Thor’s Dark World is a thrill ride

Idris Elba as Heimdall Photo: Marvel

Idris Elba as Heimdall
Photo: Marvel

Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World continues the big-screen adventures of Thor, the Mighty Avenger, as he battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates our universe itself. In the aftermath of Marvel’s Thor (2011) and Marvel’s The Avengers (2012), Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos. But an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. To defeat an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor sets upon his most dangerous and personal journey yet—forced into an alliance with the treacherous Loki to save not only his people and those he loves but our universe itself.

Based on the ever-popular comic book series, Marvel’s Thor: The Dark World stars Chris Hemsworth as Thor with Academy Award winner Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, Tom Hiddleston as Loki, Stellan Skarsgård as Dr. Erik Selvig, Idris Elba as Heimdall, Christopher Eccleston as Malekith, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje as Algrim, Kat Dennings as Darcy, Zachary Levi as Fandral, Jaimie Alexander as Sif, with Rene Russo as Frigga and Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins as Odin.

At the end of Marvel’s The Avengers, Thor takes Loki prisoner and returns him to Asgard to be jailed
there for the crimes he committed in his attempt to take over Earth. But once in Asgard, all hell breaks loose. Malekith is leader of the dark elves, who inhabit Svartalfheim, one of the Nine Realms. After waging war with the Nine Realms and being defeated by Asgard, the dark elves were considered to be extinct eons ago. But Malekith put his planet and the surviving dark elves into hibernation for many thousands of years, until a calculated time when he was ready to avenge the universe and turn light once more into darkness. Malekith and the dark elves prove to be formidable enemies with a violent and personal history with Asgard.

“I think every boy and girl grows up with Super Heroes, and Marvel comic books in their childhood, so to be part of that history, it’s a privilege,” said Akinnuoye-Agbaje, who plays the dual roles of dark elf Algrim and Kurse. “I suppose Algrim and Kurse would be the quintessential baddies, but in reality they are what I perceive as the scorn and the victims of the story. They are the elves who have basically lost their planet and their race to another race, the Asgardians.”

Idris Elba returns as Heimdall to his post as the sentinel of Asgard with the ability to see and hear events galaxies away in Asgard’s Observatory, watching over the cosmos and protecting Asgard from any and all intruders. But now Asgard faces an enemy that even Heimdall cannot see. Heimdall is also involved in fighting when Malekith and the dark elves invade Asgard and the palace. This change in action netted Elba a new costume and some updated weaponry.

“Idris has some great, great scenes in this film,” said executive producer Craig Kyle. “He was a fan favorite from the last movie, so we gave him some places to really shine. He’s got a very gunslinger vibe now, and he looked amazing in the uniform.”

The film, directed by Alan Taylor, is rated PG-13, and runs one hour, 52 min. The 3D version adds very subtle yet effective depth to some highly inventive and spectacular visual effects added to breathtakingly shot cinematically real set shots. It really is a beautiful film, and has quite a few comic moments, plot twists and turns, and stands well among the Marvel film pantheon. Be sure to stay afterwards all the way through the credits for two bonus scenes.