Thor: The Dark World by Alicia Christian
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Kat Dennings, Stellan Skarsgard, and Christopher Ecceleston
Synopsis: Loosely based on the mythological Norse god of thunder, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) returns to the silver screen in this action-packed and surprisingly witty sci-fi/fantasy adventure. In an attempt to counteract the Dark Elves and their apocalyptic schemes, Thor teams up with his former enemy and brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston). Flung into a battle between worlds, this dysfunctional duo find themselves defending the nine realms against the Dark Elves and their leader, Malekith (Christopher Ecceleston), who possesses an extremely potent supernatural weapon known as the Aether. Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings) and Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) return from the first film alongside Thor’s love interest and notable scientist, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), to help the god save all the worlds.
The most recent installment of the Marvel film franchise, Thor: The Dark World meets the standards set by previous Marvel pictures like Captain America: The First Avenger, Marvel’s The Avengers, and the film’s precursor, Thor. While it is by no means a life-altering or momentous masterpiece, The Dark World does offer a marvelously entertaining experience that people of all ages can appreciate.
In regards to casting, the characters are molded and interpreted perfectly by their actors. Portman in particular, who has also starred in blockbusters like The Black Swan and Star Wars, accurately portrays the passionate scientist’s courage, willpower, and intelligence without lapsing into a demeaning “damsel in distress” archetype. In addition, Hiddleston, who has acted in numerous Shakespearean adaptations and the academy-award winning film War Horse, exudes an extremely-likeable persona that has fans adoring him arguably more than even the main character himself. Hiddleston’s appearance as Loki at Comic Con 2013 is proof that even villains can be revered by the masses, as the crowd was literally following his every command- even kneeling when ordered. He is idolized so much that fans have petitioned Marvel to create a film based exclusively on Loki. Hiddleston’s signed contracts for at least five more Marvel films as Loki only serve to further demonstrate the character’s popularity.
The set designs for The Dark World are far more intricate and intriguing than the original film’s terrestrial landscapes. While Thor took place primarily on Earth, The Dark World transports the audience to the cruel, rocky terrain of the Dark World. The true visual magnificence of the film, however, can be seen in the interpretation of Asgard, Thor’s home world. This golden, silver, and metallic realm (also inspired by Norse mythology) puts even The Wizard of Oz’s Emerald City to shame.
The plot of The Dark World is nothing special- by itself. However, the Marvel films all weave in and out of each other as part of a grander, more complex scheme revealed in show-stopping films like The Avengers and the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy. Still, while the plot of The Dark World is fairly predictable superhero fare, it is nonetheless captivating. This film definitely captures the essence of what it means to be a hero.
So, whether it be for the actors, the stunning visual effects, or the classic comic book story, Thor: The Dark World is a must see for anyone who is a fan of the Marvel cinematic universe.