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Thor: The Dark World

Marvel Studio films that are part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have always felt like a small piece of a larger puzzle, and while the majority of them stand fairly well on their own, others feel more like a necessary stepping stone in the chain of events. Thor: The Dark World feels more like the latter, but still has enough material to keep things entertaining.

After the events in The Avengers, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) returns to Asgard where he helps in keeping the peace across the Nine Realms. Meanwhile back on Earth Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) is trying to move on with her life only to be reeled back in when strange anomalies start happening in London that create portals to who knows where. After accidentally falling into one of these portals, Jane is transported to the Dark World where she inadvertently awakens a dangerous artifact known as the Aether. With the location of the Aether now revealed, the malicious Dark Elf Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) awakes from suspended animation to retrieve the artifact and plunge all nine realms into darkness.

Thor: The Dark World gets off to a slow start as it attempts to piece together everything that has happened between films as well as tell Malekith’s backstory with the Aether. There’s a lot of ground to cover. For those accustomed to the high intensity action of past films, it can feel somewhat dull. The real entertainment comes from when Thor and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) team up to take down Malekith.

Hemsworth and Hiddleston have fantastic chemistry, and it’s hilarious to watch them interact and play off each other. There’s a surprising amount of humor in The Dark World, particularly with Loki. He carries himself with a cocky confidence, even in the face of certain death he still manages to find the time to mock Thor and his methods. It’s actually refreshing to see Loki fighting alongside Thor, rather against him, although he still has a few of his usual tricks up his sleeve.

When Thor finally does face off against Malekith and his Dark Elves in the heart of downtown London it’s entertaining. Malekith doesn’t appear all that menacing, especially when compared to past villains, but the film makes it work with a fine blend of humor and action that fits well.

Thor has never been one of Marvel Studio’s cornerstone characters and so it’s not that surprising that Thor: The Dark World isn’t that strong of a film when compared to the others in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s still good and definitely worth watching on its own merit, but feels more like a stepping stone film that’s preparing fans for something bigger and better to come. Besides, I think it’s impossible to have a bad film when Tom Hiddleson’s Loki is involved.

Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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