Thor’s big-screen adventures continue with The Dark World, as our hero battles to save Earth and the nine realms from their shadowy enemies. Directed by Alan Taylor and produced by Kevin Feige, Thor has definitely progressed in this story, a facet that can sometimes crucially get lost in comic book sequels.

thor-dark-world-posterIn the aftermath of Marvel’s Thor and The Avengers, Thor fights to restore order across the cosmos, but an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. Faced with an enemy that even his father King Odin and the land of Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous journey yet.

However, there’s a little bit of personal development for the man who never forgets his hammer too – it’s not all saving the world and smashing up baddies. Perhaps even more surprisingly, it’s pretty funny to boot – similarly to its close cousin, The Avengers – there are genuine laughs and nods to the audience, not just camp superhero gags and so-lame-you-laugh action scenes.

The comical element is very much needed as the rest of the content is pretty dark [get the title now?] and the audience could easily be bogged down without those flecks of ‘normal’ life. Marvel have struck the perfect balance between reality and fantasy, which fits perfectly with the realm-spanning theme of the film.

Chris Hemsworth seems to have worked on his accent a little, although at times forced he sounds less Shakespearean than he did in the first instalment. His stature and chiselled looks never fail to impress in this heroic role- something which is highlighted in the 3D version.

Twisted brother, Loki [Tom Hiddleston], counteracts Hemsworth’s blond and brooding ways making them the perfect antithetical brotherly pairing – light versus dark, yet their family ties shine through in key moments which results in these otherworldly characters showing glimmers of humanity which adds depth to the film.

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Jane Foster, played by the delicately beautiful Natalie Portman makes a stronger appearance in “Thor: The Dark World” compared with previously. Unfortunately, Portman’s performance is probably the weakest compared with the rest of the cast. At times she seems rather vacant and blasé considering she is experiencing new realms and is supposedly desperately in love with Thor – you’d think she’d appear a little more thrilled to be honest.

Portman’s serious science lady is counteracted by the gorgeous Kat Dennings, who plays Darcy, Jane Foster’s quirky intern and best bud. Kat brings a lot of the laughs in this role and definitely adds a slice of reality to the otherwise fantasy driven backdrop.

Standout performance though comes from Christopher Eccleston as Malekith. A snarling dark creature with an appetite for destruction, he embodies the bad guy role to contrast with Thor’s good guy perfectly.

Thor’s character has matured and instead of petulant boy the audience gets an insight into his relationship with his father, Odin [Antony Hopkins] and his journey to the royal throne. “Thor: The Dark World” poses questions of morality, light and dark and family.

The effect are pretty awesome, and it was the first time in a while that I had felt the film had benefitted from the snazzy addition of 3D.

Alan Taylor and Kevin Feige have definitely done the Thor franchise justice. It’s a complex and thrilling tale that captures the audience start to finish – when it has the potential to lose the crowd with dark content the cast swiftly engages them once more with a good few laughs.

VERDICT: [rating=4]

About The Author

Emily Stockham

Emily is from South London and has a degree in English Literature. Emily is a marketing assistant who writes about films and music in her spare time. Horror and grindhouse are her thing - although she will happily watch anything if it means a trip to the cinema.