5 November 2013

Thor: The Dark World

This autumn Marvel brings us yet another spectacular 3D adventure, focusing on no other than the God of thunder - Thor. After not enjoying Avengers Assemble as much as I'd like to, I was in two minds about the second instalment from this superhero. Albeit, I soon realised that this is easily one of the best Avenger films thus far.  Opposed to offering us a standard action packed flick, which is in fear of overflowing with special effects, we have something much more.

We are back on Asgard - homeland of the Norse Gods where everything seems fine and dandy with devious half brother Loki finally behind bars. Yet our lovely blonde haired Thor, with a physique that resembles a divine being (Chris Hemsworth: Thor, Cabin in the Woods, Rush) is still caught up on the very human, quirky scientist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman: Black Swan, Closer, V for Vendetta). Thor thinks that his (and indeed the realms) only problem is locked away, however an ancient enemy of Asgards awaken. As the Dark Elves embark on Asgard, their leader Malekith is as ruthless as ever. Performed flawlessly by Christopher Eccleston (Dr. Who, 28 Days Later) despite all his lines being in a made up alien language and undergoing a hefty amount of prosthetics. This threat Odin thought had been eliminated years before, throws this sci-fantasy completely off course. This dark force who's intent on bringing darkness to every corner of the universe, including the world of the astrophysicist love interest, results in Thor (and his hammer), having to trust the mischievous Loki in order to prevent this. 

Taking a step back from the ever talented collaboration of Joss Whedon and Kenneth Baragrah (Buffy, The Avengers), veteran director Alan Taylor puts his flare to Thor: The Dark World. Known for his work on the popular series Game of Thrones, Taylor gives us something quite sinister, yet like Game of Thrones, balanced with tongue in cheek exchanges. He delivers a film that will keep die-hard comic fans happy with certain throw backs to the original strips; whilst providing comic relief. Ensuring us that these guys can have fun and that they aren't taking their god-like status's too seriously! Writers Christopher Vost, Chris Markus and Steve Mcfeeling all deserve a mention, not forgetting Stan Lee himself who all contributed to this truly entertaining script. We have endless one liners that will make you chuckle, not forgetting a special guest appearance by another one of your favourite Avengers (spoilers!). Through all the chaos and destruction of earth and Asgard equally, we have a satisfying break from really epic battle scenes. We have a more personal, man on man (or god on elf) approach which works beautifully on screen, allowing the viewer to take in every move. With most of the cast reprising their roles, this cast really does speak for itself. The performances given hit the nail on the head with such names as Stellan Skargard (Good Will Hunting, Dogville) playing the lack-of-trouser wearing physicist Erik Selvig alongside Kat Dennings (2 Broke Girls, 40 year old Virgin) with her crazy, nerdy persona of Darcy Lewis. Additionally, Chris Hemsworth and Tim Hiddleson bring charisma and charm that shines through their inevitable sibling rivalry with Natalie Portman comfortable in her role - all of which add to the enjoyment of this narrative.

With special effects that would have looked just as stunning in 2D, the overall look of this film is exactly what you would expect from an Avengers escapade. This two hour epic will keep you enthralled throughout whether you are just going to get out the house or as a comic fan. Alan Taylor has certainly shown the world of cinema what he is capable of. One I shall watch again, indefinitely.

Directed by Alan Taylor

120mins, 12A (2013)

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