Thor: The Dark World


Marvel’s Thor returns to the big screen in this latest adaptation and follow up to the first  installment. Directed by Alan Taylor and starring Chris Hemsworth, it follows Thor in his quest to deal with a formidable foe as old as time in order to protect the Earth and the Nine Realms. One of the most eagerly awaited sequels in recent memory, Thor: The Dark World is a marriage of spectacle and fantasy.


Chris Hemsworth
Natalie Portman
Tom Hiddleston
Anthony Hopkins
Stellan Skarsgård
Idris Elba
Christopher Eccleston
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Kat Dennings
Ray Stevenson
Zachary Levi
Tadanobu Asano
Jaimie Alexander
Rene Russo


Alan Taylor


22nd October, 2013


111 minutes


There is an acute problem gnawing away at studio execs these days: The rise of the special effects film. If successful, like Avatar, they can net you more profit than any romcom could ever possibly hope to accumulate.  And if it fails, the financial losses can almost be as spectacular as the imagery in the film. Do you back your fantasy in this summer of terminally underwhelming bigger, better and more grandiose movies? This is a tough question. Marvel’s Thor sequel had been greenlit a considerably long time ago and it is interesting to see if this would have occurred in today’s turbulent times.


Onto the film though. Thor: The Dark World quite predictably involves our hero, Thor trying to save the Earth against some grandiose super villain. Christopher Eccleston plays Malekith, an ancient evil elf that is hell bent on any form of destruction. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) sets the dark elves  on red alert by her brush with Aether, an Elvish weapon and Thor sets out to rescue her from the evil elves. His quest is littered with encounters with a multitude of characters and their exploits.


There is a good cast, all playing bit part roles that seem dragged on and unnecessary. Their exploits are seemingly positioned as a few ounces of humour against the largely grim tone of the film. Much of the film features Thor doing battle in Asgard and the rest of it on Earth. Actors like Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgard and Anthony Hopkins fail to inspire any sort of human interest and settle for just being pawns in the bigger game.


The length is thankfully a mere 112 minutes, and Alan Taylor deserves credit for knowing that incessant hammering for more than two hours or so will result more in headaches than wondrous sighs of amazement at Thor’s incredible and repetitive battles. The climax feels drawn out and has a decent twist. Chris Hemsworth does his best to come up with a rendition of Thor that would in some way inspire human interest but is decidedly average with his stoicness translating to zero human interest.


All this makes Thor a watchable film but nothing special. Indeed the film, whilst not being bad, just feels like one more.  There has been a massive overdose of movies in recent time that have seen the world’s fate hinge on something and it’s not stimulating anymore. Too much of a good thing? Ennui? I’ll let you be the judge.





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