Today’s Prayer Focus

Thor: The Dark World

also known as “Thor 2”
MPA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPA) for sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence, and some suggestive content.

Reviewed by: Jessica D. Lovett

Moral Rating: Average
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: Teens Adults
Genre: Superhero Action Adventure Fantasy Sequel Adaptation 3D
Length: 1 hr. 52 min.
Year of Release: 2013
USA Release: November 8, 2013 (wide—3,800+ theaters)
DVD: February 25, 2014
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self-sacrifice / courage / bravery



Featuring Chris HemsworthThor
Natalie PortmanJane Foster
Tom HiddlestonLoki
Stellan SkarsgårdDr. Erik Selvig
Idris ElbaHeimdall
Christopher Eccleston … Malekith
Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje … Algrim/Kurse
Kat DenningsDarcy Lewis
Ray StevensonVolstagg
Zachary LeviFandral
Tadanobu Asano … Hogun
Jaimie Alexander … Sif
Rene RussoFrigga
Anthony HopkinsOdin
Chris O'DowdRichard
Clive Russell … Tyr
See all »
Director Alan Taylor
Producer Marvel Entertainment
Marvel Studios
See all »

Amazingly, the sequel to Marvel’s 2011 “Thor” film far surpasses its predecessor. Continuing the rivalry for kingship between two royal brothers, Thor and Loki, “Thor: The Dark World” whisks us between their world of iridescent castles, star-flecked bridges through time and space, and valiant knights and the world of four struggling physicists in bustling modern-day London. With cascades of vivid colors and breathtaking action sequences careening across the screen, there is certainly nothing low-key (Loki?) in “Thor: The Dark World.” This movie doesn’t waste much valuable screen time in exposition, so I’d highly recommend seeing the first film, if you plan on seeing the second.

Loaded with every fantasy element imaginable, it is a glowing cocktail of sci-fi laser guns and futuristic spaceships mixed in with ancient Celtic and Greek myth, shields, and swordplay… There is something thrown into “Thor: The Dark World” for most fans of blockbuster superhero movies, science fiction, or even fantasy fiction to find their imagination tickled. It won’t deeply challenge the way you look at the world in a permanent way, but it is definitely a treat to watch.

Fans of the BBC’s “Dr. Who” will be surprised to find the 9th Doctor, Christopher Eccleston, playing the part of the sinister Dark Elf, Malekith, who tests the commitment of almost-immortal Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) love of the very human Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). As King Odin, Thor and Loki’s father, Anthony Hopkins lends strong credibility to the film with his piercingly intense persona.

The way that Thor doesn’t give up on his love and stays true to her, despite tremendous obstacles, uplifts the film to a solid worldview reflecting the values of commitment, heroism, and fidelity. Thor constantly puts his life on the line for his loved ones, giving his all to keep them safe, bringing to mind John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” One main conflict in the film is Thor’s struggle to honor and respect the wishes of his parents while at the same time saving those who are in harm’s way.

The movie also brings to mind Prodigal Son parable parallels (Luke 15), though the film turns the positive outcome of the Biblical story on its head, with the trust of the father not rewarded as in the parable. However, despite its strong moral elements—stressing reconciliation, sacrifice, and humility—“Thor: The Dark World” is far from being a markedly Christian film. The principals of “righteous” vengeance postponing forgiveness, blind ambition trumping over loyalty to others, and the like, are accepted as the norm.

The violent elements putting the film out of reach of children who might be enthused by the comic elements are the intense and frequent—though mostly bloodless—battle scenes, a Viking funeral scene, giant murderous monsters, a character being possessed, and hordes of fights with every kind of weapon imaginable… ninja-fighting horned elves from space against Medieval-looking knights, anyone? Witty banter interjected into the fighting scenes alleviate any claustrophobic feelings of darkness, however, communicating to the audience that this is supposed to be comic book action and not violence-for-shock or gore value.

As far as sexual content, there is one character that streaks nude and is arrested, though it is seen via the news on television fully censored by pixillated dots. There are also several passionate kisses, but no scenes beyond that and no revealing outfits except for a quick scene with a shirtless male getting dressed.

Profanity: mild—hell (4); s-words (2); da** (2), “Oh G*d (1),” OMG (1)

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Modrate / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Positive—I really didn’t like the first Thor movie, but this one was terrific! Funny, dramatic, with some nice twists and turns to the plot. Loki, as usual, steals the show, but a lot of the other characters have some nice moments as well. The Norse mythology didn’t bother me at all, and it had enough of an epic struggle between good and evil to keep my mind engaged, in addition to simply being entertained. It’s good enough that I’d watch it again.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
Charity, age 30 (USA)
Positive—Although enjoyable, this movie is far from five stars. It assumes we saw the original movie last week, and subscribe to Marvel comics. The scenes heavy with CGI are generally dark and soft focus. As with all stories of make-believe heroes and villains, the lack of clearly defined strengths and weaknesses robs us of the joy of anticipation, and the appreciation of a truly heroic effort. Watch for the Stan Lee cameo, and sit through all the credits—it’s important! Am I the only one who does this?
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
Brian Schacht, age 66 (Canada)
Positive—I went to see this movie being very excited, and just a little apprehensive. While this movie has very similar content to its Avengers predecessors, it does have a few elements that I feel Christians should know about before seeing it (after all, it is called “Thor: The Dark World” for a reason). So, without giving away any spoilers, here is a list of things I noticed:

The Aether (the power that sources the evil in this film) finds itself a host and possesses it, which some people may find disturbing. The dark elves wear masks and do look rather creepy in some scenes, since you can’t see any facial expressions. One dark elf offers himself as a sort of sacrifice so he can become a Kursed. There are two uses of the phrase “holy s***” and a few uses of God’s name in vain. A man is on the TV news naked, but the image is blurred. There are a few kisses shared. Many people die.

I highly recommend seeing the previous films before seeing this one, or else you will get very lost. The plot is funny, moving, and has enough twists to blow your mind! As a Marvel fan, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, it left enough unsaid that leaves anticipation for another sequel. Wouldn’t recommend it for children or anyone who hasn’t seen the first movies.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
Nicole, age 19 (Australia)
Positive—The first Thor movie did nothing for me. I mean, it wasn't terrible, but it wasn't good either. But my friend told me something that ringed in my ear today, the second movie had more to draw from (Avengers, etc), so that helped push “The Dark World” more in terms of impressive quality. The violence is a bit more prevalent in this second installment than the first. But its nothing more than just superhero hits and punches.

Sexual content was minimal… kissing mainly. The Norse mythology is a little offensive, but let's be honest, no mythology, no Thor, no superhero. I liked this second installment, probably much more than the first movie. A must see for the diehard fans and for those who saw the first “Thor.”
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
Alexander Malsan, age 23 (USA)
Positive—Not a whole lot to add to the comments above. Overall, a very enjoyable movie with much less offensive material than standard Hollywood fare. The little bit of “cosmic backstory” relayed by Odin in a voiceover was typically laughably ludicrous, but, after all, we are talking a Hollywood take on Norse mythology, so…

Minor quibble on a different “worldview” note: Thor and Odin seem to draw direct parallels between Odin’s reign and the “dark elves” morally, simply because both have killed in pursuit of their aims. This is nonsense, at least in the context of the film. Odin and the Asgardians are seeking the preservation of civilization, peace and safety for their people; the Dark Elves seek to destroy the universe. Perhaps attempting to draw this parallel represents typically confused lib/progressive anti-military thinking. Or maybe I’m over-reading…
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
Jeremy Klein, age 58 (USA)
Positive—Enjoyed it. Like most Marvel movies, the characters, emotions, motives, plot, conflicts, action, and storyline are well developed, interesting, and draw you in. Unlike many Hollywood movies where SFX ARE the point of movie, Marvel’s superb special effects enhance the story and experience. Great actors portraying dynamic and interesting people and circumstances make it fun. Many literal laugh out loud lines and humor add to the action and adventure.

Although there is some profanity it would’ve been better without, it is relatively mild. I like that they point out that they are NOT gods, (the first movie implied aliens who, because of special abilities and technology, were mistaken and assumed to be gods by ancient humans.) I also like the parallels of Light vs. Dark, clear Good vs. Evil: those who value peace, honor, truth, and protecting others from those with evil and destructive intentions.

Trust vs. Deception, consequences for bad choices, denial, ambition, self-sacrifice, altruism, love, greed, revenge, and more are explored in fast-paced drama. Not knowing much about Norse legends, from what I see reflected in the Thor movies, I have a better understanding of what inspired JRR Tolkien and his Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. A fun movie. Love those Stan Lee cameos. He is precious.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
Tori, age 40+ (USA)
Positive—A very good movie all the way around. My only gripe about this movie is J.R.R. Tolkien could have written a better movie (a more fleshed out world). …
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
Lucas, age 26 (USA)
Neutral—Filmmaking, acting and script are well done in this movie. There is some profanity. At the start of the film it states that—in the beginning there was darkness—where dark elves existed (the main villains). Suggest that evil and darkness are the ultimate reality and origin. God is light and He was in the beginning, thus in the beginning was Light, not darkness (John 1:5; Genesis 1:1). If anything, God created darkness (Colossians 1:16; Isaiah 45:5-7)—Part of the message of the creation account is that God created the world, but it was dark until He gave it light. He is our light, The Light.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
Des, age 39 (USA)
Neutral—I liked the movie although I found certain portions offensive. I did think that it was important to point out that the streaking scene, although pixillated, was shown full-screen 3 or 4 times. I found this offensive and unnecessary. The professor was also shown going around in his underwear in front of other people a couple of times because he was able to think better when he did so. I also found this offensive.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
Katrina, age 42 (USA)
Negative—I went to the movie with some misgivings, but wanted to go to see it so as to have an educated discussion. I guess I have to come out on the negative camp. The filmmaking quality was excellent—even outstanding. OK, I had to downgrade a bit due to the rock throwing scene towards the end; that one looked like it was done on my home PC—the rest was stunning.

The story—and how it was told—was just too far for me. I am one troubled by the Norse mythology; I know the Marvel movie universe has removed the “he IS a God” from the storyline (Odin even talked about “we live, we die”—we are not Gods). Much of the war scenes seemed like what I have seen of LOTR, but with plasma weapons—but much of the imagery and the conflict was dark. Really dark. See all »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
Casey S., age 48 (USA)
Negative—While several reviewers stated they liked this installment better than the first Thor movie, which I enjoyed, I am not among them. I found it too dark and somewhat overdone in several respects. I know this is based on a comic book series, but it would be nice to have more of the characters be more believable.

What really ruined it for me, however, was the nudity. The reviewer’s statement that “one character… streaks nude and is arrested, though it is seen via the news on television fully censored by pixillated dots” is actually an understatement. Yes the character is pixillated where it counts, but it’s not like you’re seeing it briefly on a TV across the room. The “news” report fills up the entire theater screen with the nude character front and center from various angles for what seemed like 30 seconds, and we’re treated to a gratuitous reprise (of shorter duration) later in the movie. Not only is it uncomfortable, it is totally unnecessary for plot development.

***SPOILER*** You can get the point across that someone is crazy without having them run around in public nude, and even if public nudity is deemed necessary to show how crazy someone is, you can allude to it without dragging the entire audience through an experience that isn’t fun for anyone. ***END SPOILER***

Followers of Christ, in my view, should send Hollywood a message that we will not support movies that add degrading material for the sole purpose of degrading the audience.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 3½
Rick B, age 49 (USA)
Negative—This movie was very demonic. I like action flicks and I liked the first one, but the imagery of the creatures and the sick, evil, demonic power that entered the woman and coursed through her veins and then was passed to the other people is very evil. I wish I had not seen this, total waste of money and time, and I feel it was corruptive to my spirit.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2
Stephanie, age 39 (USA)
Negative—Aether is a perversion of a scientifically obsolete theory—Ether—which is the disproved notion that space is the fixed 3D frame of material motions that all material motions are relative to. NASA uses the Newtonian theory of gravity, which isn’t perfect or true, to very accurately get places in space. Identifying obsolete scientific theories as deadly is deadly in itself, because of the fear it can generate.

This movie is sick. It is difficult to explain how Special Relativity can put violent disestablishment on fixed frame documents and people. The type of retro fear in this movie is common with scientific advancements and hasty destructive politics; but don’t sweat unless you are being plagued by global intolerants who want a consensus more than personal understanding and honesty. Such intolerants are out to kill and plunder and pervert science as a quick way to villainize their victims. See all »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
Matt, age 50 (USA)
Negative—“Thor: The Dark World,” is one of the worst sequels ever created. This movie is a disjointed confused mess. The actors must have been very disappointed to realize that what could have been such a great continuation of a fabulous 1st movie, was relegated to special effects and cheap one liners and nice costumes in lew of a good script. It’s as if the 2nd movie forgot to connect with the end storyline that was left from the first… Where is the romance, where is the drama, where is the excellent story? All MISSING.

Perhaps this is because the studio is trying to milk the ticket buyer with “Iron Man” and “The Avengers,” while using :Thor: as the bait. The first “Thor” is one of the best Sci-Fi packages to come along in years… It has everything… It’s interesting, the action is good, the first movie was romantic, visually beautiful, fascinating, well directed, and well written, while this 2nd chapter in the series is truly a disjointed hodgepod mess of a movie that is kept from totally failing by the special effects and the charm of the cast who work very hard to keep this visually flashing dud afloat. See all »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
Larry C, age 52 (USA)
Negative—NOT RECOMMENDED. After hearing reports about the display of nudity in this film, I chose to risk it and view this movie anyway. My mistake. In addition to the nudity, the viewers hear the TV news anchor make a big deal of the event, using several expressions to embellish the nakedness. I thought the TV news excerpt of the supposedly insane Erik running naked around Stonehenge would have had something to do with the Aether or was otherwise connected to the plot. As it turns out, it was neither. The scene happens fairly early in the film (and is briefly recalled later), and is COMPLETELY random. I looked away during the scene, but my father informed me that only the man’s pelvic region is pixellated, everything else is visible (including his posterior). This is gross and offensive.

Additionally, when Erik appears later toward the end of the film (once meeting up with Jane and crew), he is wearing a shirt and tie, but no pants, just briefs. There is several shots in this scene where this is visible, and I found this personally very offensive, even as a man. We concluded that since the content in the aforementioned scenes contributed ZERO to the plot, they must have been included for homosexual purposes. See all »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 2½
Adam Janz, age 26 (Canada)
Comments from young people
Positive—Very excited to see this film; I loved all the other Marvel movies. The first Thor was OKAY, but this one was awesome. Great movie, not to violent—only objectionable thing was the language. In my opinion, it is OKAY for 9 and up.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
Matthew, age 13 (USA)

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