All superhero films require you to suspend your disbelief to some degree. Among the Marvel films, Thor is the character whose films take us a little bit further into the realm of science-fiction. Sure, Iron Man was about a guy who built his own awesome combat suit, and that’s pretty sciencey. The Incredible Hulk? That’s about a man who’s exposed to a lethal overdose of gamma radiation, resulting in his transformation into the titular character whenever he’s angry – also a story mostly rooted in science, with a dash of fiction. But Thor – his films have twice now (not including The Avengers) taken us literally to new worlds, ramping up the fiction element a little bit.
Chris Hemsworth reprises his role as the titular demi-god, backing his role with another decent performance. For me though, the best parts of this film come from the back-and-forth between Thor and his brother Loki, played again by Tom Hiddleston. Hiddleston excels in his role as the god of mischief by bringing a more three-dimensional feel to the character that was touched upon a little in the first Thor film, but was left out slightly in The Avengers. His ability to create illusions, and his tend to hide behind them is a massive part of his character. This is shown very clearly when Thor visits Loki in his cell in Asgard (I’m dancing around spoilers here) during an emotional time for the two of them. It’s a fantastic scene that really captures the development of Loki’s character since The Avengers. After Loki is broken out of his cell (come on, you’ve all seen the trailers) and he and Thor are forced to work together, the film really highlights the awkwardness of their relationship through Thor’s clear mistrust of Loki, but his obvious want for a brother to have faith in again. I feel like these two actors under direction from Alan Taylor managed to get the delicate balance of good comedy while still maintaining a sense of danger in an action film. Hiddleston is a fantastic actor, who (in my opinion) outshines Chris Hemsworth in this film – Hemsworth is a great actor, but Thor is definitely not his best role. This film is great – it’s got great visuals, some good comedic moments and character development falling out of its ass – but it does fall short a little in its plot. Only a little – I enjoyed this film a lot more than I did the first Thor, but it does feel like some things come straight out of nowhere, and the final battle with Malekith should have had more time on it, to highlight the danger he puts the universe in.
Don’t let my gripes about this film’s plot steer you away from seeing it – it is a very fun film to watch. The return of Loki to our screens wasn’t something I’d given a lot of thought to before I saw this, but I can tell you that you should be excited about it. The scenes between Loki and Thor are just cinematic gold, being hilarious, dangerous and awkward all at once – and Hiddleston does well to show us that he doesn’t need to hide behind Chris Hemsworth’s arms in any film.