The mighty Thor (Chris Hemsworth) returns to Earth for a smash and grab in Thor: The Dark World.

The mighty Thor (Chris Hemsworth) returns to Earth for a smash and grab in Thor: The Dark World.

Reel Reviews: It’s hammer time again

Thor: The Dark World is as fun, and maybe even better, than its predecessor.

  • Nov. 15, 2013 8:00 p.m.

Keeping the nine realms peaceful has kept Thor (Chris Hemsworth) busy for the two years since we saw him last.

He and the armies of his home world Asgard have had to quell a rebellion of Dark Elves led by Malekith (Christopher Eccleston.) The Dark Elves threaten to bring darkness to the galaxy by unleashing an ancient weapon known as the Aether.

Back on Earth, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) pines for Thor and studies the same, strange vortex anomalies that led to Thor’s arrival on Earth in the first film. When she accidentally transports herself to the secret hiding spot of the Aether, she becomes the bearer of its power and the centre of a battle to save the galaxy.

We say, “It’s a smitey good time.”

HOWE: I’m starting to get suckered into liking these comic book movies. I’ve always enjoyed the Batman films just because they’re a little darker than the norm. Thor: The Dark World has that plus a few funny lines dotted throughout and I felt it was on par with the first one.

TAYLOR: I think it’s better than the original. This sequel seems to have taken the best aspects of the Thor franchise and tweaked them slightly to create something more of this world than Thor’s hammer. For instance, the language Thor uses, the olde world, Shakespearean lines have been tamed somewhat. The fighting that takes place when hand to hand, or hand to hammer as it were, is a mix of modern and other-worldly medieval: swords are made of light, spears shoot lasers, the Dark Elves’ spacecraft glow and spin despite looking like they’re made of rock and shouldn’t fly at all. The look of the film is effective; the visual effects are top notch.

HOWE: And we didn’t watch it in 3D either and to be truthful, I don’t think you should blow the extra $3 on it. Buy yourself a tiny pop or candy instead. As for the overall look, it’s a bit of a mishmash of other movies, but works well. For example take Thor’s home planet of Asgard: It could be from Lord of The Rings with the laser show from Star Trek and the Dark Elves are just men running around in bad-looking Cybermen knockoffs. The latter being my only complaint of the movie.

TAYLOR: It was fun to see Loki (Tom Hiddleston) get out of his cell for a while. The banter between he and his brother, Thor, made for some laughs. Their love/hate relationship continues to please audiences. There is also a tiny bit of romance (very tiny), and quite a lot of drama in the film, but on the whole, I think this film is more action packed than the first.

Thor: The Dark World also ties into the other films in the Marvel universe, past and presumably future. For instance, Thor gets slapped in the face by Jane Foster upon his return; once for not coming back and then again because she saw him on TV in New York helping the Avengers save the Earth from Loki’s wrath.

– Howe gives Thor: The Dark World 4 car keys out of 5.

– Taylor gives it 3.5 scientist’s pants out of 5.

Peter Howe and Brian Taylor are film reviewers based in Vernon, B.C.