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Marvel’s "Thor: The Dark World" continues the adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself. In the aftermath of Marvel’s "Thor" and "Marvel’s The Avengers," Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos...but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. To defeat an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor sets upon his most dangerous and personal journey yet, forced into an alliance with the treacherous Loki to save not only his people and those he loves…but our universe itself.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 240
- Fresh: 159
- Rotten: 81
- Average Rating: 6.2/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Rotten: Dancing above a leaden plot and lumpy dialogue, Mr. Hiddleston moves his fine-boned features and graceful body, as if what he were doing matters; he seems imported from a quite different movie.
Fresh: A wildly uneven but entertaining sequel to one of Marvel Comics' most enduring franchises.
Fresh: Thor: The Dark World is a good model of how superheroes can save the world without forced gravitas, and have fun doing it.
Fresh: The character, and the actor, need some variety, with Thor: The Dark World doing just enough to keep Marvel's increasingly unwieldy construction in motion before The Avengers' 2015 reunion.
The God of Thunder has never been smarter, stronger and weaker?!
'Thor: The Dark World' is 2013’s comic book movie breather, especially after the disappointing villain of 'Iron Man 3', unbalanced action of 'Man of Steel' and the overloaded humor of 'Red 2'. In his second solo movie, Thor must embark on his most physically and emotionally challenging quest yet where he will be reunited with Jane Foster and sacrifice everything to save us all from an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand. The enemy being these Dark Elves who, to get straight to it, just want to watch Asgard burn.
After seeing his abilities in his first solo movie and 'The Avengers', how could Thor be any less...well...Thor? His strength constantly increases and decreases in this sequel and although many thought Thor’s weakening powers were annoying, I actually found this aspect pretty fascinating. You get to witness a different side of him, proving that even gods have weak spots.
He is also stronger this time, for he finally accepts the fact that his adopted brother, Loki, is nothing more than an evil trickster. However, Loki happens to be one of this blockbuster's major highlights. Along with Natalie Portman and Kat Dennings, he creates some of the most memorable humor in the entire movie. He's also just as fantastic of a villain here as he was in 'The Avengers'.
For the time being, 'Thor: The Dark World' is my favorite post-Avengers Marvel movie and my favorite comic book movie of 2013. It’s bigger, better, funnier and a lot more entertaining than I thought it would be and contains an unbelievably exciting cliffhanger.
An Uneven But Exciting Follow-On to Thor's Journey!
Now that Marvel is beginning to conclude its "Avengers" series, the action is becoming more intense, the characters more complex, and the stories better than ever before. This said, there was little doubt in my mind that Thor, the team's biggest outsider, was going to have quite an exciting sequel to his earlier adventures, and thankfully this was the case in "Thor: The Dark World."
The story takes off immediately after "The Avengers," when Thor (Chris Hemsworth) presents his traitorous brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to their father Odin (Anthony Hopkins), who orders Loki spend the rest of his life in the dungeons for his crimes against Earth. Thor, instead of returning to Earth or remaining in Asgard, quickly leaves to participate in the final battle that will bring peace to the Nine Realms. Meanwhile, Dr. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) is trying to come to terms with Thor's continuing absence, particularly wondering why he did not try to find her after saving New York. While observing a scientific phenomenon, she becomes a host to the Aether, a powerful weapon sought by Dark Elves Malakith (Christopher Eccleston) and Algrim (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) to overtake Asgard and bring darkness back to the universe. Desperate to prevent the destruction of the worlds, Thor teams up with a reluctant Loki to save the universe and vanquish the Dark Elves once and for all.
The story, for the most part, was thoroughly engrossing, from the moment Loki is sentenced to life behind bars to the final climatic scene; however, it had its fair share of issues with pacing. While the story was incredible as a whole, there was simply an overwhelming amount of it. There were just too many side plots happening, such as the undeveloped love triangle between Thor, Jane, and Asgardian warrior Sif (Jaimie Alexander) and the antics of Jane's overly sarcastic intern Darcy (Kat Dennings), her own "intern" Ian (Jonathan Howard) and brilliant but crazy scientist Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård). While these plots do come together at the end, there was definitely too much time wasted on scenes that provided a few corny jokes, but nothing else.
But these scenes, thankfully, did not ruin the film, since there were more than enough valuable story lines going towards the central plot. Of these scenes, by far the best were the interactions between Thor and Loki, who has proven time and time again he deserves his own movie. Loki's struggle between choosing to rebuild his relationships with Thor and Odin or permanently betray them is just incredible to watch, and brings the whole movie to a higher level. On another note, the entire film was also enhanced by breathtaking visual effects (the kind I've begun to expect from the masterminds of Marvel) and the gorgeous settings of Asgard and the Nine Realms.
The movie also did extremely well through its cast, an ensemble of both distinguished and underrated actors. Lifting Thor's hammer once again is Chris Hemsworth, bringing to the character a new sense of both courage and confusion, as he struggles to choose between becoming Asgard's king or being able to love Jane and continue his relationships on Earth. Hemsworth, as he has always done, nails Thor's character easily in this film, which is probably one of his best performances yet. Playing opposite Hemsworth is Natalie Portman as the gifted astrophysicist Jane Foster. While Portman's character is still largely undeveloped even at the film's closing, she continues to demonstrate her acting talents in Jane's compassion and intelligence, and this film contributes to her stunning resume of diverse and brilliant movies. But I think I speak for almost everyone when I say that the greatest performance of all was Tom Hiddleston's as Loki. Hiddleston's magic act of making Loki both Marvel's most lovable and villainous character makes him one of the best film supervillains of his time, and the film's extensive devotion to the character gave him plenty of time to demonstrate Loki's sarcasm, wit, and newfound vulnerability regarding his role in Asgard and his relationship with Thor. The villains of the film, Christopher Eccleston as Malakith and Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Algrim/Kurse, were both adequate, certainly not the greatest villains in a Marvel movie but still providing a good contribution to the film's intensity.
As a whole, "Thor: The Dark World" was yet another win for Marvel and its fantastic, phenomenal "Avengers" series, definitely answering some important questions asked by previous movies and laying the groundwork for the much-anticipated "Avengers: Age of Ultron," especially through the bizarre but phenomenal plot twist at the end of this movie!
A FUN, FAST-PACED SEQUEL WITH SOME THRILLING ACTION!
"Thor: The Dark World," much like the original 2011 hit blockbuster that preceded it, continues Marvel's bigger/wilder approach to filmmaking with a mega adventure that leaves us wondering where the studio can possibly go next with these characters. After practically flattening New York in "The Avengers," the mighty Norse god merely ventures forth into a madly funny and thrillingly outrageous escapade that virtually threatens the existence of the whole universe as we know it. But it also strangely feels like a convoluted plot some little kid would make up as they go on. Even so, there's a lot to enjoy in this madcap sequel, as it's chock full of enjoyable characters and wildly cataclysmic events that prove to be greatly entertaining in the long run. Sure, it's not one of Marvel's best, but what it lacks in originality, it more than makes up for in adrenaline-fueled fun!
The action picks up right after the Big Battle of New York, and astrophysicist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) is annoyed that Thor (Chris Hemsworth) never contacted her when he was back on Earth. So when her snarky intern Darcy (Kat Dennings) stumbles upon a big spatial anomaly in London, Jane immediately leaps to investigate the bizarre situation, only to end up finding herself right in the middle of a 5,000-year-old war between Thor's massive home world of Asgard and the dark elf Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), who wants to use a swirling goo called the Aether to plunge all of existence into darkness just as the universe aligns itself. As this huge convergence approaches, Thor defies his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and turns to his disgraced, malicious brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) for help.
The entire film is overcrowded with small but pivotal characters, including stern but helpful gatekeeper Heimdall (Idris Elba), mad doctor Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård), and Odin's wise wife Frigga (Rene Russo). All of them help distract us from the movie's rapidly shifting tone as it darts from big, sardonic comedy to huge "Lord of the Rings"-style battles to silly romance to dark emotion. There are so many moods the story sets in place that it's just a bit frustrating when the flick can't even make up its mind to stick with a single one. Thankfully, that slightly bothersome issue is overshadowed by the tense and unpredictable relationship between Thor and Loki, a solidly enjoyable mixture of sibling rivalry and estranged brotherly love that's enthusiastically played by Hemsworth and especially Hiddleston. Every time these guys are onscreen together, it's a genuinely entertaining fireball of darkly playful laughs and heated emotions that somehow grows more rapidly endearing over the course of the flick. None of the other characters ever really have a chance to fully develop around them (Portman is a feisty damsel in distress, Hopkins is a well-articulated grump, Dennings is the comic relief, Skarsgård is a nutty genius, and so on). But at least the actors have a lot of fun with their roles, including a number of hilarious cameos along the way (there are also two post-credit stings). As for the giant sci-fi visuals, let's just say they practically dominate the majority of the film, and for good reason: they're quite simply some of the most dazzling special effects featured in any big superhero flick in recent memory. Their presence only adds to the high-stakes action and zany spectacle that make this blockbuster such a fun adventure full of great, witty moments.
Yes, this is a massive-scale adventure, and it certainly helps that the outrageously foreboding storyline is constantly undermined by fun amounts of jagged sarcasm and unexpectedly sly wit. We don't even mind that the script is packed with predictable plot devices, including a continual series of holographic double-bluffs and spatial gateway nonsense. All of this solidly combines to create an exhilarating climactic action sequence in London that ramps up the suspense and keeps us on the edge of our seats (even though it's truly next to impossible to make any real sense of it most of the time). Even with its slight narrative missteps, "Thor: The Dark World" is still a satisfying sequel for the Marvel superhero, with Hiddleston deservedly stealing the show more often than not. Whether you loved the first film or just wanna watch some big sci-fi action, this one's well worth your time!