Thor: The Dark World
I'm a sucker for a primordial prologue (see Lord of the Rings), and veteran television director Alan Taylor's Thor: The Dark World has a fine one that goes all the way back to before there was light but not before there were evil elves in french braids who hated everything and everyone in the illuminated nine realms (a ridiculous concept of parallel universes that merges science and the supernatural). The leader of the curiously racially diverse band of Esperanto-speaking elves is Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) who wants revenge after being imprisoned for millennia by the beautiful, English-speaking Asgardians, whose most famous inhabitants are, arguably, the hammer-fisted Prince Thor (an impossibly handsome Chris Hemsworth), his one-eyed and disapproving father Odin (Sir Anthony Hopkins), and his trickster half-brother Loki (the impossibly cheeky and surely one day knighted Tom Hiddleston, the life of this party, IYAM). The key to all of the chaos that threatens all known realities lies inside of Thor's mortal heartthrob, astrophysicist Jane Foster (the toothy Natalie Portman), who uncovers the source of Malekith's malevolence buried in London (seems fitting, actually) and becomes its host. It's all wonderful comic book nonsense with a bristling sense of humor and some kick-ass battle scenes. One thing can be said about the film series based on Marvel comics, they really know how to stage a good onslaught. Recommended.