Alan Taylor – of Mad Men and Game of Throne’s (directorial) fame – directs this (post-Avengers) sequel to Kenneth Branagh’s surprisingly superb and quirky film Thor. In a nutshell Thor: The Dark World tells the story of the reawakening of some demon elf type of creatures that want to destroy all of creation and return it to its non-existent/pre-existent state with the aid of some red and powerful energy force named the ‘Aether.’
Thor (played by Home and Away’s Chris Hemsworth) must go against his father, Anthony Hopkins’, wishes and free his mean brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) from Asgard’s dungeons in order to save the universe from total deconstruction/destruction (with the help of Natalie Portman’s character, Jane Foster – and her team of scientifically–inclined nerds too of course!)
I was really hoping Dark World would be a thoroughly enjoyable lark (which managed to maintain the original film’s sense of humour and odd, 80’s-feel) but it didn’t quite deliver. Portman is almost terrible (her lack of desire to be in the film entirely palpable from the get-go) and, at times, it even seemed that Hopkins’ was phoning in his performance too.
That said, Hemsworth and Hiddleston picked up the flack enough for the movie to stomp along and it is truly their performances, coupled with several, successfully humorous sections (hello Chris O’Dowd…you cheeky monkey!) that helped to sustain the movie’s watchability. Visually it’s decent too – although no need to see it in 3D (and one or two scenes in London with the evil elves running around felt a bit too close to Doctor Who territory for me).
Verdict: It’ll pass the time nicely if you’ve nothing better to do (but it’s really a bit of a filler flick until Avengers 2 arrives on the scene and it’s certainly not on par with Branagh’s first instalment).
Thor: The Dark World goes on general release tomorrow, November 1st