending cataclysm.
Directing duties change hands from Kenneth Branagh to Alan Taylor. A television veteran, Taylor has experience with shows such as Lost, The Sopranos and recently, Game of Thrones. It is that background which serves him well in this instance.
He excels in making personalities with demi-god status more relatable, both in triumph and loss. All things affiliated with Asgard exhibits more authenticity. Furthermore, the characters are grounded in reality and the sequel delves deeper into the intricate relationships between characters than its predecessor.
Chris Hemsworth is an admirable physical and emotional embodiment of the Norse deity. Tom Hiddleston is able to delineate grey shades in another accomplished performance as the nefarious Loki. While the latter may garner plaudits for his portrayal, Hemsworth shines as the eponymous warrior as well.
While Thor was ostracized to earth in the first movie, the roles are now reversed and Jane Foster, played by Natalie Portman, is taken to Asgard. Portman is afforded a more substantial role and is pivotal to proceedings. All in all, she does well as Thor’s star struck love interest. Doctor Who alum Christopher Eccleston portrays the implacable Malekith, a dark elf hell bent on seeking retaliation. While he delivers a menacing threat, assuring higher stakes for Thor, ultimately Malekith is tantamount to a generic and one-dimensional antagonist.
The highlight of The Dark World is undoubtedly its humour. The blue print is akin to Iron Man 3 and the director is able to balance the comic relief with dramatic sequences. Secondly, the Thor and Loki dynamic is a thrill for viewers. Their collective charisma ensures some of the movie’s better sequences. Moreover, the action and visual effects, in keeping with other Marvel movies, are exquisite. Battles are well executed and expansive, particularly the swashbuckling finale. Last but not least, the story arcs for both Thor and Loki culminate in an emotionally satisfying manner.
The film is not without its loopholes though. At a running time of only 112 minutes, events unfold at breakneck speed, which may feel like several scenes have been over-edited. Ultimately, the sequel is bigger than its precursor in terms of scale and provides an engaging movie going experience.