Thor: The Dark World (2013)

THOR2Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Christopher Eccleston, Kat Dennings, Rene Russo, Anthony Hopkins

Directed by: Alan Taylor

PG-13. 112 mins

An uneven, yet entertaining sequel that retains the humour of it’s predecessor without skimping on the action. The story of Thor continues as he finds himself pitted against a an ancient, shadowy enemy that threatens all the Nine Realms. This menacing ancient race is led by Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), a villain who will do anything he can to cover the universe in darkness once more. Against such a powerful enemy, it seems that no one stands a chance – unless Thor risks it all to team up with his deceitful brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in order to save his family, his people and the woman he loves.

This is hardly groundbreaking material, but the cast is on point once more and the action sequences are well-executed, even if they’re all a bit routine. There’s an admirable blend of light and dark moments to make this series stand out from other superhero blockbusters that are all-too-often plagued with angst and forced depth. That being said, the issues that muddled Thor are still present, namely the fact that it’s difficult to create real tension when the titular hero is invincible. There is a lot at stake in this sequel – the universe, to be exact – but it never really feels that way until the second half when things finally pick up. The film concludes with a twist that’s not only exciting, but fodder for a third instalment. While hardly as absorbing as it should be, Thor: The Dark World wisely sticks to the strengths of the franchise and delivers a fun, albeit bumpy ride, thanks to the reliably witty interactions between characters.

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