Out of all the Avengers, Thor has had it pretty bad after the events in New York – not only is he denied a chance to reunite with his love interest Jane Foster but he had to stop his (adopted) brother from taking over Earth with an alien race – no wonder it is hard for him to crack a smile. After being in production for over two years and numerous directorial changes, curiosity has been brewing about the return of Thor, once again played by Chris Hemsworth, especially after seeing the post-Avengers effects Tony Stark suffered in Iron Man 3.
Thor: The Dark World sees the eponymous hero attempt to restore peace across the Nine Realms, but faces a new threat in the form of Malekith The Accursed (Christopher Eccleston), ruler of the Dark Elves. With Malekith out for long-awaited revenge against Asgard, Thor reunites with Jane Foster (Portman) and reluctantly teams up with his imprisoned brother Loki (Hiddleston) to defeat him before he can bring the apocalypse across the universe.
It is interesting to see Thor as the second focal character post-Avengers; seeing as his brother is the one responsible for the events in New York, you would think that he would be the one most emotionally-affected. Instead, Thor is a more focused character, choosing not to dwell on personal matters but stick to his obligation to wrong the rights across the Nine Realms without a second thought about his swiftly imprisoned brother. This shift in character, compared to the traumatised Stark in Iron Man 3, almost lessens its emotional edge and because of one too many twists and turns, certain plot devices are not as effective.
However, considering the first film is quite serious in terms of plot and character development, this one has much more humour. Probably due to the undeniable chemistry between Hemsworth and Hiddleston (now evidently comfortable in their respective roles), the brotherly witty banter shines whenever the two are on-screen together. As pivotal as her role is for most of this film, Portman unfortunately didn’t have much to do by the final act, when serious-minded Eccleston takes up most of the action towards the film’s climax.
One standout point about Thor: The Dark World is how it effectively promotes the UK as a prime film location – through its grounded humour on London transport and the comedic highlights filmed in key spots around the country, kudos to director Taylor and producer Kevin Feige for making London more than the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament.
Regardless of the numerous plot twists, there are brilliant jokes and great fights, Thor: The Dark World is a fitting sequel for post-Avengers action.
Thor: The Dark World is out in UK cinemas on Wednesday 30th October.
Director: Alan Taylor
Stars:Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Christopher Eccleston
Runtime: 112 min