“Thor: The Dark World” is an Entertaining Popcorn Romp With Strong Loki Presence

You don’t have to get to the end of the review to know this: I liked Thor: The Dark World, even more than the original Thor film from 2011.

It was telling when a radio station handed out t-shirts as prizes to guests prior to watching the preview of Thor: The Dark World. The shirts bore the likeness of Loki (Tom Hiddleston), and not of the film’s namesake. Loki turns out to be a much stronger presence in this film, and the scenes that stand out to me usually include him. Indeed, I can’t imagine there would be a Thor film without Tom Hiddleston.

The beginning of Thor: The Dark World begins with Jane (Natalie Portman) on a date with Richard (Chris O’Dowd). She’d had a rough time since Thor left, and is finally taking a small step towards creating a new life. The date is short lived – which is too bad, I would have liked more Chris O’Dowd and less of Kat Dennings (Darcy). Darcy interrupts their date to bring Jane to an abandoned building where strange events are occurring.

Jane eventually ends up swept up by something called Aether, which envelopes her and occasionally turns her eyes dark like Puss in Boots. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) senses the trouble from Asgard, and soon brings his hammer to Earth to help Jane. Up until then, he’s been kept by his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) from returning to Earth. Returning to Asgard with Jane, they soon learn that the Aether cannot be removed from her body. I cannot think of a way to explain the plot because I personally can’t fully understand it myself, but the relationship between Thor and Loki is worth the price of admission. Loki spends the first part of the movie in a cell – considering his ample capabilities, I’m not sure how he can be reigned in a jail setting. But eventually Thor is so desperate to avenge a family death that he releases Loki to help him. That doesn’t seem the brightest move to me, but Loki seems to be the much more smarter of the two. Loki also offers a much more fleshed out character than Thor; who seems more beefcake than Superhero. There was one Thor shirtless scene that elicited giggles from some of the crowd, though I (and some other women I knew) had no complaints. Dr. Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) wears less, strutting around in his underwear once home from the sanitarium to help him think.

Most of the violence in Thor: The Dark World is of comic-book variety. There is a lot of action, and I typically dislike violence in films – but there was just one scene that was too intense for me (and unnecessary for the film). Christopher Eccleston is unrecognizable as Malekith, king of the Dark Elves.

There is a fun cameo that is Avengers related, and two bonus scenes to sit through the credits for.

Thor: The Dark World isn’t a perfect film, but it is an entertaining romp with a great turn – again – by Hiddleston. The two hours passed quickly.

Mousesteps Grade: B

Thor: The Dark World is rated PG-13.