Following The Avengers, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has returned home to Asgard. Similar to their past films, Marvel’s newest movie, Thor: The Dark World, includes plenty of action, comedy, and just the right amount of romance to make it entertaining popcorn fodder.
Facing the job of restoring the realms to order and preparing to take the throne as king, Thor must also deal with the heartbreak of being parted from his love, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), for the past two years.
Disaster strikes when Foster stumbles upon an ancient evil, the Aether, which leads to a war that quickly becomes catastrophic for all nine realms, including both Asgard and Earth.
The sequel brings a host of changes in production, including a new director, Alan Taylor, and different writers. Yet these changes seem to be the right choice for the Marvel franchise, because this Thor sequel was surprisingly better than the original.
The plot bustles with dozens of moving parts, switching settings between Asgard, Earth, and some of the other realms, along with trailing various characters throughout the film. Though this could have easily gotten messy and confusing, Taylor does a deft job of tying everything together and focusing back in on the main story when it begins to trail off.
The film strikes a nice balance between action and comedy as well. For every fight scene, the audience is given at least two witty one-liners from Loki (Tom Hiddleston). At one point he tells King Odin (Anthony Hopkins), “It’s not that I don’t love our little talks, it’s just … I don’t love them.” Fans who have been following Loki throughout the last few Marvel movies will be glad to know that despite his imprisonment he hasn’t lost his sarcasm.
The romance between Foster and Thor grows more layered—and even, at times, funny—when other love interests are thrown into play. There are just enough chick flick moments to make the audience go “Awwwww,” but not so many that you wonder if you’re still watching an action film. True to the Marvel brand, Taylor doesn’t disappoint with the cinematography and graphics, as he illustrates detail and clarity in every battle scene.
Thor: The Dark World comes together like the combo deals at the concession stand, packing every blockbuster element into a neat box. There’s drama, gut-wrenching moments to keep audiences on the edge of their seats, and twists that continually surprise and excite the audience until the very end.
And just as with all Marvel movies, viewers are advised to stay after the theatrical credits for a little extra scene that will either drive you crazy with more questions or excite you for The Avengers 2, coming in 2014. Either way, this movie breaks the bad sequel curse, and is most certainly worth seeing. Maybe even twice.