There is something metaphysical about quantum theory, Schrödinger's cat, space time continuums, crashing through dimensions and all of that jiving around. And that is what saves Thor: The Dark World from sinking into a morass of workman-like special effects.
Based on Marvel Comics’ Thor by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber and Jack Kirby, Thor: The Dark World tells of Thor, the crown prince, who returns to Asgard after two years of fighting to finally bring about peace in the nine realms. Odin, Thor’s father and king, sentences Loki, Thor’s adoptive brother to prison for his war crimes on earth. In a prologue we are told of Malekith, the ruler of the Dark Elves who was defeated by Odin’s father Bor. A rare celestial occurrence when the nine realms align known as the convergence is about to take place and Malekith wants to use the colliding worlds to harness a weapon of mass destruction known as Aether. While all this is going on, Jane Foster, Thor’s earthling physicist girlfriend, is infected with Aether and it is a race against time to get Aether out of her and away from Malekith.
The exposition and the wall-to-wall action was just that wee bit boring only lighting up when Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is on screen. Actually there is no shortage of star power from the hunky Chris Hemsworth as Thor to the lovely Natalie Portman as Jane. Anthony Hopkins as the venerable Odin, Stellan Skarsgård as the ultimate eccentric professor and Rene Russo as ma to the warring brothers Frigga complete with a strange hairstyle (looks like a distant cousin of Princess Leia’s donut braids) are all very watchable.
However it is only when those colliding worlds kick in that the movie becomes magical. There is super tight control on detailing and editing as objects and action dance along space and time crashing through worlds tearing holes in the warp and weft of different dimensions. Then the movie shifts gear from standard issue superhero to becoming the ultimate trip upon a magic swirling ship. Yay! And wait for the end credits for a happy surprise.
Director: Alan Taylor
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Stellan Skarsgård, Idris Elba, Christopher Eccleston, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano, Jaimie Alexander, Rene Russo
Storyline: The dark lord wishes to send all the nine realms into darkness and it is left to Thor to save the day
Bottomline: Never has quantum physics been so thrilling