‘Thor: The Dark World’ knocks out first Avenger hero’s film

The second “Thor” film premiered Nov. 8 to a flurry of fans. The film exceeded expectations and then blew them away with a mighty swing of a hammer.

All characters from the previous “Thor” film are back, including Jane Foster, played by Natalie Portman; Erik Selvig, played by Stellan Skarsgård; Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston and Odin, played by Anthony Hopkins.

Following the events in “The Avengers,” and around the same time as “Iron Man 3,” “Thor: The Dark World” tells Thor’s story, independent from the other adventures.

While the film references “The Avengers,” none of the other characters are present, save for a brief scene where Loki takes Captain America’s image.

The plot follows a powerful weapon called the Aether, which predates the universe. The Dark Elves, which ruled the realm Svartalfheim under their leader Malekith, played by Christopher Eccleston, fought with Odin’s grandfather Bor in the distant past to acquire the weapon.

However, they were unsucessful and Bor locked the Aether in a stone and hid the stone in a dark corner of the universe between the realms.

The story picks up two years after the events of the first “Thor.” Foster is searching Earth for unexplained physical disturbances that might lead her to Thor like they did in the first film. While searching an abandonded warehouse in London, she is sucked through a wormhole into the place between the realms and is infected by the Aether.

Thor finds her wounded by the weapon’s power and takes her to Asgard, his home realm, and tries to get her medical help. Unfortunately, Asgard is attacked by Malekith who is the only one able to extract the Aether from Foster.

Doing so would endanger the universe, so Thor and Loki devise a plan to take Foster to Svartalfheim and successfully get rid of the Aether and kill Malekith in one blow.

The film is essentially a reverse of the previous film’s theme. In the first film, Thor was lost and confused during his exile on Earth and in “The Dark World,” Foster is the fish out of water during her time on Asgard and Svartalfheim. The film explores more of Thor’s character as he deals with the events of “The Avengers” and the death of his mother during Malekith’s attack on Asgard.

The film is just as humorous as the first film with quips from Foster’s intern Darcy Lewis, played by Kat Dennings and “her intern” Ian, played by Jonathan Howard. The two comment on the abnormal situations and even begin a romantic relationship.

The film also sets up the inevitable second “Avengers” film by exploring Thor’s character and how he handles the stresses of his new life as a superhero.

Much in the same way “Iron Man 3” handles Tony Stark’s character and how I expect “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” will handle Steven Rogers’s character, “Thor: The Dark World” presents its hero with more personal stresses that will make the second “Avengers” film a film about a team of superheroes, rather than a band of misfits. The characters are all growing individually and hopefully they will be more of a team in 2015.

“Thor: The Dark World” is rated PG-13, runs at 112 minutes and is playing at the Cinemark Towne Centre in Conway and Rave Motion Pictures in Little Rock.

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