Casey O’Brien – Managing Editor
As far as sequels go, there’s generally an understanding they will never live up to the original movie, however entertaining they may be. Yet in the case of “Thor: The Dark World,” jumping on the train of success that was The Avengers, it completely blows the first film out of the water. As soon as it finishes, it makes you immediately want sit in your seat and wait for the next showing.
The Marvel franchise is a gift which keeps on giving, and so, it seems, is “Thor.” We begin where “The Avengers” left off, with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in some hot water after trying to annihilate Manhattan and become the su- preme ruler of humanity. He is brought back to Asgard and thrown into the high security prison. And it does seem to be the latest trend in villain-capturing, he is kept in a glass box with a few furnishings; how nice of Odin to give him a chair, none of the other prisoners got one.
Thor (Chris Hemsworth) seems to be throwing himself into his work, teaming up with his friends to bring peace to the nine realms. Still, he always makes time at night to visit Heimdall (Idris Elba) who can see his beloved Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and assures Thor she is doing well. In fact, Jane is in London studying the convergence, the upcoming alignment of the realms, and attempt- ing to get over Thor (the god left for two years, then came to New York and didn’t call). In her studies, she gets transported to Svartalfheim, a barren wasteland where the villain, Malekith, (Christopher Eccleston) ruler of the Dark Elves once lived and possessed the Aether. The Dark Elves wish to bring darkness to all the realms; Jane begins to help them in their quest when she unknowingly awakens the Aether, and it uses her body as a host.
With the Dark Elves reawakening and planning to destroy Asgard, Thor goes against his father’s wishes and commits treason to free Loki from prison to aid him in fighting Malekith. This film truly belongs to Hiddleston, who effortlessly embodies the God of Mischief, and steals the show from the title character. He hits the comedic notes, and can immediately turn it around into someone who has sadness and hatred in his heart. His performance is equally mesmerizing and heartbreaking, as Loki really has nothing left. Because of this fact, everyone is convinced he will betray Thor upon his release from prison.
“Thor: The Dark World” is astounding visually, and is sure to tug on heartstrings throughout. The film is best if you know the backstory from “Thor” and “The Avengers,” but newcomers will be able to follow the storyline easily. And as usual with Marvel films, make sure to stay until the very end of the credits.