**warning! Contains spoilers regarding the after-credits scenes!**
Directed by: Alan Taylor
Written by: Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgard, Christopher Ecclestone, Anthony Hopkins, Rene Russo, Kat Dennings
The Plot: Long ago, the Asgardians fought against the Dark Elves to win control of the Aether, a mysterious but deadly substance possessing great destructive power. The Elves leader Malekith (former Doctor Who Christopher Ecclestone) escaped the battle, only to reawaken centuries later. Now in the present day, the Ninte Realms are aligning, something which rekindles Malekith and his quest for the Aether. Thor and his Earthbound love Jane Foster must join forces again as the Aether threatens to bring darkness to both worlds…
The Good: The sequel is a marked improvement on the first film, but the film really belongs to Tom Hiddleston who once again steals all his scenes as Thor’s mischievous half-brother, Loki. Hiddleston once again owns the role and you never quite know what he’s going to do next.
Alan Taylor has worked on the hugely popular Game Of Thrones series, making him ideally suited to helm this fantasy action-adventure sequel.
The Bad: The legend that is Anthony Hopkins is ideal for the role of Odin and was a joy to see in the first film but sadly that isn’t the case the second time around. Whilst he gives a stately presence, I felt his performance to be rather half-hearted and lacked the conviction of the first film, as if he was bored and no longer wanted to wear that golden eye patch.
The same could be said for Natalie Portman, who is given little to do but mope around and wait for Thor’s return, whenever she’s not possessed by the Aether.
Visually, the 3D is redundant, so unless you’re a dyed in the wool fan of the medium this is a good opportunity to save your money and see it in 2D.
Summary: A big, noisy action romp that will no doubt delight fans of the series, with Hiddleston chewing scenery as Loki and providing a big set up for the much awaited Avengers Assemble sequel.
Thor: The Dark World was released in the UK on 30/10/13 and is available in 2D and 3D in cinemas now.
Points of note: What sort of Marvel film would this be without post-credit scenes? We’re treated to two: one mid-credits, and one after-credit coda. I’ll give you chance to look away if you’ve not seen it yet or don’t want to know, don’t scroll down…
still here? Last chance…(although the film has been out for a while now, so if you’re avoiding spoilers then you’ve the willpower of a god!)
Still with us? Okay. The mid-credits scene is a set up for the upcoming Marvel film Guardians of the Galaxy and features Benicio Del Toro as Marvel baddie Taneleer Tivan aka The Collector, sporting a fantastic blonde wig that could rival Christopher Walken as Bond baddie Max Zorin in A View To A Kill. The Collector, as his name suggests boasts a vast collection of items intended to protect against uber-villain Thanos (hinted at after the credits in the UK edit of 2012’s The Avengers Assemble) and is seen getting his hands on one of six valuable Infinity Gems.
The all important post-credits scene sees Jane in her flat, looking - let’s face it - rather depressed. That is, until Thor shows up, keeping his promise to her and returning to Earth to be with her. This sets up his return to Earth for Avengers 2. For comic relief, we also see that a “Frost monster” (Marvel fans, please correct me if i’m wrong!) escape through the portal to chase some birds.