When I was a young boy, I would tie a towel around my neck lengthways, and pretend it was a cape, jumping from piece of furniture to piece of furniture as a superhero - much to my parents' annoyance. It is this sense of childlike imaginative adventure and excitement that 'Thor: The Dark World' delivers - enough to make me once again reach for the towel... and maybe also a hammer.
It is a year after the events of 'The Avengers', and once again we join Thor (Chris Hemsworth) as he does battle to save the Nine Realms. His enemy this time is the Dark Elves, and their leader Malekith is hell-bent on raising an ancient evil in order to plunge the universe into darkness. Thor must rely on old allies Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgåd) and test the limits of his trust with his criminal brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston).
With 'Thor: The Dark World' being the eighth instalment in the Marvel universe, you’d think they would know how to get it right – and boy, do they. It has just enough going on for everyone: a fantastic story full of action and explosions, with softer romantic moments and comedy strewn through out it. It's this comedy that is 'Thor’s' saving grace, and is what has made the Marvel franchise so universally liked. Where 'Man of Steel' fell short was its incredibly serious nature; if we have come to expect anything from such comic book adaptations, it's that any action we might receive will come with a side dish of tongue-in-cheek humour - the movie needs to understand its own ludicrous nature. Jokes and references to the other Marvel heroes are abundant and often border on camp, but that only adds to the appeal of 'The Dark World'.
Everything about this film is slick.
Everything about this film is slick, as you would expect from Marvel and Disney. Rightly so, as movies like this have strong and vocal fan bases, and I don't get the impression many will be left wanting. The acting is more than adequate with Portman and Hemsworth's on-screen chemistry, especially in more comedic moments, which are brilliant. Add these to a star-studded supporting cast, stunning visuals and a relatively strong script, and you have yet another classic superhero blockbuster.
You may have to do your homework before seeing 'Thor: The Dark World' in order to get the tightest grip on what is going on, but only so far as the first 'Thor' or 'The Avengers'. As a newcomer entering into this universe for the first time, it's still a thoroughly enjoyable ride. It must be noted that the film adheres strongly to the Marvel formula of having post-credit goodies, so do yourself a favour and stay until the end. With an abundance of action, comedy, romance and muscles, fans will gladly be struck by Thor's hammer again.