First off, thanks to everyone who tuned in for my debut as Gary’s fill-in on the KFI Sunday Morning News. Hopefully not too many executives get fired over the decision.

On to the big movie this weekend…

While pretty and filled with good effects, Thor: The Dark World seems unnecessary. I’m enough of a comic book nerd to get the whole universe Marvel is building with its series of Iron Man, Captain America and Avengers movies, but this Thor sequel doesn’t seem to advance anything in the larger narrative in any important way.

Most of Thor takes place in other realms, and only a little on earth, though part of the final battle —  and all these movies have to have THE BIG FINAL BATTLE — takes place on earth. For the most part the movie is filled with an inner mythology with which it was hard to feel a connection.

And the most tiresome thing in movies like this — why do the stakes always have to be bigger and bigger? It’s always THE FATE OF THE ENTIRE HUMAN RACE or somesuch. In Thor’s case, it’s THE FATE OF THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE AND ALL OF EXISTENCE. (Insert numerous exclamation points here.) At some point, I think I’d love to see a superhero set out to rescue some kid’s pet.

I give high marks to the 3D because it’s mostly used to show depth, not to arbitrarily throw things in our faces.

And, as with all these Marvel movies, stay through the end of the credits. You get not one but two extra scenes.

Thor gets three out of five hammers. Not bad, but for all the money the producers put up on the screen, it should have been better.