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Behold the hammer

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Thor returns to theaters Friday

By Becca Owsley

"Thor: The Dark World" 
Rated PG-13 for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, and some suggestive content.
Release date: Nov. 8
Runtime: 112 minutes
Rating: Welcome back Thor

Thor hammers his way back onto the big screen Friday in “Thor: The Dark World.”

When audiences last saw Thor (Chris Hemsworth) he joined the Avengers to save the world from his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston).

This time around ,Thor is back on his home planet of Asgard repairing the damage his brother did to the nine realms he’s in charge of protecting.

He reunites with his previous love interest, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) when she encounters a powerful force that could endanger all nine realms.

Thor has many things going for it. One is Hemsworth. He is not only buff and everything you envision in a superhero, he has helped transform the vain and arrogant character in the beginning of the first film into a likeable hero.

While Thor is an ideal hero, Hiddleston’s Loki is the perfect villain. What makes Hiddleston’s performance so good is that it is full of humor and likeability. You want this bad guy to become good again but never really know if he will.

The wit and humor on display in “The Avengers” is speckled throughout the film and balances its darker theme.

But the movie does have a few problems. One is that there aren’t enough Thor and Loki interactions. The short periods they are together on screen are the strongest points of the film.

Another problem is that at times the film feels disjointed. The long build into the plot jumps around from a variety of planets and locations that become important near the end but seem all over the place in the beginning.

There are so many characters to follow, an audience might feel they want more time with them than what is devoted on screen.

Everyone’s favorite nerd Zachary Levi, of television’s “Chuck,” gets to shine but he’s featured briefly. He replaces Josh Dallas, who couldn’t reprise his role as Fandral because of his obligation to ABC’s “Once Upon a Time.”

Kat Dennings returns and Stellan Skarsgårdis is back for the third time playing scientist Erik Selvig. Their characters are other comic relief highpoints in the film.

Christopher Eccleston of “Doctor Who” fame is featured as Malekith, a new villain in Thor’s world. While his performance was good, filmmakers didn’t seem to give him much of a personality to work with. Maybe it is because audiences already have relationships with previous characters, but there was no connection to his character. He could have been a computer generated character and we never would have known the difference. Eccleston has shown humor and connection to an audience in other roles but filmmakers didn’t seem to give him the opportunity in this one.

Overall, “Thor: The Dark World” is a pleasant trip back to Asgard. It jumps around and viewers will be lost if they haven’t seen previous Avenger films.

But each of the “Avenger” films build to a grander Marvel universe and this series has done something no other comic book franchise has done. It has sustained the audience with quality films that intertwine with one another. Seven movies into this universe, I still want to see more and can’t wait to continue the adventure with “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” in April.

Don’t forget to play “where’s Stan Lee” and stay through the credits for two post-movie gems. This movie does have a few scenes that might be frightening to younger children, but if they’ve seen the other films, they should be OK.

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270- 505-1741 or bowsley@

thenewsenterprise.com. For movie reviews visit her reporter page on Facebook at www.facebook

.com/pages/Becca-Owsley/96924584861.

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