Halloween may already be in our rearview mirror but kids’ dreams of becoming super heroes endures thanks in large part to the resounding success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the film franchise responsible for Iron Man and The Avengers. Now in theaters comes the latest installment in this franchise, Thor: The Dark World. The sequel to 2011’s Thor once again brings back Chris Hemsworth as the titular character, Natalie Portman as Thor’s love interest Jane Foster, and Tom Hiddleston as Loki, the villain who also appeared in The Avengers.
The movie’s plot takes place after the events of the aforementioned Avengers film. Thor has returned to his native Asgard after taking part in the Battle of New York. It is here in Asgard that Thor is alerted to the sudden resurgence of a once dormant dark force called the Aether. This threat to the Nine Realms that Thor has sworn to protect reunites him with not only the human Jane Foster but also his brother, Loki. Though the film is clearly Thor-centric as one would expect, it is really the character of Loki, portrayed brilliantly by Tom Hiddleston, that steals several scenes providing a delicious mixture of sarcasm, wit, mayhem, and intrigue. The complexity of Loki often blurs the line between villain and hero thus continually leaving the audience guessing as to where his allegiances truly lie.
Thor: The Dark World features plenty of action adventure scenes that would appeal to younger audience members but also numerous laugh out loud funny moments that everyone in the family will enjoy. We don’t want to reveal too much about the film but it is surprisingly easy to find an appropriate place for one’s hammer. While one doesn’t necessarily need to have seen The Avengers or even the initial Thor film, familiarity with both movies certainly enhances the viewing experience. Several references can be spotted throughout but one particular reference midway through the film had the audience roaring in approval leaving most of the dialogue in that particular section inaudible. Marvel fans have already been conditioned on waiting until the end credits for additional scenes after the conclusion of the film. The Dark World is no exception so moviegoers should be aware that there are actually two end credit scenes that deserve to be seen.
The film carries a PG-13 rating owing in large part to various battle scenes and some mild language. The level of violence is on par with previous films in this franchise (Captain America, The Avengers). Parents of tweens may want to familiarize themselves with at least one of those movies to determine if they feel this kind of movie is appropriate for their children. Those that do watch the film should not be disappointed as it offers plenty of adventure and humor that will appeal to audience members young and old alike.
Disclosure: We were provided complimentary admission to an advance screening of Thor: The Dark World in order to facilitate this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.