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Thor: The Dark World (8 out of 10)
directed by Alan Taylor
written by Christopher Yost and Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely,
from a story by Don Payne and Robert Rodat,
based on comic books by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Walt Simonson, Larry Lieber, Sal Buscema,
and one other name mentioned in the credits as "thanks to" which I forget
Principal Cast
Chris Hemsworth -- Thor
Natalie Portman -- Jane Foster
Tom Hiddleston -- Loki
Anthony Hopkins -- Odin
Christopher Eccleston -- Malekith
Jaimie Alexander -- Sif
Zachary Levi -- Fandral
Ray Stevenson -- Volstagg
Tadanobu Asano -- Hogun
Idris Elba -- Heimdall
Rene Russo -- Frigga
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje -- Algrim / Kurse
Kat Dennings -- Darcy Lewis
Ratings
For a long time now I've been rating films from one to four stars. Starting with The Wolverine review, I've switched to a rating from 0 to 10. Why? Because it is a much better three star film than Man of Steel was. Man of Steel was a 7. The Wolverine is an 8.
Past Feature Reviews
A review by Rick Norwood

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Thor: The Dark World The second major Thor film is an entertaining superhero movie most notable for the appeal of the trickster Loki. It gets off to an awkward start, with a voice-over narration by an instantly forgotten contemporary of Thor's grandfather Borr. (In the Norse Prose Edda, Thor's grandfather is Priam, King of Troy, linking the legends of the far North with the legends of Greece, much as Virgil linked the legends of Rome with Greece and Geoffrey of Monmouth linked the legends of King Arthur with Greece.)

The movie has too many big, unfocused battle scenes. Even the most spectacular special effects lose our interest if we don't care about any of the characters. The scene with Natalie Portman and a lake in the background reminded me of a scene in Star Wars, but the lake scene in Star Wars is much more beautiful.

The villains are unmotivated, absolute evil. Even Christopher Eccleston, who plays the arch-villian, is not given any acting to do.

But, when the story focuses on Odin, Thor, and Loki, it gets much more interesting. I suspect comic book and tv scribe Christopher Yost did the big battle sequences, while Markus and McFeely, who wrote the Narnia films and Captain America, did the character bits.

For those of us who, back in the day, read Journey into Mystery and Thor, one pleasure of the movie is to see comic book characters Hogun the Grim, Fandral the Dashing, and Volstagg the Magnificant make brief appearances. For fans of mythology, it is nice to see the ravens Huginn and Muninn fly to Odin.

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Copyright © 2013 Rick Norwood

Rick Norwood is a mathematician and writer whose small press publishing house, Manuscript Press, has published books by Hal Clement, R.A. Lafferty, and Hal Foster. He is also the editor of Comics Revue Monthly, which publishes such classic comic strips as Flash Gordon, Sky Masters, Modesty Blaise, Tarzan, Odd Bodkins, Casey Ruggles, The Phantom, Gasoline Alley, Krazy Kat, Alley Oop, Little Orphan Annie, Barnaby, Buz Sawyer, and Steve Canyon. Visit his web site at comicsrevue.com.


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