The god of thunder is back for another spin in the Marvel movie universe with "Thor: The Dark World," but will the sequel to 2011's "Thor" get hammered by critics, or will it be at the center of a perfect storm of adoration?
The central characters from the first film are all back for round two — Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), Darcy (Kat Dennings) and Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgard) are all present and accounted for, but this time even the intern has an intern (hi, Jonathan Howard) and there are a few dark elves running around (Christopher Eccleston) to add interest.
Read on for a sampling of "Thor: The Dark World" reviews.
If You're Into That Sort of Thing, You'll Be Into It
"As it goes with superhero flicks, the true believers are the ones who'll groove on it the most. In fact, anyone who considers a giant hammer (called Mjolnir, as if you didn't know) as cool as a lightsaber or the Batmobile likely has more invested in the story than the average moviegoer.Let's face it, the real villain here is essentially a gloomy meteorological phenomenon." -- Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News
Characters Based On Cartoons Can Get a Little Cartoony
"This sequel also doles out its supporting players in acceptable doses, so we don't get too much of Kat Dennings' snarky science assistant or Anthony Hopkins' overblown Odin. The latter does provide one of the film's sillier moments, when he fulminates at the villainous Loki (Tom Hiddleston), 'Your only BIRTHRIGHT-AH! Was to DIE-YEE!'" — Alonso Duralde, The Wrap
What's Your Damage
"The real problem with Thor as a character is that, on his own, he's not very interesting -- he requires other characters to smash against to create something compelling, be it humorous or dramatic (Tony Stark, for instance, is wholly amusing and entertaining on his own and doesn't need other people to make him zing as a character). Even Thor's emotional blockades — not knowing if he wants to be king, the little problem of his locked up brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston, excellent as ever), missing Jane —don't give him much depth, and both Thor and 'Thor: The Dark World' scream out for something resembling actual drama and trauma." —Kate Erbland, Film.com
Laughs Make Up For a Lack
"In the end, that humorous approach is largely the film's saving grace, keeping the action sufficiently lively and diverting that audiences won't recognize how recycled the material is, or how low the stakes feel. Disposable as it may feel at the end of the day, "Thor: The Dark World" is not without a certain pleasing deftness, from its goofily offhand way of finding scientific explanations for blatantly supernatural phenomena, to the blithe ease with which it sends its characters hopscotching from one dimension to the next. This latter motif succeeds in turning film's climactic showdown into a playful exercise in physical displacement, shot and edited with a bit more coherence than the typical f/x orgy of exploding buildings." — Justin Chang, Variety
It Takes a Village (Of Screenwriters)
"I drifted off into the Aether myself while various CG armies whacked away at one another, but 'Thor: The Dark World' gets a lot more entertaining in the second hour, when the shape-shifting Loki is sprung from his cell (for complicated reasons) and immediately begins trading bitchy insults with his forthright, manly brother. Many credited and (I'm sure) uncredited screenwriters have come onboard to punch up the banter and add good, deflating gags, like Thor having to board the London tube ('Mind the gap') in the middle of an epic battle. That's the series' comic signature, and it's a good one: high-flown Asgard declarations followed by earthy put-downs. Sometimes the balance is off and the movie tilts into camp (Kat Dennings as Portman's high-strung assistant is an irritant), but when all is said and disintegrated, it delivers. At these prices, it better." — David Edelstein, Vulture
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