Firstly the film. It might better be called Loki: The Dark World because the terrible trickster is back with all the charming petulance that Tom Hiddleston can sum up. Which is quite a lot it seems. However, Chris Hemsworth with his sunshiny persona just manages to hammer back the glory with his lovelorn mooning, devil may care bravery and a fair amount of muscle. I guess flinging a big old hammer about all the time will do that to a fellow. But once again the true love story (and tragedy) is a tale of brothers as Loki and Thor reunite to grate and placate one another again. And it's rather fun just to see the characters interact. With two solid actors in the roles it's a delight in fact. Christopher Eccleston and Natalie Portman are incredible too and overall the cast are strong and suit their roles.
With a story that's a legend returned from the dawn of time the universe is under threat from Dark Elves and their 'ether' which is a liquidy antimatter substance or some such thing (the science was a bit thin) that is their weapon against, well, the universe itself it seems. Anyway it's pretty much reminiscent of the Dredd liquidy stuff, only a bit more scary. It's a good premise, not terribly in depth but for a film that takes place on two worlds, includes a lot of action, a fair amount of 'funnies' (funny open to interpretation here) and a love story or two, the screenplay melds it all together very well. Some bits were a bit long for what they were, there's a bit too much dialogue and the sillyness while actually very funny in moments is a bit too pleased with itself the rest of the time. There's some strong characterisation though and the legend of the Dark Elves is told succinctly. What I suppose it lacks is depth, but then this is the Thor franchise we're talking about. We ain't particularly watching it for it's intellect. Well directed with a brilliant sound design and score and a satisfying conclusion there's little to complain about. There's a post credits teaser which made me groan rather as it wasn't up to the calibre of the film I'd just seen so I guess that says something about the Thor: The Dark World quality. I like this story world a lot. I like the characters and the actors who play them and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
As for the 3D IMAX.. well, IMAX is certainly big. With many of the shots being gigantic heads, I was mostly impressed with the actors' skin quality. No really, it was fab enough to make me want to get on the phone then and there to book some laser facials. There's a lot of cool things though with the 3D and although some of it makes you react and then get annoyed because you reacted to something that isn't really flying at your head, but there's also some very interesting connection because of the 3D perspective. Yes, it was a novelty for me, yes it was a bit distracting from the actual film and yes I can certainly see the draw of 3D and will be kinder to it in future. The main thing I noticed though was that it's so odd. It sort of sits you right up against the action and the characters as if you're standing in the film next to or in front of them. Which is all well and good but then you find yourself feeling like you're sitting on a car bonnet or on someone's dinner table side plate. It was very peculiar and I wondered whether all 3D films do this. I know that if acting or directing 3D I'll probably need to think of the perspectives differently. Because of some of my stagecraft that may not be as difficult for me as it sounds but it's certainly something to consider looking at differently. As for the glasses, I forgot I had them on, however during the trailers and when the end credits and extra scene were running there were side lights switched on in the auditorium, which reflect horribly. I know a lot of people are eager to get out of the cinema the minute the film ends but it somehow seems wrong for a cinema to be pressing people to leave early by putting lights on and sending staff in to hover about waiting to tidy up. I will see a film or two in 3D from now on, despite the extra expense because of the spectacle and grandeur of it, but by and large, I think it's not reached it's potential yet and I will no doubt enjoy films much more in 2D and preferably not in a cinema which I still rather loathe being forced to go to if I want to see a film when it's released. For now, I've braved half term and seen a comic book movie at ridiculous bigness and had a nice time. So I'm happy enough and if you haven't tried 3D yet I recon you should bite the bullet and give it a go.