Rated R. Running time: 1 hour 57 min.
Our advisories: Violence 5; Language 1; Sex/Nudity 1.
Star rating (1-5): 1
In the beginning when God createdthe heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep…
I had hoped to skip what I thought would be another overblown special effects fantasy, having had my fill of such nonsense with the first Thor. Darn it, the new one blew the top off the box office during its opening week, so I felt duty bound to see and report on it. But if you want a review from someone who really likes and understands it, then go on to one of the teen or fan magazines.
There’s a bunch of stuff at the beginning about a primordial race called Dark Elves who want to use a powerful energy source called Aether to bring back the ancient darkness, but they are defeated by warriors from Asgard and imprisoned, with the Aether buried so deep that it is thought unfindable. Of course, it isn’t, and Thor’s sweetheart astrophysicist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) back on Earth somehow becomes infused with it when…well, there’s too much craziness to go into the details.
For a couple of years Jane has been waiting in London for Thor to return to her, but he’s been off saving other worlds, and his evil brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is locked up, and…Suffice it to say that to save Earth from the newly risen Dark Elves led by Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), a nasty villain surpassed in this category only by Hannibal Lector, our hero (Chris Hemsworth), needs more than his boomerang hammer. Fortunately he has the help of semi-mad scientist Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgärd) who seems to work best clad only in his underwear, and, of course, Jane and her two interns who run around England’s picturesque Greenwich trying to get a contraption the scientist has invented that can wipe out the invading hordes.
I will say that there are some nice touches of humor to all the ponderous fights and mythological mumbo jumbo (compare Marvel’s mythology about darkness to that of Genesis). In Jane’s apartment Thor hangs up his hammer on her coat rack as casually as if it were an umbrella, and shape shifter Loki in one sequence turns himself into Captain America. Also it was good to see Anthony Hopkins as one-eyed King Odin and Rene Russo as the very queenly Frigga, mother of both Thor and Loki.
Were I a 12 or 13 year-old, I probably would have enjoyed the spectacular special effects, the cool mixing of medieval swords and axes (and of course the Hammer) with laser guns and space ships, and a gorgeous armor clad babe bashing in the heads of evil warriors, but I’ve been going to the movies for too long and have seen this sort of thing over and over again to be able to enjoy it much—unless it is a story by Tolkien or C.S. Lewis. Within 5 minutes of the closing credits of this thing I was down the hall totally immersed in Robert Redford’s marvelous survival tale All Is Lost, probably made with a budget that might just cover the catering and limousine service of director Alan Taylor’s megamess. Now there is a film with a real hero in a believable situation!