Following 2011’s “Thor” is another in Marvel Studio’s tradition of action-packed superhero films, “Thor: The Dark World,” which debuted Friday.
Chris Hemsworth reprises his role as Thor, the god of thunder, and fans will be happy to know he once again paid homage to the original character and comic book paladin.
The movie lives up to its title as this second “Thor” is noticeably darker and bleaker than the previous film. There is comedic relief, but the overall tone of the film is surprisingly sinister compared to what many are used to from other recent Marvel works such as the “Iron Man” series and “The Avengers” series.
Thor is left with no choice but to seek the help of his former arch nemesis and blood brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), in order to defend his home in Asgard as well as planet Earth from Malekith the Accursed, one of Marvel’s classic supervillains, who controls the dark forces.
Many times it seems Malekith is far too great of an opponent for Thor to defeat. The partnership between Thor and Loki is less of a truce or uniting of powers as it is an act of desperation on Thor’s behalf.
Natalie Portman returns as Jane Foster, Thor’s love interest, but in the sequel she has a much bigger role than just a romantic subplot. Portman’s character is the focal point in the battle between Thor and Malekith. At one point, she is kidnapped by the villain and possessed by his magic. She is finally rescued, but Thor’s father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), refuses her passage back to Earth and insists she remain in Asgard where he believes she will be safer.
“Thor: The Dark World” is proof that the dominance of Marvel Studios over the American box office is not going away anytime soon. Much hype has surrounded the film, and for good reason — the franchise delivers an impressive outing once again. Marvel now has several movie franchises that are the epitome of big-picture success. Simply put, superhero movies are a win-win for both the audience and studios.
Brett Montana can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.