The big man with the hammer is back this week in Thor: The Dark World, the sequel to 2011's Thor. And while Peter Travers – who comes toting his own Mjölnir – dismisses some "highfalutin critics" who want nothing to do with Marvel movies, our film critic has some bad news for diehard fanboys: "You're gonna be disappointed, what can I say?"
A fan of The Avengers as well as the first Thor – to which director Kenneth Branagh brought some Shakespearian weight – Travers isn't ready to throw The Dark World (directed by Alan Taylor) into the scum bucket. Still, it's lacking in several key areas. In the picture, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) returns as blonde, muscular and godly as ever, but the love of his life – the Earth-bound scientist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) – finds her body inhabited by a mysterious ether. "It looks like some sort of pasta with tomato sauce, it didn't look really scary to me," Travers cracks, adding that the 3D special effects throughout the movie all come across as really dumb.
The film has a few saving graces though, including Hemsworth's sense of humor, a rather exciting climax and, unsurprisingly, Tom Hiddleston's return as Loki. One of Travers' favorite villains, Loki may not have a hammer, but he can certainly save a movie. "You'll be okay with it," Travers tells Thor fans. "But you're gonna be sitting around hoping that Avengers 2 will come out, where we get all these characters together and life is a better place. For now I gotta say, Thor: The Dark World, just passable."