29 November-5 December 2013 #683

Thor: The Dark World

Sophia Pande

Aside from the horrendously selfish and infuriatingly inane running commentary by the two men sitting behind me during the first half of Thor: The Dark World, I would say (after I had gotten over my initial grumpiness) that there were bits of the film that I thoroughly enjoyed.

This second Thor retains all the fresh and humourous elements of the first origins film that came out in 2011 and was directed by Kenneth Branagh, who bowed out of helming this one.Alan Taylor who took over has wisely kept all the cast and the characteristics that charmed the first time round.

I for one will admit that I love all kinds of cinema and am definitely guilty of sitting through some pretty bad movies purely for the rush of being in the theatre and sinking into the magic that is cinema, however, do not panic, this second installment is far from terrible.

Chris Hemsworth is god-like as usual as Thor, and while poor Natalie Portman's character, Dr Jane Foster (Thor’s love interest) is sadly without any kind of spark, we do have once again the lovely and hilarious Kat Dennings reprising her role as Darcy Lewis, Jane’s intern, and then of course there is the formidably talented and devilishly attractive Tom Hiddleston as Loki, the morally challenged but charismatic brother of Thor, as well as the elegant Rene Russo as Frigga, Thor and Loki’s mother, Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Thor’s majestic father, and the ever great Idris Elba as Heimdall – the sentry to Asgard, one of the Nine Realms and Thor’s home world.

The plot of the film is nothing extraordinary: an old nemesis of Asgard, the Dark Elf Malekith, arises after a millennia to destroy the universe (anything less than the utter destruction of the universe these days is regarded as unworthy story matter). Somehow, Jane Foster, herself an astrophysicist, manages to absorb the Aether, a substance that Malekith must possess in order to obliterate the world as we know it, and of course, Thor must step in to save the world and the woman he loves. Yes, yes, I know it sounds boring, but let’s just accept that we all know it turns out well and we’re just along for the ride.

Go see the film if you think it’s your cup of tea: it has some hilarious one liners, a cameo here and there from the other Marvel films, the now obligatory bonus at the end of the credits that teases us into anticipating the next gazillion dollar blockbuster, and noisy spectators aside, it all makes for a fun and relatively restrained 112 minutes of fun.

And, because this needs to be addressed: a word to anyone who reads this column and thinks poor old Thor is unworthy, yes, cinema can and should be art, but it can and ought also to be pure fun. Don’t stick your nose up in the air about films like Thor – they allow thousands of people across to world to forget their troubles and lose themselves in pure fantasy for a few short hours – and that is no small thing.

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