Thor: The Dark World continues on the journey of its predecessor with the eponymous hero played by Chris Hemsworth trying to save not only Earth, but all of the Nine Realms, including his home Asgard. Reuniting with his love Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and forced to ask his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) for assistance, Thor tries to take down ancient villain Melekith (Christopher Eccleston) and his army.

Replacing Kenneth Branagh at the helm for the Thor sequel is Alan Taylor, who has directed a number of Game of Thrones and The Sopranos episodes. As with the last movie, The Dark World is heavy on special effects under Taylor's direction. While the action sequences are thought to be impressive by most, the story itself is leaving something to be desired. Overall, while some critics appreciated the Thor: The Dark World, others found it to be a disgrace and the remaining were mostly ambivalent.

“Repackaging a Norse god as an alien superhero takes chutzpah, not humor (unless you count the Viking ship that serves as his spacecraft), and movie studios have yet to lose money by assuming that their audiences have the intellectual discernment of newborns. So if the multiple idiocies on view strike you as neither here nor there, it’s probably because your eyeballs are too busy recoiling from the onslaught of disorienting 3-D effects, or else too distracted by the title character’s Popeye arms and really big mallet.” – Jeannette Catsoulis, The New York Times

“Any reservations I had about Thor: The Dark World evaporated when the movie shifted into maximum overdrive in its second hour. The latest chapter in Marvel’s never-ending story takes a while to find its narrative momentum, but its later, better scenes have a loony oomph that drowns out your misgivings. It elevates comic-book pandemonium to new heights of clamor. Joyous Pop Art excess permeates every frame.” – Colin Covert, Star Tribune

“It’s like Star Trek crash-landed in the middle of The Lord of the Rings. So the picture is a mess. But it’s kind of a fun mess. When you have Tom Hiddleston’s smirking trickster Loki mocking his muscley not-quite brother (Loki’s adopted) Thor; when you have Kat Dennings’ squeaky-voiced, wide-eyed gal pal of Thor’s beloved Jane Foster admiring the demigod’s muscles; and when you’ve got Stellan Skarsgård running around Stonehenge buck-naked — Yeah, what’s up with that? — there are pleasures to be had from many of the performances.” – Soren Anderson, Seattle Times

“There’s a fleet and funny comic-book movie nestled inside Thor: The Dark World. You catch glimpses of it here and there, such as a shot in which the Asgardian hero enters a London flat and hangs his hammer on a coat rack as if it were an umbrella, or a witty sequence in which Thor’s villainous brother, who wreaked all kinds of evil in The Avengers, relishes the fact his older sibling is now asking for his help (how convenient). That scene gets the biggest laugh in the entire film. But moments like those are rare. The bulk of this bloated, plodding sequel … is just another riff about an ancient being.” – Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald

Thor: The Dark World, rated PG-13, is currently in wide release.

– Chelsea Regan

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