MRR Review: "Thor: The Dark World"

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Marvel Comics' superhero of the title name (again played by Chris Hemsworth) is back, this time battling an ancient race of Dark Elves led by a vengeful Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) in the sequel to 2011's Thor. Starring Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Anthony Hopkins, Ray Stevenson, Kat Dennings, Zachary Levi & Rene Russo.

MRR Review: "Thor: The Dark World"

Rating: PG-13 (Sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, suggestive content)
Length: 112 minutes
Release Date: November 8, 2013
Directed by: Alan Taylor
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy

"Thor: The Dark World" is a 2013 action adventure film and the sequel to "Thor." Marvel's adaptation of classic Norse legends comes to life in this visually stunning film, filled with more action and thrills than any recent Marvel film. At the end of "Thor," Asgard's chosen son was left humbled and separated from his human love, Dr. Jane Foster. While Thor has been content to complete his own quests while his father Odin rules Asgard with wisdom and an iron fist, everything is about to change when an ancient enemy rears its fearsome head. A race of Dark Elves who have existed since before time itself are about to cast the entire known universe into perilous darkness with the destructive Aether. The Aether is a weapon so powerful that even Odin is unable to stop it on his own.

Fortunately, Thor and the heroes of Asgard stop the Dark Elves. Unfortunately, Malekith, their nefarious leader, manages to escape and lies in wait for his chance to get vengeance and destroy the world. Meanwhile, Thor and his friends discover that it is impossible to destroy the Aether. Thor sets about his task to reunite the nine realms of the universe while trying to figure out a way to neutralize the threat of the Aether. Back on earth, a discouraged Dr. Jane Foster waits for Thor's promised return. As the years pass, she is starting to lose hope. As she looks toward the heavens for any sign of her love's return, she notices a cosmic event almost identical to the one that beckoned Thor into the human world in the first film.

A strange anomaly, a deadly ancient weapon, and a force far beyond anything humans or gods could imagine bring Thor back to his estranged human love. When Thor and his fellow warriors of Asgard return to Earth, they are forced to put their faith in the most unlikely of allies. Loki, banished to another realm for his previous treachery, proves himself to be the only hope for saving humanity from the Aether. Loki may not be loyal, but he makes up for his treachery with wisdom and knowledge. He alone has the ancient knowledge it will take to disarm the Aether and put an end to the Dark Elven threat once and for all. Only time will tell whether Thor is right to put his faith in him.

"Thor: The Dark World" is one of the most highly anticipated films of the year and for good reason. While "Thor" and the subsequent film, "The Avengers," were both smash box office hits in their own right, "Thor: The Dark World" is on track to hit unprecedented heights upon its release. Since the release of the official trailer, featuring otherworldly graphics and tension between Thor and Loki like never before, fans have been talking nonstop about the upcoming film. The most talked about element of the film seems to be the relationship between Thor and his mischievous brother Loki. True to Norse legend, Loki is a trickster and a cunning one at that. He will stop at nothing to gain the upper hand and achieve vengeance for the imagined trespasses committed against him. After discovering that he is the spawn of the Ice Giants, Loki is amore dangerous foe than ever. In spite of everything, a part of him still wants to work with his brother, and Thor has yet to give up hope of his reform.

Another intriguing element of the story is the budding romance between Thor and Dr. Jane Foster. Plenty of on-screen chemistry exists between Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman, making the two one of the most highly anticipated film couples in a long time. Although the pairing was not made official in "Thor" or "The Avengers," "Thor: The Dark World" promises to pair them up once and for all. Just because the promise of romance is present doesn't mean fans of the film should expect it to come without a cost. When lines are drawn in the sand and the fate of the entire universe is at stake, Thor will be forced to make a sacrifice for the good of all humanity. Whether that sacrifice threatens to take away the very things and people he treasures most remains to be seen. One thing is certain, and that is that "Thor: The Dark World" will be the most visually stunning and action-packed addition to the Marvel movie franchise yet.

Rating: 4 out of 5