Brother Loki and Thor team up to battle evil forces threatening their home planet in the action-filled film (press photo).

by Lauren Schwabe
Lifestyle Editor

It is rare that a sequel surpasses its predecessor in both entertainment and story quality. However, “Thor: The Dark World,” directed by Alan Taylor, successfully does just that. Though it’s nothing to rave about, the film certainly is another entertaining superhero story from Marvel, taking its audience to Thor’s world on Asgod, post-Avengers battle.

Back on his home planet, Thor (Christ Hemsworth) is discontent with his life and can find no satisfaction in fighting wars on other planets or in the women on his own. Missing his human love, astrophysicist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who remains on earth, he goes  mindlessly through the motions of battle and the celebrations that follow.

Then he finds out that, by accident, Jane has discovered an age-old evil power called the Aether which is now using her as a host body, threatening her life. Its discovery awakes a group of Dark Elves, led by Malekith, who once had possession of the Aether and now want it back in order to have complete rule over the nine realms.

Thor, needed again, regains purpose in saving and protecting both Jane and the planet he calls home. Realizing that he needs a partner perhaps a little more crafty than he, Thor teams up with the imprisoned Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and sets out to end the dark elves’ reign once and for all.

This film was a surprise. As the first “Thor” was fairly boring and honestly a let down, there was not much hope for this one to be an improvement. But it worked, and worked well.

Probably the greatest strengths of “Thor: The Dark World” lay in that the audience knows the main characters already. Thor is continuously noble and manly, Loki sulks, plots and jests while Jane stays brainy and peppy, bordering on the edge of annoying.

The other strength is that the majority of the action takes place off Earth—on Asgard, a desert-like planet called Svartalfheim or briefly in one of the other realms. This increase in other-planet action could be thanks to a new director with a different vision or simply a different story line.

But the best story here is Loki’s. After combining forces with Thor to avenge the death of their mother, Loki’s ever-shifting allegiances keep the audience invested and guessing.

In addition to being the much-needed comic relief through obvious statements, jests and shape-shifting disguises, Loki’s personality becomes more apparent in this film, making Thor seem predictable and boring.

Though it’s nothing particularly unique or thrilling, “Thor: The Dark World” is a sequel to rival the first and a film perfect for anyone with a taste for adventure and fantasy.

Review Rating: 3.5/5
Release Date: November 8, 2013
Rated: PG-13 for intense sci-fi action, violence, some suggestive content
Categorized as: Sci-fi/Fantasy, Action

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