Thor: The Dark World: An IMAX 3D Experience (12A)

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Action (2013)
113mins US

Starring: Idris Elba, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Kat Dennings, Chris Hemsworth, Chris O'Dowd, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston
Director: Alan Taylor
Writer(s): Christopher L Yost, Stephen McFeely, Christopher Markus
Listings: London | Rest of UK and Ireland

A year has passed since Thor joined The Avengers and the crown prince of Asgard faces a primal race called the Malekith. Odin and the combined forces of Asgard are unable to repel the onslaught so Thor descends to terra firma and reunites with his sweetheart Jane. They embark on a perilous quest to defeat the Malekith and unthinkably, Thor must rebuild bridges with his nefarious adoptive brother Loki, who could be the difference between hard-fought victory and crushing defeat.

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LondonNet Film Review
Thor: The Dark World

Big and muscular as its titular hammer-swinging hunk, and equally short on sparkling repartee, Thor: The Dark World is a sequel-by-numbers that slots neatly into the ever expanding Marvel Comics universe...

Thor: The Dark World. Walt Disney Studios Motion PicturesThere are verbal references to yesteryear's The Avengers, a cameo by one of Thor's fellow superheroes and a teaser during the end credits that introduces The Collector (Benicio Del Toro), who figures prominently in next summer's Guardians Of The Galaxy. If nothing else - and there isn't much else - Alan Taylor's film is a master-class in brand recognition. The Dark World squanders the strongest actors including Tom Hiddleston as arch-villain Loki in order to focus on the miasma of slick digital effects. Screenwriters Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeeley bamboozle us with their cod-science, spinning a fantastical yarn about an alignment of worlds every 5000 years which allows "an ancient darkness to strike."

The Dark Elves of Svartalfheim led by Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) and second-in-command Algrim (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) intend to unleash a fluid called the Aether, which will plunge the Nine Realms into eternal gloom. Throwing a spanner in the works, astrophysicist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) has been exposed to the swirling gelatinous goo, which now courses through her veins. Thus, Malekith and his hench-elves launch an assault on Asgard, where Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has concealed Jane in the hope that his father Odin (Sir Anthony Hopkins) can extract the Aether from his sweetheart. When that glimmer of hope is snuffed out, the crown prince of Asgard turns to his nefarious adoptive brother, Loki (Hiddleston), for help. Meanwhile, back on Earth, Jane's mentor Dr Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard), colleague Darcy (Kat Dennings) and intern Ian (Jonathan Howard) prepare for Armageddon as realms collide with cataclysmic consequences.

Thor: The Dark World ricochets noisily between action, comedy and romance, punctuating set pieces with deadpan humour like when Thor accidentally destroys an ancient statue of Bor and Loki quips, "Well done, you just decapitated your grandfather!" A couple of plot twists, including the miraculous resurrection of one key character, cause almost as much head-scratching as the use of wormholes to travel between the Nine Realms. Hemsworth swings his hammer with gusto but there's no obvious sexual chemistry with Portman, and Eccleston's chief villain doesn't have sufficient screen time to become more than a minor irritation. Considering the hundreds of hours and millions of dollars invested in the sequel, it's depressing that small details have been overlooked. When Thor crashes onto the platform of Charing Cross Underground station and asks a female commuter, "How do I get to Greenwich?", she chirps, "Take this train, three stops." Evidently the passenger is dazzled by the beefcake's flowing locks and rippling chest because the Northern Line doesn't pass anywhere near his intended destination. Mind the plot gap.

- Sam Cannon

Thor: The Dark World. Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

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