The next installment in Marvel’s Phase Two plan was released back in November and stormed its way to the top of the box office. Chris Hemsworth was back as the God of Thunder in Thor 2: The Dark World and it didn’t disappoint.
Alan Taylor takes over directors duties from Kenneth Branagh as Thor and the Asgardians try and make peace across the 9 realms. Thor (Hemsworth) is leading the charge but all the while pining for Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who is also missing the God, but finding her own mission after discovering an anomaly in central London. Hoping it could lead her to Thor she investigates but absorbs an unknown energy. Thor returns to Earth when Heimdall (Idris Elba) notices Jane disappearing when she is investigating the anomaly. When Thor brings Jane back to Asgard, they discover the unknown energy is in fact the Aether, a mystical weapon that basically spells trouble for all worlds. It can only be used every 5,000 years and it just so happens, that it’s that time of year. A race that was believed to be extinct called the Dark Elves, led by their leader Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) is now searching for Aether, in a bid to turn the universe to darkness.
From the point of Jane coming to Asgard, the action really picks up as Thor must hatch a plan to keep the Aether away from Malekith and to keep Jane safe. Asgard is attacked and in the panic, Thor’s mother Frigga is killed, causing Thor to take drastic action and to seek an alliance with the one person he wishes he could trust – his estranged brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston).
Tom Hiddleston’s Loki really has turned into one of Marvel’s greatest weapons –through the three movies he’s appeared in, and even though he’s very much established as a villain, he’s become a firm fan favourite (which has been helped along by Hiddleston’s bundles of real-life charisma). Even though Thor 2 is still very much Chris Hemsworth’s movie. Hiddleston manages to steal every scene he’s in as Loki, getting the funniest moments but also some of the more vulnerable moments. He gives the character so many layers, and the audience never really knows what Loki’s true motives are; each sneer and smirk are calculated moves, yet the charisma also jumps off-screen, leaving also just a hint of regret and guilt that Loki feels. The best moments in the film are when Thor and Loki are together, the brotherly quabbles are quick-witted and well acted by Hemsworth and Hiddleston.
The movie as a whole flows really well, moving from Earth to Asgard, and introducing and re-introducing the characters. It also visually looks fantastic, and sets a much different tone to the first movie: the funeral for Thor’s mother is particularly beautiful and moving. The rest of the cast also work well, with Natalie Portman and Chris Hemsworth re-creating their chemistry from the first movie. While a lot of comedic moments are given to Loki, Jane’s companions of Darcy (Kat Dennins) and Selvig (Stellan Skarsgård) offer some more funny moments.
There are some downsides, quite a few missed opportunities: Jane finding it easy to readjust to Asgard, and an inference that Sif (Jamie Alexander) has feelings for Thor. However the film as a whole is a fantastic action ride from start to finish and continues Marvel’s steam train of success. And the ending leaves us with some tantalising questions (and that’s even before those post-credit scenes.)
Volstagg: If you even think of betraying him…
Loki: You’ll kill me?! Evidently they’ll be a line. (Thor 2: The Dark World)