An ancient race who lived before the light of the universe want to turn all existence back to eternal night. The key to doing this is using a powerful force known as The Aether during the Convergence of the nine realms which only happens once every 5000 years, but when human scientist, Jane Foster, finds herself playing physical host to the evil Aether, Thor returns from Asgard in order to protect not only Jane, but possibly the whole everything, everywhere. With this enemy being far too powerful for him to defeat, he turns to his disgraced, trickster brother, Loki, for help but can he be trusted to do the right thing?
Thor: The Dark World (2013) – Director: Alan Taylor
Running Length: 120 minutes
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston
Genre: Action / Adventure, Fantasy, Comic Book
With each new Marvel Cinematic Universe movie there comes the added pressure of living up to the stellar efforts that have to be followed. Out of the first crop of movies,’ Thor’ was the one that, oddly enough, displayed the most heart. At its core it was a tale of family and brothers, set against a backdrop of comic book grandeur.
‘Thor: The Dark World’ goes along the typical sequel route of taking all the elements of the original and ramping them up to make the things to focus on bolder and bigger. The scale is much more vast this time around. We spend more time at Asgard, learn of ancient foes, and explore what happens when the nine realms that make up this universe come into convergence for the first time in 5,000 years. The action is loud, explosive, and very satisfying. The villains are numerous, threatening, and ultimately exist just to get pounded with a hammer. Those looking for a thumping comic book experience won’t be disappointed.
Where ‘Thor: The Dark World’ falters a little is that it focuses so much on the vast scale of the stakes (destruction of the universe, anyone?) much of the emotionally grounding family scenes lie buried in the mix. They’re still there, and the scenes between Hemsworth (as Thor) and Hiddleston (as the surly Loki) sparkle with a depth of character that is sadly lacking throughout the rest of the movie. Whilst it is a shame that we don’t get as much of Hiddleston acting everyone off the screen as before (although he still does it easily), ‘Thor: The Dark World’ is still a hugely entertaining broad strokes movie that will have you and your kids munching down the popcorn and glued to the screen.
IS ‘THOR : THE DARK WORLD’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?
The beginning of the movie depicts an ancient battle between the Asgardians and a race known as the Dark Elves. This battle is on a large-scale and feature many deaths, but none are gory or lingered upon. One of the Elves crushes an egg device in order to become a Kursed. The Kursed are larger and more aggressive, looking not dissimilar to a minotaur in appearance. They aren’t supposed to be scary, however, merely a bigger and stronger foe.
Jane Foster visits a factory which seems to display odd bending of the rules of gravity. When she wanders down a corridor, the lights begin to go out and leaves rustle along the floor. She is dragged through a door by an invisible force and is scared, fighting to resist. The music and direction make this a scary, but brief, moment.
Erik Selvig is suffering mentally from the events of ‘Avengers Assemble’. We see news footage of him running around Stonehenge, waving scientific equipment around, all the while whilst naked. The footage pixellates his groin area but there is a moment of naked bottom. This is played for laughs and not gratuitous.
One of the surviving Dark Elves prepares to become a Kursed. This involves them being stabbed and wincing with pain, and then hiding one of the eggs we have seen previously in the wound. Later, the character removes the egg from his wound by digging his hands into his abdomen. We don’t see much detail of this and the moment is short. When he becomes a Kursed he screams as the transformation takes him over and there is a close up of around 5 – 10 seconds of his face as it changes into a masked, horned appearance.
As part of this scene, the Kursed is surrounded by criminals previously ‘arrested’ by the Asgardians. He slams one’s head against a force field repeatedly. He also grabs people by the throat and appears to burn the life out of them. These people kick and jerk as this happens but it is rarely shown for more than a few seconds at a time, and usually from a mid-distance, with perhaps one brief close up.
The generic Dark Elves have a costume that features a blank faced white mask. This may upset younger children.
There is an emotional death in the film whereby a sympathetic character is run through with a sword. There is no gore for this. A funeral is held in the next scene and so the emotiveness is held for around 5 minutes. There is also a later emotional death which is powerful, but short. The next scenes are comedic and will lighten the tone.
One character has a hand cut off. This is done very quickly and without warning. The character then cradles the wound to their chest and, as a result, little of the wound is ever scene.
Jane becomes physically possessed by a powerful force known as the Aether. It is this power that the Dark Elves seek and it is forcibly removed from Jane’s body about two-thirds of the way through. She is levitated into the air and jerks as this process takes place. However, although she is clearly in distress, the scene switches to a vision, which serves to break up her on-screen suffering, which is short in any event.
Jane has a comedy friend character called Darcy who swears on a moderate level on couple of occasions.
CAN I SEE A CLIP?
‘Thor: The Dark World’ continues the run of hit Marvel movies that deliver all the bang you’d want from an action blockbuster. We’re a little disappointed that the excellent character groundwork that was laid in ‘Thor’ (and expanded on in ‘Avengers Assemble’) wasn’t given more time, but the scenes that are there still sparkle. No doubt kids who like action comic book movies will love this one too. Due to some occasional moderate cursing and occasionally strong violence (although with a lack of blood or suffering), we would recommend this movie as suitable for children aged 7 and up.
- Violence: 3/5 (constant, but not overly strong. No gore and minimal blood)
- Emotional Distress: 2/5 (a sympathetic character is killed and is mourned in a funeral scene that immediately follows it)
- Fear Factor: 2/5 (the Kursed is rather scary at first appearance but we do get used to them later)
- Sexual Content: 0/5
- Bad Language: 2/5 (occasional moderate level cursing, all from Darcy)
- Dialogue: 1/5 (character dialogue after a character death is emotional, but brief. The remaining characters are not shown to suffer unduly later in the film)
- Other notes: Deals with themes of the responsibility of power, betrayal, family ties being more than blood, and dealing with the consequences of your actions.
- Don’t forget to stay after the credits for a bonus scene, and then to stay after the long credits for another bonus!
Words by Mike Record
Marvel's THOR: The Dark World