A few spoilers ahead.
I love the Marvel films and I especially loved Kenneth Branagh's 2010 Thor. Since we were first introduced to Thor and his biceps we've seen Captain America thawed from the ice, the Avengers assemble at the request of Nick Fury and Tony Stark blow up his entire collection of Iron Man suits. Not to mention Thor's brother Loki killing S.H.I.E.L.D Agent Coulson and leading an attack on New York City that left a big mess to clean up.
Thor: The Dark World somehow manages to be bigger, funnier, louder, crazier, shinier, and dare I say it, even better than our first trip to Asgard. Action, family drama, comedy, spaceships, a mighty hammer, London, weird science... this film has everything you want from a Marvel film.
The action is frenzied and fun but doesn't rely on the usual running, jumping, fighting and throwing people against rocks to keep you happy. There's a particularly great fight sequence between Thor and Malekith that jumps between realms and includes a brief stop at Charing Cross tube station.
"How do I get to Greenwich?" - Thor on the tubeSuperheroes and S.H.I.E.L.D are very much the norm in Thor: The Dark World. Everyone in this version of the Marvel universe has experienced the battle of New York or seen it on TV, which means that when you see an Avenger in the middle of a fight you don't run away screaming, you film it on your phone.
"It's Thor out there! He's got his hammer out and everything! - perfect Facebook materialChris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston have much more screen time together than they did in Thor, which is a real treat to watch. Their family drama and brotherly bitch fighting balances out the action nicely and also manages to avoid reaching a sappy conclusion. Hiddleston hints at Loki's redeeming qualities but you're a fool if you think this god of mischief can change his ways.
The icing on this Asgardian cake is the comedy - lots of it and often at unexpected times. Thor in a car! Thor on the tube! Eric Selvig naked at Stonehenge! The script offers plenty of opportunities for the core cast to be funny while they're running around in the middle of 'end of the world' circumstances.
Other things worth mentioning:
- You need to stay to the very end of the credits, there are two post-credits treats to enjoy.
- Greenwich gets trashed! I suppose it was about time the UK took a battering in the Marvel universe.
- Zachary Levi, the new Fandral, looks strange as a blonde. But he get's the awesome "For Asgard!" line so I'll forgive his hair colour.
- Thor hangs Mjolnir up with the coats in Jane's flat and I LAUGHED SO MUCH.
- Eric Selvig thinks better when he's not wearing trousers.
- A Captain America cameo is always a good thing.
- Vimto! Lucozade! Shreddies! Nice to see familiar brands on display in the film.
- Thor's tube journey from Charing Cross to Greenwich would take far longer than the two stops he was told. Maybe the woman was too busy checking him out to give him the right answer.