ANDREW COLLINS: FILM OF THE DAY Thor: the Dark World★★★★ 8.30-10.15pm BBC1 Premiere
It’s a Marvel movie with the added onus of carrying off Norse mythology with a straight face and the skull-crushing pressure of sequel one-upmanship. For these reasons we must abandon hope of all nuance and understatement. But on its own bombastic terms and against all odds (not least the loss of director Kenneth Branagh), this second helping of Thor eclipses the first for some fans, with vaster worlds and higher stakes – notably, something called the Convergence. Diving straight back in with villain Loki (Tom Hiddleston) locked up for war crimes in Asgard and Natalie Portman’s astrophysicist in Greenwich, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is soon seeking an alliance with his evil bro and banging heads with Dad (Anthony Hopkins) for bringing his new girlfriend home. Confidently marshalled by Game of Thrones regular Alan Taylor, there is even room for offbeat wit amid the banging, clattering and shouting, as unknowable CGI foes appear from roiling skies and oceans. Next year’s threequel has this to beat.
A button-pushing alien has to ride to his reckless astronaut brother’s rescue on “dark planet” Earth in this colourful animated tale. It’s not trying to break new ground, though the reversal of the usual human/alien roles is fun.