Thor: The Dark World Reviews: Better Than the Original (For What That's Worth)?

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Thor: The Dark World his U.S. theaters this weekend after a monstrous opening abroad, and for what it's worth, the sequel to 2011's Thor meets expectations.

Does the Alan Taylor-directed flick exceed them, though? Can he make the hammer-wielding hero played by Chris Hemsworth any more compelling?

The big-budgent Marvel movie has earned a few jabs from critics for its reliance on CGI and for being dull, while others are more than pleased with it.

Should you check it out, or save it for a rental someday?

Here's a sampling of Thor: The Dark World reviews ...

"Thor: The Dark World may not be thunder from the movie gods, but it is - shock! - an entertaining journey into mystery, action and fun. It cruises where the earlier film lumbered. It has its faults, but this is solidly in the upper sphere of superhero sequels." - N.Y. Daily News

"Thor: The Dark World delivers the goods - action, otherworldly grandiosity, romance, humor - above and beyond its predecessor. That doesn't necessarily launch it into the pantheon of greatness, but it's at least a reassuring sign that the Marvel juggernaut is remaining firmly on the rails. Or the Rainbow Bridge. Whatever." - The Wrap

"It's fairly entertaining. Same old threats of galaxy annihilation, spiced with fish-out-of-water jokes." - The Chicago Tribune

"Dark World is as narratively gripping as if the pages of the IKEA catalog attacked one another. I think even the filmmakers…would be surprised if you ever became emotionally engaged." - New York Post

"This is a superhero movie that feels like it might have been made by anyone and no one at the same time, simply space-filler before the next big team-up movie." - TimeOut

"Thor: The Dark World, a watchable but technologically overscaled slab of Marvel boilerplate, is far from a great superhero movie- it's more like the diagram for one. The battles have a videogame medieval dazzle that temporarily heightens the senses, then leaves you numb. Only when Tom Hiddleston is on screen, as Thor's dark-souled stepbrother, Loki, does any real drama take hold." - Entertainment Weekly

"Disposable as it may feel at the end of the day, Thor: The Dark World is not without a certain pleasing deftness, from its goofily offhand way of finding scientific explanations for blatantly supernatural phenomena, to the blithe ease with which it sends its characters hopscotching from one dimension to the next." - Variety

"The secret weapon is [Tom Hiddleston]. The best thing the film's army of five screenwriters did is set the odd couple of Thor and Loki on a sort-of celestial road trip… Hiddleston's villainous asides steal the show, and he brightens The Dark World when it needs it most." - San Francisco Chronicle

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Tom Hiddleston really did steal the show, every time I laughed was because of him, and every part I enjoyed involved Loki in some form or another.