The Mighty Thor returns to theaters on November 8 with ‘Thor: The Dark World.’ Is it better than the first?
With director Alan Taylor (HBO’s Game of Thrones) stepping in for Kenneth Branagh, ‘Thor’ has a whole new look and is likely to give fans plenty of reason to visit theaters this weekend.
Already off to a record opening overseas, ‘Thor: The Dark World’ should easily hammer the box office competition in the United States this weekend. If it grosses less than $100 million over the Veteran’s day Holiday…I’ll be shocked.
The sequel has a much larger scope in terms of visuals and more narrative drama than the original film from 2011. While ‘Thor’ was a diverting origin story leading up to ‘The Avengers,’ it’s sequel is a superior movie in many regards.
Having established the characters and their relationships in the first film, ‘Thor: The Dark World’ has been freed to fully realize the realm of Asgard and deliver a complete story this time around.
‘Thor: The Dark World’ begins with our heroes fighting to restore balance to the Nine Realms. It seems that some of the events from ‘The Avengers’ have left the balance of good and evil askew.
As balance is restored, a cosmic convergence bridges a gap between worlds which will awaken an ancient evil and reunite Thor with his Earthly love, Jane Foster.
The surviving members of a forgotten race of Dark Elves, led by Malekith, are determined to harness the “Aether.” Malekith intends to unleash this ancient destructive force upon all of the Nine Realms and plunge the universes back into an age of darkness.
The origin film was well-made, but light in tone, and with most of the action taking place on Earth. ‘Thor: The Dark World’ is a more serious film than its predecessor. There exist genuine moments of loss and of love that were lacking in the first film.
Most of the film happens in the fully realized realm of Asgard. The visuals are fantastic, as we become immersed in the spectacular Asgardian world.
The cast: Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Tom Hiddleston (Loki), Natalie Portman (Jane Foster), Anthony Hopkins (Odin), Rene Russo (Queen Frigga), Idris Elba (Heimdall), and Christopher Eccleston (Malekith) are an impressively assembled group that fills their roles nicely.
Hiddleston’s ‘Loki’ offers the lighter moments in ‘Thor: The Dark World’ which should please fans, as well. Whereas ‘The Avengers’ suffered by having Loki as its main villain, ‘The Dark World’ smartly uses him as an ancillary villain.
‘Thor: The Dark World’ is highly enjoyable. There’s plenty of heroic action, a good amount of sly humor, and the feeling that this Marvel franchise has found its voice.
From the beautiful visuals to the unexpectedly more mature dramatic elements, this sequel surpasses the original in nearly every way.
Flixnerd Rating: ★★★★☆