Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Dour Death and Heavy Action in 'Thor'

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

Dour Death and Heavy Action in 'Thor'

Article excerpt

So much darkness in our popcorn movies lately. Everybody wants their comic book and sci-fi heroes to be brooding fellows trapped in grim, dim circumstances. We know it to be so because - apparently not believing in their own ability to express it onscreen - Hollywood keeps putting the word "dark" into the titles.

"Star Trek Into Darkness" is a fit example, both for the curious lack of a colon as well as being colossally inaccurate. (Might I suggest: "Star Trek Into Regurgitation.")

So now Thor, the mighty, grinning blond Norse god of thunder has gotten himself mired in a patch of inky intrigue. Things are looking bad for his home world of Asgard, which has been invaded by an ancient evil: dark elves! And they've got some nasty red goo called the Aether, which floats around and gets absorbed into bodies, making people all-powerful.

"Thor: The Dark World" is a muddle of a movie, and not entirely because it's trying to be dour. Mainly the problem is that director Alan Taylor and his trio of screenwriters can't decide between a sober action/drama and a goofy superhero flick, and end up with ingredients for both. It's not that either way is better or worse, but that they simply don't taste good together. For instance, it might not be apparent to Taylor & Co. that the death of a major character tends to have less of an impact when someone makes a joke about it not five minutes later. That's the thing about dark movies - you've got to keep at it. Trying to brighten things up with little rays of sunshine and humor just fouls it all up.

The movie also lacks the one thing necessary to a really good super-hero movie: a terrific villain for him or her to match wits against. That's entirely lacking here, with the main bad guy sporting a mouthful of a name, Malekith, and with actor Christopher Eccleston buried under mounds of pasty white makeup and costume. …

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