The Review: Following on from the battle of New York, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is now back on Asgard, pining for Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and fighting to bring peace to the Nine Realms, which are slowly descending into all out war, Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is firmly banged up in the dungeons for – well -previously trying to take over the Earth and causing whole sale destruction in the Avengers (2012) , meanwhile a new enemy appears on the scene in the form of the Dark Elves, lead by the evil Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) who is hell-bent on possessing the deadly Aether – a powerful energy that can destroy Asgard and the entire universe along with it.
By now everyone has their favourite Marvel movie character – be it Robert Downey JR’s Iron Man, Chris Evans’ Captain America or Sam Jackson as Nick Fury – all of them very good, but mine has always been Thor.
A sort of cross between Gladiator’s Maximus and Henry V, we first met him in Ken Branagh’s superb 2011 blockbuster, as an immature, insufferably arrogant oaf, then wonderfully (and at times hilariously) transformed into a rock solid, charismatic hero, better still he was expertly played by Chris Hemsworth – who seems to have been born for the role.
In 2012 Joss Whedon did the impossible and managed to pull off the Avengers -further expanding the character of Thor and blending him in expertly with Tony Stark, Cap, The Hulk et al – the result was one of the greatest super hero movies ever made.
Our favourite Asgardian returns with Thor: The Dark World – the 2nd in Marvels “Phase 2” series of comic book adaptations concentrating on Stan lee’s titular Avengers characters (the other being 2013’s Iron Man 3).
Directed by Game Of Thrones Alan Taylor, and featuring nearly all of the original films cast, I am very pleased to say that it is extremely good indeed.
Featuring a fantastic opening battle, a decent plot , exciting action sequences (the Dark Elves assault on Asgard is a standout) plus some very good performances from Hemsworth, Hiddleston and the returning Anthony Hopkins as Odin – it doesn’t quite reach the heights of Joss Whedon’s super hero mash up – but it comes pretty close.
Of course, no film is perfect – Natalie Portman is a bit weedy as Jane Foster, the final London set showdown between Thor and Malekith seems clumsily handled, it certainly isn’t as funny as Ken Branagh’s 2011 original and, despite the much publicised rewrites to boost his character’s screen time, there simply isn’t enough of the quite brilliant Tom Hiddleston as Loki – who certainly deserves his own standalone movie by now.
With the massive success of this film, plus the billion dollar grossing Avengers and Iron Man 3, Marvel is certainly on a very good run – indeed DC Comics must be pulling their hair out by now -they seemed to peak with the Dark Knight Trilogy and all they seem to be able to do now is produce mediocre fare like The Green Lantern and last years (admittedly pretty good) Man Of Steel. Even the planned and oft delayed Justice League movie now seems like its going to be just a poor second to 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron and this years Guardians Of The Galaxy – one can only hope that Messrs’ Snyder and Nolan can pull it out of the bag with Superman vs Batman – due for release in 2016 – but I have my doubts.
Thor 2 is released on DVD and Blu Ray on 24th February, I would highly recommend it.
Reviewed By: Will Strong
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