And the only similarity between Oscar and Thor is that both have heads that sound hollow when you knock on them.
We begin with a lengthy Anthony Hopkins soliloquy that establishes the infinite absurdities to come. The premise of Thor: The Dark World could not be sillier if it featured an invasion of balloon animals on a planet of bobble-heads.
Behold Thor! He, who wields the Giant Hammer. He, the carpenter of the Gods. He, the Heavenly Handyman!
“Only our headgear is more ridiculously proportioned than my hammer,” says Thor to the people of Asgard, or “ass-guard,” as the folks at Marvel Entertainment refer to it since it’s protecting the most vulnerable part of their fleshy empire. ‘Tis a land where all men and women have facial hair, and some of it’s even on their face.
Pity poor Thor. Life in the Heavens is not enough for him, for he cannot forget Natalie Portman like the rest of us have.
He misses all that quirky comic relief back on Earth, where the scientific community appears to be opening at the Laugh Factory on Sunset. As if the convergence of planets every 30,000 years wasn’t funny enough!
“I’ve never feared anyone with a hammer before, unless they are also equipped with more advanced weapons, like levels and tape measures,” said the once evil Loki, here just seeking someone to build an extension to his deck.
“Behold our fearsome headgear! We fight until the last man stands with a helmet of fruit piled atop his head! With wings of an eagle so large one head-turn could produce a neck fracture. We fight for the Great Odin – and for the Greater Lady GaGa. Verily, baby, we were born this way!”
There’s a dangerous dark substance called “aether” which must be buried where no one can find it – right under the nose of Natalie Portman who, we must aggressively remind ourselves by repeating it over and over and writing it on the back of our hand, is a scientist, after all. Natalie absorbs the dark substance.
“Inside her is a relic that predates the universe,” says Anthony Hopkins. “And we don’t mean Michael Douglas.”
That dark substance will return the universe to darkness, courtesy of the dark elves. Yes, it’s all dark. Not unlike my mood as Thor: The Dark World predictably careens towards a conclusion so inevitable you could see it coming several giant flying hammers away.
If only time flew as fast as those hammers do.
To a giant hammer everything looks like a giant nail, or in this case a giant snail. There is not a moment of surprise in Thor: The Dark World - it is so crushingly boring that rather than roll credits, it should schedule us a wake-up call.
Where were we?
Wait for it…I’m talking about that most anticipated of moments: The one where Chris Hemsworth must remove his shirt.
“My shirt and I are like identical magnetic poles,” mumbles Hemsworth, “repelling each other for your amusement.”
And then there’s the once great Anthony Hopkins:
“I am Odin. King of Asgard. Protector of the Nine Realms.”
“Oh perfectly round one, are you also protector of the nine refrigerators?” asks Natalie Portman. “And why do you wear one gold eyepatch?”
“Because I look thinner without depth perception. And in black.”
To save the world, Natalie must fire a weapon when all the 9 realms are converged into line at exactly the right time and place. Well of course!
“The very fabric of reality will be torn apart if we fail,” says Natalie, who doesn’t seem to realize the very fabric of reality was torn apart immediately after the opening credits.
We’ll face “spacial extrusions,” says Natalie with a straight face that has already been scrubbed of possible spacial extrusions.
“We must cause an anomaly,” she says, “and I only wish that was a reference to the first Thor movie!”
Remember when sequels were gracious enough to include a roman numeral so at least you knew what you were watching was not the first and was far from the last? No such luck in Thor: The Dark World, where the only thing Roman is my attention well beyond the theater.
I’ve got more suspense at the bottom of my popcorn bucket than in this entire movie.
To the last person out of this dark world, please turn out the lights.