News Column

'Thor: Dark World' hammers through acceptable sequel

November 16, 2013


Nov. 16--EMANN@PVDEMOCRAT.COM -- Many a critic can complain all the live long day how countless movies so easily discard any semblance of a stable plot. Films based on comic book movies seem to be a regular target of such frustrations and for them it is little consolation that even the original cartoony drawings they are based on have since the beginning been for the most part carried more by character development than award worthy storyline.

For those of us not too seriously caught up in the realistic things wrong with what is basically bearded Fabio comes to earth to fight evil with a hammer made from star dust, it's not really that much effort to just go in with a clear mind and enjoy the goofy fun. That said, I managed to at least meet the basic goal anytime I hit the theaters and receive just enough entertainment to counter the brain damage encountered during the work week. "Thor: The Dark World" doesn't quite dethrone the other heroes of the Avengers lineup, but benefits from adding a fantastic chapter to the overall epic with plenty of room to keep on going.

If the villain "Bane" were an emo space elf, the closest thing to it would have to be the baddie in this sequel, Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), who apparently was born and raised in darkness and wants to return the whole universe to it. Maybe actually mad because Odin (Anthony Hopkins) had an awesome armor clad dad and he didn't, the movie starts off telling how the mopey Keebler elf was defeated eons ago by Father Asgard and denied the use of his ultimate weapon that is basically a wolfless copy of the nothingness from "Never Ending Story."

Anyhoo, after a quick montage where the nine realms are restored due to the series of unfortunate Avenger's plots, fast forward to present day where Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Dr. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) are each moping around because they can't be all lovey-dovey with each other. Once we get past that Brian Adam's music video and Jane's Scooby doo meddling in the affairs of all life as we know it, they all learn that Malekith has awakened and activated with it the darkness stuff previously mentioned. Before they realize it, everything needs to be conveniently saved so we don't go out like a cancelled fox television series, but not without the well-established team up of Pouty-Mc-Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and runs around naked at famous European landmarks, Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsg rd)!

Really, when it comes down to it, the flick delivers in its job of giving audiences what they wanted, more exposure to what has to be the best sibling rivalry on screen since "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." It's so entertaining to see these guys exchange barbs, grow stronger through realizing their own weaknesses and even provide a few laughs like a planning to defeat the bad guy scene right out of that "Oceans" crime spree series.

In the end, we almost forget how irrelevant said bad guy becomes by the time it's time to take him down, which could have been done like almost immediately if they'd thought to use one of those wickedly awesome black hole grenades the elf army was packing. In the end, I have no reason to leave this Marvel universe and this was at least a decent distraction while I wait for what looks even more awesome in next year's "Captain America: The Winter Soldier." For such efforts I'd have to say "Thor: The Dark World" earns a verdict of four and one fourth out of five hammers.

Movie viewing experience courtesy of the Royal Twin Theater of Pauls Valley.


(c)2013 the Pauls Valley Daily Democrat (Pauls Valley, Okla.)

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