Director:  Alan Taylor
Writers: Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Christopher Eccleston and Anthony Hopkins
Studio: Marvel Studios/Disney

“Thor: The Dark World” is a reminder of what sequels can and can’t be. While building upon the framework of the first film, “The Dark World” asks a lot of casual viewers. It demands that you understand the Odinson family dynamic. Suddenly, you have to deeply care for Frigga’s love of her adopted Loki. Thor is being groomed for the throne since Loki’s now in basement jail. But, Thor keeps pining for Natalie Portman. Honestly, I don’t blame the guy. But, there’s other stuff going on.

Taking a much needed page from Walt Simonson’s classic run, we are introduced to Malekith and the Dark Elves. We watch as Bor (Grandfather Odinson) defeats them and steals their infinity gem. Naturally, he flings it to Earth in a giant rock. Eons pass and it’s discovered by Portman and Big Hootered Girl from CBS. This one’s called the Aether, but it’s the Power Gem from the Infinity Gauntlet. Now, we’ve got the Mind Gem (The Tesseract from The Avengers) and this red rock in play. It’s almost enough to give The Collector a throblem. Don’t worry, Benecio Del Toro shows up during the mid credits right when you’re trying to leave for a quick piss.

Oh well, back to the action. Frigga gets stabbed to death by Kurse. Malekith gets his face fried and thus we enter the revenge mode of the film. Thor and Loki team up to pull shenanigans on the Dark Elves’ home realm. Meanwhile, the Warriors Three get their one moment to do something on camera. Everyone has a good chuckle until Loki gets off Thor’s hand. Did I mention the black hole grenades? Apparently, Dark Elves get to pack black hole grenades or dark matter bombs. People die, shoes are tossed between dimensions and Dr. Erik Selvig sports no pants.

Are you winded yet? Well, that’s what this movie feels like. It’s a small child discovering Thor for the first time and then screaming how awesome everything is into your face. Narrative coherence turns to shit pudding at the midpoint, but an ending is remembered in time for the Marvel credit scenes. While I appreciate the humor in the movie, not everything has to be setup for a laugh. Explain more shit and give us a reason to fear the Dark Elves and the Aether. All I got out of it was, you can suck it into you and become invincible until you burn out. In that sense, it’s Space Extremis.

I would criticize the film, but it doesn’t matter. I saw it twice and I know most of the readers will see it more than I will. That being said, I’ll ruin the credits scenes for people with small bladders.

Scene 1:

Sif and Volstagg venture to The Collector’s random Star Trek (1966) set to give him the Aether. The Collector decides to use this gem to steal the other Infinity Gems. Look in the background to see the Adam Warlock cocoon.

Scene 2:

Huge ice monster still trapped on Earth tries to eat birds and destroy the outskirts of London. But, Thor gets to return and drop his Little Mjolnir down on sweet lady Portman. No effort is made to stop giant ice monster. I’m assuming it ended up eating children until it was humanely destroyed by SHIELD.

RELEASE DATE: 11/08/2013


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