Certificate 12A, 120 minutes
Director: Alan Taylor
Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston
Thor: The Dark World is set, like Iron Man 3, after the events of The Avengers, although the beginning of the film starts thousands of years prior to it, when Thor's (Chris Hemsworth) grandfather, Bor (Tony Curan) led Asgardian forces against the Dark Elves - who were known as the Svartálfar in their limited appearance in Norse mythology - led by Malekith (a rather unrecognisable Christopher Eccleston), who lived on Svartalfheim, the Dark World. Malekith had created a weapon, known as the Aether, with which he intended to return the realms to the darkness that existed before. Although the Dark Elves were defeated, Malekith and his lieutenant Algrim (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) escaped with some of their people in a ship.
Thor returned to Asgard after the Battle of New York and is currently fighting on the world of Vanaheim, trying to restore order to the Nine Realms after the chaos caused by Loki (Tom Hiddleston, Crimson Peak). Loki himself has been imprisoned in Asgard by Odin (Anthony Hopkins, Noah, RED 2).
There is an odd mix of high tech and low tech equipment, such as energy weapons and swords, combined with what is probably magic, such as with Thor's hammer Mjolnir, although the latter is not absolutely certain. This creates a rather different feel to the film as men in armour and wielding swords combat high tech craft using energy weapons.
Loki, as with his counterpart in Norse mythology, is not always villainous. He is sometimes helpful, sometimes not. This makes him a rather more interesting character with greater depth than that of Thor, as you can be certain of what course of action Thor is going to pursue in most situations, and it will usually be a noble one - at least, after he got over the immaturity he displayed in Thor. With Loki on the other hand you can never be absolutely certain whether he is going to betray people or not. As portrayed by Hiddleston, Loki is certainly of the best characters in the film. His portrayal makes Loki interesting enough that it would be good to see Loki in an entire film of his own, admittedly he is unlikely to be a superhero but more of an anti-hero. Anything else would destroy some of his appeal as a character.
Thor: The Dark World is available in both 2D and 3D, and the 3D was the one seen. Barring a few scenes that appeared to have been deliberately filmed in order to exploit 3D, usually involving stuff flying around, often at the camera, the 3D wasn't that noticeable and so didn't add much to the experience. Stan Lee makes one of his frequent brief cameo appearances and there is also a brief cameo by Captain America - which does make sense when you see it. Hiddleston, as mentioned, does a great performance as Loki, often interjecting humour into the film - not a bad trick for a fairly dark character. Hemsworth provides a suitable counterfoil as the more straightforward Thor. The action is pretty non-stop with an effects extravaganza, with comparatively brief interludes before it starts up again. The developing romance between Jane and Thor adds to the film, rather than detracts from it, and seems more realistic than would be a typical portrayal in an action film. As in many films, there are post credits scenes, so be sure to watch out for them, as they are easy to miss if you don't know about them. Thor: The Dark World is an enjoyable fantasy, science-fiction, action and superhero film.