Knaves, we have a new trailer for Thor: The Dark World, the sequel to the 2011 film about the mallet-wielding Norse god and quasi-sequel to The Avengers. That’s because The Dark World continues to explore the relationship between Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and his trickster-god brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), who led a horde of alien invaders into midtown Manhattan and gets a punch in the face from Natalie Portman for it. This time, the action’s transported to Asgard, Thor’s home planet, and it’s giving Marvel Studios an opportunity to do something they’ve never really tried before: worldbuilding.
Sure, we got glimpses of the celestial realm in the first Thor, but this sequel seems mostly to be set on the alien world in all its chroma-keyed glory. We’ve got skyscrapers that look straight out of Coruscant towering over Rivendell-caliber waterfalls. Okay, maybe Asgard looks a tad derivative. But it has cherry blossoms! And, finally, Natalie Portman in full Norse goddess regalia. Oh, and Kat Dennings wears glasses. Which is a prerequisite for any scene in which a character talks about a tear in the fabric of space and time.
It’s good to see that both of Portman and Dennings are back, though. The first movie soared by presenting a wholly new type of superhero origin story: Thor already had all his powers and abilities. But he wasn’t a hero because he was an asshole. The underlying subtext was that it took two nice Jewish girls to teach him what it means to be human, and then, and only then, does he become a superhero. Now when can we see more of Christopher Eccleston as Malekith the Accursed?