Another Marvel superhero adventure off the Disney conveyor built, Thor: The Dark World (Cert 12A) continues the big-screen adventures of the God of Thunder or rather the Mighty Avenger.
In the aftermath of the first Thor, directed by Kenneth Branagh, and last year’s The Avengers Chris Hemsworth’s blond beefcake battles to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from a shadowy enemy that predates the universe itself.
This is the vengeful Dark Elf Malekith who vows to plunge the universe back into darkness with the help of the Aether, an all-powerful source of dark matter, a gloopy ruby-coloured liquid which apparently lurks under a warehouse in south London.
Earthling scientist and Thor love interest Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) stumbles upon it and sets in train the events which precipitates the almighty clash between good and evil.
In the latter camp is Loki, Thor’s sly malevolent brother (a splendidly haughty Tom Hiddleston) who observes the chaos with mild amusement from the cell where he has been banged up by his dad, Asgard’s king Odin (Anthony Hopkins) until Thor is forced to release him to help defeat Malekith (Christopher Eccleston grunting menacingly in subtitled made-up language).
In the hands of Game of Thrones director Alan Taylor The Dark World is enjoyable nonsense mixing comic moments with the computer-generated action which climaxes with a monster battle laying waste to Greenwich.
Chilean actress Paulina Garcia won the Silver Bear Best Actress award at Berlin in the title role of Gloria (Cert 15). It’s a brave and winning performance as the 50-something divorcee in Sebastian Lelio’s bittersweet comedy-drama which embraces loneliness, relationships, self-discovery and female independence.
Gloria is a sort of middle-aged Bridget Jones in the way her life seems constantly in chaos through a combination of bad luck and bad judgement but her redoubtable spirit wins through.
She is clearly lonely living alone after 12 years since the divorce and has had to come to terms with the independence of her grown-up children.
At the a singles club she frequents in Santiago she meets the recently separated Rodolfo (Sergio Hernandez) and the pair share a sensual passion but can she persuade him to commit to a relationship by letting go of his demanding ex-wife and daughters?