The Marvel cinematic universe comes back to theatres in a thunderous manner (horrible pun intended) in the new sequel Thor: The Dark World. After the slight disappointment of Iron Man 3, I was eager to jump back into the wonderfully constructed superhero universe that Kevin Feige and others at Marvel have created.

Thor: The Dark World is the follow up to the first Thor movie, which served as an origin story for the beloved Marvel character. The film follows Thor (Chris Hemsworth) as he deals with his troublesome brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), as well as navigating the difficulties of a relationship with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) in the midst of possible destruction of the universe from the dark elves. The film utilizes a fantasy/science fiction arc that, I must say, succeeds at being rather entertaining for the majority of the film. Directed By Alan Taylor, a well-known TV director who has worked on Game of Thrones and The Sopranos, the film honours the general tone established in the first film by Kenneth Branagh.  One of the chief complaints of the look of Asgard in the first film was that, while it was certainly beautiful and magical looking, it felt hollow and uninhabited. In the Dark World this is immediately addressed and the world as a whole does feel more complete and as a consequence more realistic.

Tom Hiddleston steals the show as Loki in Thor: The Dark World (2013).

Tom Hiddleston steals the show as Loki in Thor: The Dark World (2013).

Chris Hemsworth really is fun to watch in this role, but Tom Hiddleston arguably challenges Hemsworth with his magnetic scene-stealing performance. As someone who was not a fan of his character in the first film or in the Avengers, I quite enjoyed his turn as the slightly more nuanced and truly deceptive character in this film. Natalie Portman was never really given any good material to work with and it’s essentially the same this time as well; it would be nice to see more heft given to such a good actress. Anthony Hopkins and Rene Russo are also fun in their supporting roles as is Christopher Eckleston in the role of Malekith, the leader of the dark elves.

The plot of the film is mildly interesting but is not that engaging. I never felt like a child in complete awe of this fantastic mythology. The film is a mess at times and the pacing is abrupt. When the plot slows down and emotional character building scenes are introduced, it’s hard to really feel deeply for the characters. At times the film feels like a buffer for The Avengers: Age of Ultron. However, this film is definitely enjoyable for any marvel universe or comic book fan. Thor: The Dark World will generally please but, in the end, doesn’t really offer any exciting evolution of the Marvel Universe.

Chris Hemsworth brings fun to the role of Thor once again in Thor: The Dark World (2013).

Chris Hemsworth brings fun to the role of Thor once again in Thor: The Dark World (2013).

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