Strangely enough, before there was, well, anything, there was something. There was darkness at least. In this Marvel universe there was a little more than darkness alone, and it has come back to turn out the lights.
I am not a big fan of Thor, though I do enjoy the Norse legends. This Marvel incarnation takes those ancient tails of a hammer-wielding god, his all-powerful father, his trickster brother, and puts a modern explanatory spin on them. While Marvel’s Thor is not high on my personal list, I do enjoy the look at science as magic. What if we could pluck Sir Isaac Newton out of the past and plunk him in front of a laptop? It would appear as magic to him. Better still, place him in front of a 3D movie, and it would seem on a godlike scale, whole worlds larger than life in full detail, turned on and off at the snap of one’s fingers. Where do science end and magic begin?
The story is straight forward. Bad folk from an ancient past have been waiting until the time is ripe, and that time is now. Now is the time to call up the ancient evils and lay waste to everything. Our hero recognizes the threat. His unwitting Earthling friends stumble upon it as well. The quest to save everything begins.
The plot is well laid out, with several twists and turns. Betrayal, redemption, and yet betrayal again. That said, there is a bit of deus es machina in the climatic scenes, but the action is so well packed it is easily overlooked.
All the actors do wonderful work, each reviving their roles from the earlier Thor movie. They are no longer defining the characters. They are them. Anthony Hopkins is majestic. Tom Hiddelston is captivating – and gosh darn it, he needs to convince Paramount to give him an opportunity to play Commander Data. Kat Dennings does a wonderful comic relief job. The director, Alan Taylor, hits the mark. Editing, pacing, and effects are right on cue. The score by Carter Burwell flows through the picture like a wind, lifting and propelling every mood. I was particularly taken by the costuming and set design work. Watch this and then try to tell me that clothing and sets are not art.
Well worth the ticket and the 3D glasses. Sit through the credits.