Thor: The Dark World – When Things Get Weird
– a Hero Corner Catch-up Review by David 2

When last we saw Thor the Thunderer, he was heading back to Asgard with Loki and “The Tesseract” in tow, having saved the world as one of “The Avengers”.

But now we get to “Phase Two” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and things get darker… and weirder.

“Thor: The Dark World” was released in 2013 and stars Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Renee Russo, Stellan Skarsgard, Idris Elba, Jaime Alexander, and Kat Dennings, all returning from the first movie.  They’re joined by former Doctor Who Christopher Eccleston as the Dark Elf Malekith, and there’s an appearance by Chis Evans, Stan Lee, and Benicio del Toro as “The Collector” (whom you’ll see more of in “Guardians of the Galaxy”).

We start with a story by Odin (Hopkins) of a battle fought by his father, Bor, against the Dark Elves and their leader Malekith (Eccleston).  They fight over a substance called the Aether.  Bor wins and the Aether is locked away somewhere out of the reach of anyone.  Or so the story goes…

Back to the present, Loki faces the judgement of Odin for crimes in both “Thor” and “The Avengers”, but is given mercy on behalf of Odin’s wife and Loki’s adopted mother, Frigga.  He’s locked away, and Thor (Hemsworth) is busy restoring peace to the Nine Realms, but afterward he is pressured by his father to give up his love of a certain human female and pursue someone more his age, not to mention Asgardian.

Meanwhile, Dr. Jane Foster (Portman) is investigating a weird incident where the rules of the universe do not apply.  She is then sucked into a weird place where the Aether touches her.  She returns to the “normal” world, but weird things happen around her.  This brings Thor back to Earth and to her.  While she’s upset, the Aether reacts around her, and Thor ends up taking her straight to Asgard to be examined.

While Odin is not happy that Thor has feelings for a human – because Asgardians live 50 times longer than humans – he soon realizes that Jane has the Aether in her, and that makes it dangerous.  Odin reveals the secret of the Aether and also says that there is no way they can remove it from her.  The return of the Aether also brings Malekith back from his exile, and the Dark Elves storm Asgard.

I’d say more, but I don’t want to give the rest away.  Sufficient to say, we learn more about both the true nature of the Aether and the Tesseract in the mid-credits scene with “The Collector” (del Toro).  Sadly, the ending itself does leave a bit to be desired, even with the after-credits scene.

“Thor: The Dark World” does live up to the “dark” part of it, especially during the Asgard siege.  Although well-cast again, the supporting characters that made the first movie good are pushed aside for the trio of Thor, Loki, and Jane.  Oh, and the endless threat of “if you betray them…” directed at Loki? Please!  This is Loki we’re talking about!  That’s like asking Volstagg to stop eating!  Come to think of it, the larger of the Warriors Three didn’t look like he was too hungry in this movie.

In all, this movie tells a good story, but not like the first, and it continues the trend of an unimpressive “Phase Two” for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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