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Thor - The Dark World (3D)


Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Idris Elba, Kat Dennings, René Russo, Christopher Eccleston, Jaimie Alexander, Stellan Skarsgard, Jonathan Howard, Chris O'Dowd, Benicio Del Toro

Director: Alan Taylor

This latest addition to the Marvel franchise is what a revered ex-colleague of mine would call good fun. It is good and, when it wants to be, fun too. Scenes of demigod Thor (Hemsworth) on a tube train - 'How do I get to Greenwich?' - and our armour-plated hero entering an English home and hanging his hammer on a hook in the hall well nigh brought the house down.

There's also an amusing scene where Thor's treacherous half-brother Loki (Hiddleston) transforms himself into Captain America for the pleasure of hacking his sibling off.

The story? Just an excuse for thunderous action and spectacular CGI effects, really, but at any rate the dark elves, led by Malekith (Eccleston), long since vanquished by Thor's granddad and now dormant, have had hidden from them on Earth, where no one can find it, the source of their power, a swirly substance called aether.

So guess who, hundreds of years later, re-discovers it? Yes, it's Thor's American scientist girlfriend Jane (Portman), who's possessed by the substance and pursued by a revived Malekith, who wants, in the most violent possible way, to extract the aether.

Asgard, home of the demigods, to which Thor has spirited Jane, repels the elves' first attack at some cost to life and buildings, and Thor, forbidden to leave the city by his kingly father (Hopkins), is so desperate to do so that he enlists the imprisoned Loki as his co-conspirator.

Vivid special effects provide the film's own aether and there's rarely a dull moment as Thor takes on ever bigger and more powerful enemies in a story that keeps you in suspense as to the devious Loki's true intentions. I must admit to not quite comprehending the thronely transformation at the end, but then I guess all's fair in love and Thor.

David Quinlan

USA 2013. UK Distributor: Walt Disney. Technicolor.
111 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 28 Oct 2013