Thor: The Dark World – an unexpected sci-fi story about evil elves

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Thor: The Dark World

My son and I saw an early screening of Thor: The Dark World last Monday. We loved it, but I was surprised the film was more of a science fiction story than a superhero story. Don’t worry, there’s plenty of ass kicking by Thor and other Asgardians. But there’s also space ships and worm holes, which I didn’t expect. Thor: The Dark World (Marvel Studios) opens in theaters today. The 112-minute movie is rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, and some suggestive content. Continue reading to learn six things about Thor: The Dark World.

6 Things About Thor: The Dark World

1. It’s a sequel — the story so far
The Dark World is a sequel to the first film. In the first Thor movie, Thor is exiled to Earth when he disobeys his father (Odin) and ends up starting a war with the Frost Giants. On Earth, Thor meets the lovely Jane Foster, who is a scientist that helps him. Meanwhile, Loki (Thor’s evil brother) forms a secret alliance with the Frost Giants so he can become the king of Asgard (Thor’s home world). Thor eventually redeems himself and returns to defeat Loki. But in the process, their fight destroys the bridge between Asgard and Earth. In The Avengers, Thor finds a way to return to Earth. But he only stays long enough to stop Loki from taking over the planet.

Dark Elves

2. The villains are elves
About 500 years ago, a race of evil elves tries to plunge the nine realms into total darkness. The Dark Elves planned to use a force called the Aether to accomplish their goal. The Asgardians stop them, but Malekith and a small group Dark Elves secretly escape into suspended animation. In present time, Jane Foster finds the Aether and accidentally bonds with it. When she does, the Dark Elves are awaken and they hunt her down so they can use the Aether to make another attempt to plunge the universe into total darkness. In the process, the Dark Elves attack Asgard. Even though they are small in numbers, they are more than a match for the Asgardians.

Malekith

3. It’s a sci-fi story
The first movie was about Thor, the god of thunder. It was a superhero origin story. The Dark World, on the other hand, is essentially a sci-fi story in which the main character is a superhero. At times, I felt like I was watching a Star Trek or Star Wars movie. For instance, the Dark Elves traveled in a space ship that can cloak and they attacked with mini-ships that reminded me of TIE fighters. In addition, the story involved the alignment of nine worlds, and phasing in and out of different planes of existence. BTW, aether is a physics term.

4. Stay around for the credits
You will want to stay around for the credits. After the main credits (roughly five minutes), Sif and another Asgardian hand over a piece of Aether to a creepy looking dude. Apparently the Aether is the one of five Infinity Stones. I think the Tesseract (seen in Captain America and The Avengers) is another Infinity Stone.

5. Stan Lee’s cameo
Yes, Stan Lee makes another cameo in this Marvel film. This time, he’s in a mental institution. Makes sense, right? Stan Lee is a little wacky in some of his Marvel appearances.

6. Loki deserves some recognization
Thor: The Dark World stars Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Natalie Portman (Jane Foster). Thor is the main character in the film, but Loki is by far the most interesting character. Like the first Thor film, Tom Hiddleston is excellent as Loki, the black sheep in Odin’s family. Kat Dennings also does a wonderful job as Darcy Lewis, Jane Foster’s intern. The film also features 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), Stellan Skarsgård (Erik Selvig), and Alice Krige (Eir). The movie was directed by Alan Taylor.

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