Don’t get me wrong — I’m a Marvel fan. I like the Avengers. Spider-Man’s cool. And I loved the first Thor.
But as far as I’m concerned, the Marvel sequels usually miss the mark (Spidey 2 was bad, but 3 I can’t even talk about). I was surprisingly pleased with “Thor 2: The Dark World,” but probably because I set the bar low. The plot revolves around Thor (Chris Hemsworth) stopping at nothing, even father King Odin’s command, to prevent the elusive dark elves of Svartalfhei from stealing the light from the Nine Realms.
Of course, that means the return of Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), a restless scientist and Thor’s girl. Jane unknowingly becomes the host of the elves’ secret weapon of mass destruction, the liquid Aether that looks like … well, blood. Once establishing that Jane is in danger and the lights could go out everywhere, Thor’s mission is clear. However, the central plot gets quite dense and clunky from there, with too many computer-generated battle scenes where filmmakers tried to blow up as much of Asgard as possible. It seems even that didn’t satisfy, so the final battle scene consists of fighting between realms and the destruction of Greenwich, England as well.
So why did I like the movie? Loki, naturally. Thor’s compellingly dark brother Loki (played by the brilliant Tom Hiddleston) steals the show entirely. With sneers, sarcasm and a few seriously good magic tricks, Loki is instantly more likeable than his brawny brother. He’s cunning and delivers the best lines in the film (my favorite: ‘It’s not that I don’t enjoy our little chats,’ he tells Odin. ‘It’s just … that I don’t’). There are also some tantalizing bits in the film, including the Loki cliffhanger ending and the after-credits scene introducing the Collector (nerds rejoice). Overall, Loki makes being bad look like a lot of fun, and that’s what keeps us watching.
Marvel once again pulls off a box-office hit, with Hiddleston’s performance pulling the weight in reviews and Tumblr fangirling. I’m looking forward to the next Thor film. With a bit more Loki, I’m sure it will top anything Tony Stark has done.
Stephanie Morin is a senior public relations and history double major. This review reflects the view of the writer only.