GMG - Las Vegas Weekly

November 7, 2013

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A&E | SCREEN > SUPERHERO LOVE Jane and Thor have a heart-to-heart. > CAPTION HEAD Caption goes here caption goes here caption goes here caption goes here FILM STAGNANT SUPERHERO Thor: The Dark World offers more of the same for the god of thunder BY JOSH BELL prologue delivered by Thor's father Odin (Anthony After the gleeful popcorn-movie high of The Avengers, Hopkins) goes to great lengths to explain them anyit's a bit of a comedown to see Marvel superhero Thor way. Poor Malekith is consistently overshadowed by (Chris Hemsworth) back on his own in his second solo Loki (Tom Hiddleston), whose huge popularity among movie, Thor: The Dark World. Thor's first big-screen Marvel movie fans (and Hiddleston groupies) means adventure was a little underwhelming, and The Dark that he can't possibly sit this movie out. Hiddleston's World continues in the same vein, delivering adequate playful performance as Thor's trickster brother is far superhero adventure in a fairly generic manner, and once more entertaining than Eccleston's one-note menace, again serving primarily to move the lumbering Marvel and the movie does perk up when Thor meta-narrative a few steps forward. must reluctantly team up with Loki in order Without his fellow Avengers around, to put his final plan into motion. Thor returns to being a mostly one-dimenaabcc Until the climax, very little of the movie sional, godlike being, which makes him a THOR: THE takes place on Earth, which means that the difficult character to build a movie around. DARK WORLD awkward fish-out-of-water humor of the first Although Thor's human friends—most notaChris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, film is mercifully gone. But it also means that bly his scientist love interest Jane Foster Tom Hiddleston, Jane feels even more superfluous to the story, (Natalie Portman)—also return, the focus in Christopher Ecdespite an effort to tie her to the all-imporThe Dark World is on the grandiose battles cleston. Directed tant whatsit from which Malekith draws between gods, and while that does offer a by Alan Taylor. his power. Director Alan Taylor, a TV vetcounterpoint to the city-destroying spectaRated PG-13. Opens Friday. eran, stages some competent action sequenccles of most recent superhero movies, it also es, and somebody among the five credited makes it harder to care about the outcome. screenwriters (plus uncredited rewrites by The villain this time is Malekith The Avengers' Joss Whedon) has come up with a few (Christopher Eccleston), an ancient evil force (a "dark clever lines. The Dark World hums along mostly as elf," to be precise) who's been imprisoned for 5,000 expected, right through the two post-credits stingers, the years and has now awakened with a plan to destroy the first of which reinforces that Marvel's primary interest is universe, as ancient evil forces typically do. The how in moving the whatsit ahead to the next movie. and why aren't really important, although a labored TIME FOR LOVE About Time attempts a sci-fi rom-com As a time-travel movie, About Time makes for a decent romance. Writerdirector Richard Curtis, known as a romantic-comedy powerhouse for a series of hit screenplays (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, the Bridget Jones movies and Love Actually, which he also directed), isn't really interested in the mechanics of time travel or in parsing the paradoxes that arise from messing with the past. He's not even really interested in following the simple rules he establishes when he reveals that Tim (Domhnall Gleeson), like all the male members of his family, is able to travel back to past events in his own life. Tim's opening voiceover asserts that his story is all about love, which isn't surprising for a Curtis movie, and indeed Tim uses his time-travel abilities to get the most out of his personal relationships. Mainly that means romancing and marrying perky American Mary (Rachel McAdams, playing another time traveler's wife after her role in The Time Traveler's Wife), although he also aabcc bends the spaceABOUT TIME time continuum Domhnall to help out his Gleeson, Rachel amiable father McAdams, Bill (Bill Nighy, a Nighy. Directed highlight as by Richard always) and his Curtis. Rated R. Opens Friday. troubled sister (Lydia Wilson). Tim and Mary's romance rides on the chemistry between the leads more than any convincingly written connection, and McAdams admirably enlivens a rather one-note character. Curtis succeeds more at the early comedy than the later melodrama, although he maintains a relatively light touch throughout. About Time is eventually undone both by the flimsiness of its own sci-fi conceit and by Curtis' struggle to build fully realized characters other than Tim. Tim may have love for everyone, but the movie only has love for him. –Josh Bell 40 LASVEGASWEEKLY.COM NOVEMBER 7–13, 2013 40_Screen_1_20131107.indd 40 11/6/13 4:21 PM

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