Apparently, “It’s Hammer Time” doesn’t just apply to a 90s rapper in parachute pants.

Theatrical Release Date: 11/08/2013 (USA)
Director: Alan Taylor
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Christopher Eccleston, Stellan Skarsgård, Kat Dennings, Idris Elba, Jaimie Alexander, Rene Russo, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Tadanobu Asano
Rated: PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, and some suggestive content.
Runtime: 1 hour, 52 minutes


Oh, isn’t that just so manly?

Be forewarned Thor groupies and fanboys, you may not like what I’m about to say. There’s always been one fundamental flaw to Marvel’s version of the Norse God of Thunder, whether in films or the comic books: He never does anything interesting.

While I find the Norse mythology interesting, and Chris Hemsworth is a genius choice for the character, his stories just don’t do anything to excite me. There’s a certain Shakespearean intrigue that lends itself to the proceedings that made bringing Kenneth Branagh in as director on the first film a logical choice. And don’t take this the wrong way, I enjoyed Thor well enough. But the story lines available for this Avenger are just ho-hum stuff.

In this inevitable sequel, Thor has to make some amends to his main squeeze, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), for being absent for the past two years. His brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), fresh from his apprehension at the end of The Avengers, is locked up in the dungeons. Thor’s father, Odin (Anthony Hopkins), doesn’t quite get his son’s fascination with an Earth woman. Oh, and there’s this convergence of planets that happens every 5,000 years that’s set to bring back the reign of dark elves hell bent on destroying the universe. Guess who’s going to figure out a way to stop it?

As per my opening statements, I found the actual plot developments to be of little consequence. This is the kind of story I invented as a child playing with action figures or Lego. However, just as he did in Thor, it’s Hiddleston that steals the show. Every scene with Loki is a bright spot, and lifts the rather mundane surroundings in an almost magical fashion. This is made most evident after a long spell of Loki being absent from the movie, as he pops back up and instantly raises the energy level — right when the pacing needed a boost in the arm.

Taking over in the director’s chair is Alan Taylor. His experience directing a number of Game of Thrones episodes obviously came in handy and the look and feel of the movie is consistent with previous films in the recent string of Marvel dominance. That still didn’t make the runtime feel any shorter, as the 112 minutes feels a tad longer, but every element of the production was well executed. The costumers, the sets, the effects, and the make-up designs are all top notch.

Thankfully, the script does make sure to inject a number of light moments, mostly with Loki. Overall, it’s fairly entertaining though if I had to pick a big budget action film right now, I’d go with Ender’s Game over this. But who am I kidding? This is a Marvel movie, everyone will probably go and see it.

One last obligatory note. To no surprise, there are some extra scenes in the credits, both midway through and at the end. So as with every other Marvel movie, don’t be so quick to get to your car once the main story has run its course.

3.5 out of 5