*Warning: this review contains mild spoilers. Read at your own risk.
A sequel of a sequel of a superhero movie walks a fine line. It has to be entertaining, but it also has to extend the narrative and the character arc in a way that feels right to both the universe and the characters.
Two weeks ago, Thor: Ragnarok hit theaters. Odin (Anthony Hopkins) is no longer of this world. His previously unknown first child, Hela (Cate Blanchett), otherwise known as the Goddess of Death has returned from exile to return Asgard to the way it was before her exile. But to do this, she has to make sure that her brothers, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) are out-of-the-way. They find themselves in another world where Thor is a gladiator and fighting against The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo). This world is ruled by Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum), who might be crazy. With the help of Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Thor, Loki and The Hulk might be able to defeat Hela and save Asgard.
If there was a proper way to do a second sequel, especially for a movie which is based on a comic book, this film is the blueprint. It is funny, entertaining and takes the narrative and characters in new directions without feeling stale or overproduced. And of course, the two female characters, played by Tessa Thompson and Cate Blanchett are amazing. They contribute to the narrative, both standing on their own two feet and neither relying on the stereotypical female caricatures that exist in the genre.
I absolutely recommend it.
Thor: Ragnarok is presently in theaters.
There are some movies where one movie is more than enough, making a sequel is a waste of time for the film makers and the audience. Thor: The Dark World, is not one of those movies.
The movie starts 2 years after the previous movie. Thor (Chris Helmsworth) has been fighting to bring peace to the nine realms. When Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) is pulled into the conflict between Asgard and The Dark Elves, led by Malekeith (Christopher Eccleston), Thor must choose between his destiny and the woman he loves. In his desperation, he must turn to Loki (Tom Hiddleston) for help.
Despite what some reviewers have said, this movie is so good. Its just about 2 hours long, but it doesn’t feel 2 hours long. While Thor is the title character, Hiddleston is dynamic and unpredictable as Loki.
My only complaint is that the Jane Foster is, except for a few scenes, relegated to the traditional love interest/damsel in distress. The only scenes with strong female characters are not as numerous as I would like. But overall, this movie is excellent and highly recommended.
And don’t leave right after the credits. There is some fun stuff afterwards.