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The Blue & Gray Press | August 17, 2017

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The mightiest Avenger fails to deliver a mighty movie.

By SARAH DEFFENBAUGH

In the sequel to the first Thor movie, “Thor: The Dark World” continues the adventures of the mighty Asgardian, Thor (Chris Hemswoth), as he battles to save Earth and the Nine Realms from the ruthless and ancient enemy, Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), leader of the Dark Elves.

The film opens by telling the story of how, thousands of years ago, Malekith and his army of Dark Elves tried to plunge the universe into darkness using a mystical weapon called the “aether.” While the warriors of Asgard were able to thwart their evil plan, they were unable to keep the dark leader Malekith from escaping. As the Aether is indestructible, the leaders of Asgard chose to hide it.

The film Thor returns to present day, where, due to a series of coincidental events, Thor’s love interest, Jane (Natalie Portman), comes across the Aether’s path and is poisoned by it. Thor senses her disappearance from Earth and brings her to Asgard where he hopes she can be cured. However, the vengeful Malekith learns of the Aether’s reappearance and decides the time to strike is now. Malekith turns out to become a formidable opponent, even for Thor, and Thor is forced to turn to his imprisoned and villainous brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), for help.

“The Dark World” follows the formula of all Marvel movies up to this point: epic and exciting battle scenes, decent acting and clever one liners delivered with impeccable timing. People enjoy the formulaic superhero movies that Marvel keeps cranking out, so it is understandable why they follow their proven successful formula.

However, this step-by-step formula can become stale after a while, which is evidenced in “The Dark World.” There are, of course, fantastic action scenes, and the graphics in the movie are spectacular; however, the first half of the movie is slow paced due to the backstory and lack of Loki. Loki is the gem of the film, and the movie does not really take off until he and Thor reunite. Hiddleston plays Loki with such irresistible charm that even when the audience is sure they cannot trust him, they still love him.

The other actors perform well enough, but no one else really stands out. The plot feels tired and drawn out, but the battle scenes are on point and there is enough clever dialogue to keep the audience from growing too bored. That said, if you are a fan of previous Marvel installments you will not be very disappointed in “The Dark World.” Some of the plot twists seem just a bit too coincidental, even for a superhero movie; but, thanks to Hiddleston’s charm and top notch performance, coupled with a variety of fun and visually stunning battle scenes, the movie is definitely worth watching.

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