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Thor: The Dark World better than original

For those who enjoyed the first Thor movie, released in 2011, the sequel, “Thor: The Dark World” will not disappoint.  Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins and Rene Russo return to the big screen to provide thrills and plenty of laughs.

It has been two years since Jane Foster has seen her beloved Thor and she has spent every day searching for him.  When she finally encounters Thor, played by Hemsworth, she is miffed, to say the least.  Thor made time to help save New York (a nod to the Avengers movie released last year) but didn’t make time to visit his woman.  Only when she is ill does Thor return to Earth to see her.  He brings Jane back to his planet, Asgard, to seek help.  Jane meets Thor’s family; the viewer will sympathize with Jane’s nervousness about meeting her boyfriend’s family.  

Jane’s illness relates to a plot by presumed-dead Malekith, a disturbingly evil dark elf terrifically played by Christopher Eccleston.  Thor must join forces with his brother Loki (Hiddleston), whom he doesn’t trust, to defeat Malekith.  

Russo and Hopkins see more air time in the sequel and Russo in particular is fierce.  Stellan Skarsgard returns as Erik Selvig, who is amusing as man who is a bit off his rocker since New York.  Kat Dennings returns as witty, sarcastic Darcy, Jane’s assistant, who has an assistant of her own.  Hemsworth is still the same drool-worthy Thor that men and women alike will enjoy.  But it is Hiddleston who steals scenes as Loki.  As devious as he was in the first Thor film and the Avengers, he shows another, more vulnerable and likeable side in the sequel. Hiddleston has several one-liners that will keep viewers laughing.  Loki almost became my favorite character, but Thor’s smoldering gaze and six-pack still has me entranced.  The bromance between Thor and Loki will remind viewers of that annoying sibling you can’t help but love.

The special effects are very realistic and well-done.  They add to the thrill of the film.  A surprising twist at the end sets up a third film and leaves the viewer in anticipation.  The Dark World is superior to the first film, which I loved, in every way.