Bash! Bam! Boom! Thor is back y’all, and he’s definitely bringing the thunder. He’s bringing a whole lot of everything in fact. Thor: The Dark World is a beautiful mess, and I’m not just saying that because Chris Hemsworth, Idris Elba and Tom Hiddleston are wearing leather pants. Thor 2 (can I call it that? Too late) is a wham-bam traffic jam of a storyline, but damn if it’s not a good time. Especially if you’re in the mood for a feet-up (who doesn’t love the railing aisle?) , popcorn-in-lap movie spectacular.
It’s been about two years since our favorite God of thunder swept into town and Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) off her feet. And so they’re snuggling in a spacious loft in Soho…. Oh wait who am I kidding? He’s up in the other worlds, kicking ass and taking names for headstones. Why? Um, something about how some creatures aren’t cool with the Asgard? Maybe because the Asgardians (yeah, that’s a word used in this movie) are hogging all the hair product? I mean really; I’d cut a bitch if I couldn’t get my leave-ins.
But soon things start to get wobbly. Jane touches a flowing blob of goo and gets possessed by…something. Why scientists gotta be so curious? Soon that something – called aether – is causing havoc, and guess who comes to help? A’yup.
But Mr. Norse Universe can’t do it alone. Because this aether is potent stuff, and Dark Elves want it. To rule the worlds. Everybody wants to rule the worlds. And yes, you read this correctly, there are Dark Elves in this joint.
There’s also Sir Anthony Hopkins and Renee Russo as Odin & Frigga, Thor’s parents. They’re there for a touch of class, and they definitely bring it. Oh, and Stan Lee makes an appearance – I won’t spoil, but he’s easy to spot here.
Cinematography, set design and costuming is lush, over the top, and kinda perfect for this popcorn fest of a film. Good news; Hemidall has a helmet that tones the horns way down. Thank God. If there’s one person who doesn’t need to do overcompensation, it’s John Luther. Director Alan Taylor (Game of Thrones, and my favorite West Wing ep, “20 Hours in L.A.”) brings his gritty, natural style to a comic book Nordic free-for-all, and while it’s not completely coherent – trust me, that’d be impossible for anyone with this crammed story – Taylor gives real substance to his characters.
My favorite? The interplay between Thor and his brother Loki. Having to ask for help from his trickster of a sibling – hey, nothing you ain’t seen in the teaser – makes Thor humble, and as the two work together there’s Sturm und Drang, and a bit of real love between these characters. Jane, up in Asgard in order to help fix her, looks like Queen Amidala ravishing, and has more than a woman in distress thing going on. Nicely done, because at it’s heart that’s the character’s deal here.
My two cents? Save yours if you’re thinking about going 3D. It’s unnecessary here, and a tacked on conversion that doesn’t deliver enough to justify the extra ticket cash. Nonetheless, Thor: The Dark World gives enough for a good time. And isn’t that what we’re looking for? Now, give me a Loki & Hemidall buddy movie and I’m in heaven.
PS: there’s two post-credits scenes to look for, a Captain America reference that’s classic, and a streaking Stellan Skarsgård. You’re welcome.