FILM FANS: ‘Thor’ a copycat story, but entertaining

It’s a combo of David vs. Goliath, tales of the Vikings, “Star Wars,” “Star Trek”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Film Fans features local residents reviewing the movie of the week: “Thor: The Dark World.” Want to be a film fan? Email features@gwinnettdailypost.com.

4 out of 4 stars

“Thor” is a combination of stories: David vs. Goliath, tales of the Vikings, “Star Wars,” “Star Trek” and on and on. There is nothing wrong with that. How many movies use Shakespeare’s plays as their foundational story? The trouble is this movie has nothing special to recommend it. It is like clothing with the seams still showing. It is an enjoyable enough movie so go see it if you have preteen boys that do not scare easily. There is violence, but there is very little blood. Overall, the movie is pretty clean with no sex and just a few chaste love scenes.

— Deborah Guy, Bethelehem

2 1/2 out of 4 stars

Sequels usually fail to impress me; however, “Thor: The Dark World” shines a bit brighter than the 2011 original. Chris Hemsworth reprises Thor complete with his trademark scowl, his long, blond mane and — yes, ladies — at least a couple of scenes with his shirt off. Thor still swings a mean hammer, this time coming to the aid of the universe itself.

The story line seems ripped off from “Lord of the Rings.” Thousands of years ago, Dark Elves tried to send the universe into total darkness using a secret, vaporous weapon called Aether. Asgard’s warriors put the kibbosh on that plan, and think they’ve wiped out all the Dark Elves along with Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), their fearless leader. Malekith and the Dark Elves (sounds like the name of a ’70s heavy metal rock band, eh?) get re-animated when Thor’s human sweetie, Dr. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), accidentally crosses a temporary portal linking the Nine Realms and ends up getting a snootful of the Aether that Malekith covets. The bad guys assault Asgard and then take aim on the rest of the universe, starting with Earth. Thor has to spring his half-brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) from Asgard’s prison in order to stop Malekith and restore peace and order to the Nine Realms. Got all that?

Also returning from the original flick are Anthony Hopkins in full bluster as Odin, king of Asgard, Kat Dennings of TV’s “2 Broke Girls” as Darcy, and Stellan Skarsgard as Dr. Selvig. The special effects are top grade, but what what makes “The Dark World” click is a liberal injection of humor into the story, particularly involving bad boy Loki; his expressions and one-liners steal the show at times, making “The Dark World” actually lighter (and more enjoyable) than “Thor.” It’s hammer time!

— Tim Weekley, Suwanee

3 out of 4 stars

Used to be an avid reader of comics and was always fascinated by the stories of the Vikings’ gods such as Thor, with his invincible hammer that harnessed the power of thunder and lightning bolts. I enjoyed the first movie and most Marvel Comics characters movies. This movie was no different. The story is much more epic and the photography was at the scale of the “Ring” trilogy. Filmed in Iceland (and London) and using amazing CGI, the movie is a feast to the eyes.

The story is more convoluted and does require a brain refresh prior to watching (to better understand it). I’ve heard there are two comic books as the prequel to the movie. I wish I was in the know. Glad I also stayed for the scene during the movie credits that prepares you for the upcoming “Captain America” flick. Don’t think anyone will stumble into the movie theater without knowing about the superhero in this one. Do your homework before watching it, maybe even re-watch its first installment. You’ll enjoy it much better. Will probably watch it again on DVD.

— Alfred Richner, Duluth