Movie date: Thor: The Dark World

Movie date: Thor: The Dark World

Mars

I can remember studying Norse mythology during my university days in the 90s.

How amazing it would be to see a movie with all this crazy stuff in it, I thought.

It was impossible then, given the standard of special effects.

It's not impossible now.

This sequel looks AMAZING.

The simple genius of the Thor films, I think, is that they are set more in HIS world rather than OUR world.

They aren't so much superhero movies as mythological epics.

This is a movie about gods fighting monsters.

Sure, they're out to save the Earth, but they're also out to save the other realms under their protection, not to mention their own home world of Asgard.

Of course, we human beings do have a special place in Thor's heart, and particularly his gal pal Portman.

When he sweeps her up into the sky and carries her to Asgard, I can just imagine how the women in the audience must be swooning.

Indeed, during Thor's shirtless scene, there was so much squealing you'd think we were watching Twilight.

A lot of films promise adventure and romance, but this one delivers big time.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Venus

The next Thor sequel should be called The Loki Show.

Simply because he's the saving grace in this otherwise humdrum movie.

Who needs Thor and his gratuitous topless scene when you have his conniving, campy half-brother chewing up the scenery?

Hemsworth, who demonstrated an impressive range in Rush, is overshadowed by Hiddleston.

Yes, Hemsworth does nail all his funny scenes but the rest of the time, his Thor is like the Norse God we've seen in the first outing and in The Avengers - a rather bland chunk of meat.

You can blame it on the story, which is absolutely predictable and reeks of Star Wars and The Lord Of The Rings.

Unless you're fed on a steady diet of Thor mythology, the many unpronounceable realms that Thor has to protect and people he has to fight simply flies over your head. Well, my head at least.

Even Portman's Jane is plain and boring, though she does get more action this time around. The new villain Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) is also a yawn.

While The Dark World offers a very beautiful backdrop, everything boils down to the wonderful, genuine chemistry between Hemsworth and Hiddleston. Thor has a new mighty weapon, and his name is Loki.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston
Director: Alan Taylor
The skinny: A race of dark elves sets out to destroy our universe, and only Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and his pals stand in their way. After the elves launch an attack on Asgard in search of a super weapon, Thor concocts a plan with his brother Loki (Hiddleston) and girlfriend Jane (Portman) to defeat them.
Rating: PG13
The consensus: Thor and his gal pal contribute to the overall romance, but Loki takes it to a whole other level.

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