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In this film publicity image released by Paramount Pictures, Chris Hemsworth, portraying superhero Thor, and Natalie Portman, portraying jane Foster, are shown in a scene from the film, "Thor." Hitting Chris Hemsworth was “one small slap for womankind” says Natalie Portman. The actress, who reprises her role as Jane Foster in “Thor: The Dark World,” gives the superhero a swipe round the face when she reunites with him for the Marvel sequel. (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures-Marvel Studios, Zade Rosenthal)
Movie review: Action aplenty in ‘Thor: The Dark World’

First Published Nov 07 2013 03:06 pm • Last Updated Nov 07 2013 10:38 pm

Marvel Comics’ hammer-swinging hunk is back in "Thor: The Dark World," an action drama that’s only as much fun as it wants to be.

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is taking care of business in his kingdom’s other realms, while his earthbound love, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), is uncovering gravitational anomalies. One of those anomalies sucks her into a wormhole, where she encounters — and is possessed by — an evil force called the Aether.

At a glance


‘Thor: The Dark World’

Opens Friday, Nov. 8, at theaters everywhere; rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, and some suggestive content; 112 minutes.

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That’s when an ancient foe of Asgard, the dark elf king Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), awakens, eager to claim the Aether and do damage to Odin (Anthony Hopkins) and the entire universe. And when Odin bars Thor from pursuing Malekith, Thor is desperate enough to spring his traitorous brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), from the dungeon to engineer an escape from Asgard.

Director Alan Taylor ("Game of Thrones") gets great comic mileage out of Hiddleston’s sarcastic villainy, and Kat Dennings gets in good wisecracks as Jane’s intern.

The tag-teamed script drags when it lands in Asgard, wading through Marvel’s version of Tolkienesque mythmaking. But once the action picks up, "Thor: The Dark World" will satisfy Marvel fans and casual viewers alike.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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