28 captures
08 Nov 2013 - 12 May 2019
About this capture
In the News
‘Thor: The Dark World’ movie review
Loki (Tom Hiddleston), left, steals some of his brother’s (Chris Hemsworth) thunder in the sequel “Thor: The Dark World.” (Jay Maidment)
By Michael O’Sullivan, E-mail the writer
Is “Thor” getting dumber, or am I?
I’m not referring to the Marvel superhero (Chris Hemsworth), a muscle-bound blond himbo whom no one has ever called a deep thinker, but to the movie franchise itself. With the release of “The Dark World,” the second film in the series about the hammer-wielding Norse god — or the third if you count “The Avengers” — I’m left with way more questions than I can answer.
Thor: The Dark World 3D
Critic rating:
Opened: 11/08/2013
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Stellan Skarsgard, Idris Elba, Christopher Eccleston, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Kat Dennings, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi
Rated: PG-13
Tickets and showtimes
City, state or zip
Looking for things to do?
Select one or more criteria to search
Free admission
Get ideas
For example, if Thor’s homeland of Asgard has the technology to defend itself from space invaders with long-range artillery and jet fighters, as we see in the film, why do Asgardian foot soldiers still run around with medieval swords and daggers?
And exactly how and when did the Bifrost get repaired? That magical bridge between Asgard and Earth was, as everyone knows, destroyed utterly at the end of the first film. It was still out of commission in “The Avengers,” leading the screenwriters to offer a bogus explanation for Thor’s appearance in New York City as the result of his father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), pulling some strings. Huh? In the new film, the rainbow highway is suddenly good to go again, with no explanation.
Are Thor and his family divine or aren’t they? “We’re not gods,” Odin says to his son Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in what may be the biggest bombshell ever to drop in the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe). Oh really? Someone might want to tell creator Stan Lee, who has specifically referred to the Asgardians as divine beings.
But most important, why do the Dark Elves — the bad guys in “The Dark World” — look so much like angry Teletubbies?
Ow, my head.
“The Dark World” opens with Thor’s villainous brother, Loki, defeated and in chains; with Thor’s human girlfriend, Jane (Natalie Portman), pining for her absent lover; and with Thor preoccupied with stamping out uprisings on various of the nine realms that he and his kind rule over. So far so good.
But when Jane stumbles upon something called the Aether — a long-hidden source of destructive energy, which takes over her body like a virus — Thor must drop everything and return to Earth in order to protect her from Malekith (Christopher Eccleston). The evil leader of the Dark Elves, Malekith wants to use the Aether to — well, what exactly? Control the nine realms? Destroy them? Plunge them into darkness so he can harvest mushrooms?
Whatever it is, it isn’t good.
To be fair, there’s stuff to like in “The Dark World.” Loki, for example — whom Thor must reluctantly team with in his fight against the Dark Elves — is simply fabulous. Hiddleston steals the show here, making wickedness and treachery look a heck of a lot more fun than virtue. Cinematically, there’s also a great scene in which a flotilla of Asgardian funeral barges are lit afire with flaming arrows as they approach a waterfall. Sure, it’s probably entirely CGI, but it’s gorgeous all the same, especially in 3-D, and surprisingly moving.
In general, though, the action scenes are only okay. There is, however, one genuinely jaw-dropping bit of violence that startled me, especially for a comic-book movie.
Oh, and let’s not forget Odin’s facial hair. His white beard is magnificent, particularly the mustache, which wriggles down along the sides of his mouth in sinuous testimony to the skill of his Asgardian barber — or the film’s makeup department, which numbered 67 people. Odin may not be a god, but he has divine whiskers.
See? That’s the problem with “The Dark World.” If I’m spending that much time studying Odin’s grooming, there’s something wrong with the story, which is kind of slow to get going and features too many undeveloped threads.
What’s up with the jealousy, for instance, between the warrior Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) and Jane? After Thor brings Jane to Asgard, the two women shoot each other a couple of nasty looks. But otherwise the dynamic goes nowhere. Do something with it, or drop it.
There’s some humor, too, but far too little for my taste. This is especially disappointing after the first film, which made much of the culture shock experienced by contemporary earthlings who encounter a dude who drops out of the sky looking and talking like a Rennfest staffer who takes his job a little too seriously.
And that’s the real flaw with “The Dark World,” which seems to have inhaled a bit too much of its own noxious Aether. The only one who seems to have gotten the memo that the whole thing is a gas is the bad guy.
★ ★
PG-13. At area theaters. Contains action violence. In English and some Elvish, with subtitles.
112 minutes.
More movies content
‘Dallas Buyers Club’ and other new movies, reviewed
Matthew McConaughey may have delivered his best performance to date in “Dallas Buyers Club.“
on Facebook Twitter
Family Filmgoer reviews ‘Thor: The Dark World’
Movie reviews with kids in mind. This week, the continuing ad­ven­ture of the Norse-god superhero.
on Facebook Twitter
‘Spinning Plates’ movie review
The documentary features three different restaurants and the people that keep them afloat.
on Facebook Twitter
Saoirse Ronan centers an otherwise drab ‘How I Live Now’
Saoirse Ronan shines in an otherwise drab teen wartime romance ‘How I Live Now,’ adapted from the novel.
on Facebook Twitter
‘The Motel Life’ movie review
Emile Hirsch and Stephen Dorff star as down-on-their-luck brothers in the adaptation of Willy Vlautin’s novel.
on Facebook Twitter
‘Great Expectations’ movie review
Latest adaptation of Charles Dickens tale offers fresh yet familiar take on a classic.
on Facebook Twitter
‘Thor: The Dark World’ movie review
‘Dark World’ indeed. The second ‘Thor’ installment takes itself too seriously for its own good.
on Facebook Twitter
McConaughey transformed in ‘Buyers Club’
Matthew McConaughey punctuates a long line of terrific performances with his best so far in ‘Dallas Buyers Club.’
on Facebook Twitter
Season’s screenings
The 2013 Holiday Movie Guide: Sequels, Oscar bets, family films and more.
Facebook Twitter
Prince George’s and Southern Maryland Going Out Guide
A listing of events in Prince George’s County and Southern Maryland for Nov. 7-13 2013.
on Facebook Twitter
Alexandria Film Festival starts and ‘Blood Brother’ screens Thursday
A few items to add to your crowded moviegoing to-do list.
on Facebook Twitter
Watch online: ‘Aziz Ansari: Buried Alive,’ ‘Side by Side,’ ‘Sal’
This week: an entertaining stand-up set from Aziz Ansari, an engrossing documentary about film technology and a Sal Mineo biopic.
on Facebook Twitter
‘Ender’s Game’ and other new movies, reviewed
Young soldiers go to war with buglike aliens in a film starring Asa Butterfield and Harrison Ford.
on Facebook Twitter
‘Monsters University’ and other new DVDs
Check out this week’s new releases and see what Washington is watching.
on Facebook Twitter
Show more
Discussion Policy | FAQ | About Discussions
Add your comment
Top Goingoutguide Stories
Most Popular Videos
The Post Most
Most Popular
  1. Which of the 11 American nations do you live in?
  2. D.C. woman's number of 911 calls prompt city to request that she be given a guardian
  3. Two admirals face probe in Navy bribery scheme
  4. For Obama, and Democrats, it's crunch time
  5. Miami Dolphins blacks' support for Richie Incognito in NFL bullying affair is troubling
Top Videos
Top Galleries
Friends' activity
More ways to get us
Newsletter & Alerts
Washington Post Live
Reprints & Permissions
Post Store
Contact Us
Help & Contact Info
Reader Representative
Digital Advertising
Newspaper Advertising
News Service & Syndicate
About Us
In the community
Newspaper in Education
Digital Publishing Guidelines
© 1996- The Washington Post
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
Submissions and Discussion Policy
RSS Terms of Service
Ad Choices
Real EstateRentalsCarsToday's PaperGoing Out GuideFind&SaveService Alley
HomePostTVIn PostTVPoliticsIn PoliticsCongressCourts & LawThe Fed PageHealth CarePollingWhite HouseGovBeatMd. PoliticsVa. PoliticsD.C. PoliticsBlogs & Columnscasey_capachiElection week 2013 takeaways from ‘In Play’Post Politics Casey Capachinatalie_jenningsElection 2013 according to late-night hostsThe Fix Natalie Jenningschristopher_federicoThe week in one song: ‘Rob Ford (Crack Remix)’The Monkey Cage Christopher Federicoreid_wilsonDemocrats want to paint GOP governors as Ken Cuccinelli. That’s hard to do.GovBeat Reid Wilsonlisa_reinFederal job satisfaction now lowest since 2010The Federal Eye Lisa ReinOpinionsIn OpinionsToles Cartoons Telnaes AnimationsThe Post's ViewLeft-LeaningRight-LeaningLocal OpinionsColumnist IndexFeatured Blogsalexandra_petriBecome a Whig right now!ComPost Alexandra Petrigreg_sargentOpen ThreadThe Plum Line Greg Sargentrachel_manteuffelPostScript: Ashbrook and Stonesifer on relying on hunger charityPostPartisan Rachel Manteuffeljennifer_rubinA rotten deal in GenevaRight Turn Jennifer RubinLocalIn LocalD.C. Maryland Virginia Crime Education Obituaries Transportation Weather Blogs & Columns Blogs & Columnsjason_samenowDisaster in Tacloban, Philippines: Chasers document “ghastly” sceneCapital Weather Gang Jason Samenowmichael_osullivanMore ‘Pieces of Amber,’ in which we hear from Amber herselfGoing Out Guide Michael O'Sullivanashley_halsey_iiiGas gets cheaper, but it’s not cheapDr. Gridlock Ashley Halsey IIISportsIn Sports Redskins/NFL Capitals/NHL Wizards/NBA Nationals/MLB D.C. United/Soccer Colleges AllMetSports Blogs & Columns Forums Other SportsBlogs & Columnskatie_carreraOpen thread: Caps at CoyotesCapitals Insider Katie Carreralindsay_applebaumBradley Beal dunks on Paul PierceDC Sports Bog Lindsay Applebaummike_jonesShanahan ‘very satisfied’ with Paul’s returnsThe Insider Mike Jonesadam_kilgoreMASN duo expected to returnNationals Journal Adam KilgoreNationalIn NationalEnergy & EnvironmentHealth & Science Education National Security InvestigationsInnovations Know MoreOn Faith On Leadership On Giving CorrectionsBlogs & Columnsdina_elboghdadyTwo CEOs break a billion-dollar recordOn Leadership Dina ElBoghdadymatt_mcfarlandAir bags for cyclists, the outspoken alarm clock and moreInnovations Matt McFarlandmichelle_boorsteinAt the Opera, the Holocaust rememberedOn Faith Michelle Boorsteinruth_tamVietnam Women’s Memorial celebrates 20 years on the MallShe The People Ruth TamWorldIn WorldAfrica The AmericasAsia & Pacific Europe Middle East National Security War Zones Special Reports Columns & BlogsBlogs & Columnsmax_fisherWhat an Iranian nuclear deal would takeWorldViews Max Fishercaitlin_deweyU.S. loses its UNESCO vote. Does it matter?WorldViews Caitlin Deweymax_fisherHow Netanyahu could kill a nuclear deal with IranWorldViews Max Fisherli_qiWhy 140,000 Chinese people want to kick out CNNWorldViews Li QiBusinessIn Business Economy IndustriesLocal Business MarketsPolicy & RegulationKnow More World BusinessCapital BusinessOn Small Business On I.T. Blogs & Columnsmichelle_singletaryUnpacking scarcity: Why having too little means so muchThe Color of Money Michelle Singletaryezra_kleinA game changer for campaign reportingWonkblog Ezra KleinTechIn TechnologyInnovation Green Technology The Switch Photo Galleries Blogs & Columnshayley_tsukayamaShopSavvy review: A deal hunter’s secret weapon Hayley Tsukayamatimothy_b_leeThe Winklevoss bitcoin investment pays offThe Switch Timothy B. Leeandrea_petersonThe New York Times endorsed a secretive trade agreement that the public can’t read. The Switch Andrea Petersonandrea_petersonWill prescription lenses change how society reacts to Google Glass?The Switch Andrea PetersonLifestyleIn LifestyleAdvice Carolyn Hax Food Express Home & Garden Style Travel Weddings Wellness Magazine KidsPost On Parenting Blogs & Columnsron_charlesA rare chance to see the Main Reading Room of the Library of CongressThe Style Blog Ron Charleskate_warrenThe Scene: All Souls Day party at Atlas Brew WorksThe Reliable Source Kate WarrenEntertainmentIn EntertainmentBooksComics Going Out GuideHoroscopes MoviesMuseums Music Puzzles & Games Theater & DanceTV Blogs & Columnsmichael_cavnaMAILBAG: What readers are saying about ‘Get Fuzzy’ dropComic Riffs Michael Cavnamichael_osullivanMore ‘Pieces of Amber,’ in which we hear from Amber herselfGoing Out Guide Michael O'SullivanJobsIn JobsMoreClassifiedsCarsDealsReal EstateRentalsPhotosBlogsDiscussionsFind&SaveObituariesArchivesTopicsWP Wine ClubService Alley
Restaurants Bars & Clubs Movies Events Music Museums Theater & Dance Editors' Picks Kids Visiting?
Fall PreviewTrailersIn TheatersComing SoonCritics’ PicksTop Box Office