More or less, and it’s mainly because of Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and the true star of the show – Loki (Tom Hiddleston). Even while in chains, Loki sizzles every time he’s on screen. “Satisfaction’s not in my nature,” he purrs, when Thor is compelled to ask for his help in repelling an invasion of Asgard. Without a doubt, he a sneering, slithery little snake that will plot and inveigle his way to power – and we just can’t wait for him to do it. You can literally hear women swooning every time Loki makes eye contact with the camera.
And when Loki and Thor share the stage, the charisma and the chemistry are multiplied by 10. Things really start to get going when the two of them break out of Asgard – after all, they are who the audience really came to see. Under director Alan Taylor’s steady steering, we are treated to a world of fantasy and legend that is remarkably realised in CGI, and a strange mix of magic and technology.
The supporting players are more than decent, especially Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and Frigga (Rene Russ0). “You must think I’m a piece of bread that needs to be buttered so heavily,” he rumbles when Thor praises him, in a way that only Hopkins knows how to. Fan favourite Zachary Levi is also bearded up and dashing as Fandral, while Idris Elba does his usual dignified act as Heimdall, guardian of the rainbow bridge.
On the human side of the equation, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) is given a bit more to do in the sequel besides fawn over Thor. She becomes the prime driver of the narrative, coming into possession of the Macguffin this time round – the Aether, some thingamajiggy that is a source of mystical power etc etc. But she remains the damsel in distress, a criminal waste of an Oscar-winning actress’s talents.
Credit must also go to Malekith The Accursed (Christopher Ecclestone) – heavily made up in prosthetics but still menacing as all out – who stages an astonishing invasion of Asgard to kick off some great battle scenes. It’s a fairly thin role, but Ecclestone makes the most of it, matching Hiddleston and Hemsworth stride for stride.
Remember to stay on after the show for not one, but TWO end credits scenes. We walked out early and only caught the first teaser, but from what we’ve heard, that was the one worth catching. In any case, Thor: The Dark World has kicked off Marvel’s Phase 2 nicely.
Thor: The Dark World opens in Singapore today. It also opens in Hong Kong and Taiwan today, and in Thailand on November 7. Tell us what you think of the movie!