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The Shakespearan feud between two brothers vying for their father’s attention having been addressed in Thor, the sequel gets down to the business of dazzling the 3D and IMAX crowds. Every element of Thor: The Dark World, from the scale of the action and the sophistication of the visual effects to the production design and costumes, appears to have been designed for a giant IMAX screen (parts of the movie have been shot with IMAX cameras). The rapid-fire action and constant movement between Thor’s realm above the clouds and the mortal world below combine to deliver a visual spectacle that compensates for the disinterest in characterisation and emotions.

The first movie, directed by Kenneth Branagh, enlivened a routine good-versus-evil yarn by exploring the tensions between the hammer-wielding warrior prince Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and his tortured brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston). Now confined to a cell behind a shimmering golden filigree mesh, Loki cools his heels in part duex while the latest enemy, Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), seeks to harness a shape-shifting force called Aether and destroy the nine realms that are coming together during a rare alignment. The alignment creates gateways between Asgard and Earth, a nifty screenwriting device that allows Thor’s love interest, the mortal astrophysicist Jane (Natalie Portman), to travel between both worlds as easily as she would between Spain and Portugal.

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A still from the film

Thor: The Dark World released in theatres on Friday.

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