The Nordic god is back for more musclebound, chest-baring action in Thor: The Dark World, a fun follow-up to 2011’s Thor and 2012’s Avengers Assemble.
Having saved Earth from his mean brother Loki and some evil aliens, Thor (Hemsworth) is travelling between the nine realms, busily getting rid of mythic bad guys, when his all-seeing pal Heimdall (Idris Elba), who has been keeping an eye on Thor’s human girlfriend Jane (Portman), realises he can’t see her with his magical viewing thingie anymore, meaning she must be in danger. Indeed she is, having stumbled across a mystical cloud of pure evil called the Aether in a London warehouse, so Thor grabs his powerful hammer and leaves his home of Asgard to go back to Earth and save her. Things are about to get even worse, however, thanks to a nefarious being called Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) who is so nasty Thor may have to turn to his imprisoned brother Loki (Hiddleston) for help.
Ably taking over from the first instalment’s Kenneth Branagh, director Alan Taylor (a veteran helmer of TV shows including Mad Men, Game Of Thrones and The Sopranos) delivers a smart, well-paced adventure that fits nicely with the original. While it is a little slow to start, once Thor and Jane have been reunited and head back to Asgard things perk up considerably as the blows, explosions and witty dialogue fire across the screen. While Hemsworth is very enjoyable as Thor, once again, much of the fun comes from Hiddleston’s Loki, who is deliciously sarcastic throughout, and there are also nice little appearances from Stellan Skarsgard (as scientist Erik Selvig) and Kat Dennings as Jane’s snarky assistant.
A note for trivia fans – at one point Thor boards the tube at Charing Cross and asks if the train goes to Greenwich, to which he is told it is two stops. As Londoners know, it’s actually a journey involving at least two tube changes and about 17 stops! Does this mean he’s late saving the world?
Is Thor: The Dark World suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
This is a 12A certificate film, with some violent scenes. Younger viewers may find Malekith and his followers frightening.