Immortal God like beings, a magic hammer and a rainbow bridge are not the easiest material to translate from comic to big screen. Yet, the first Thor was able to pull off this feat with its mix of action, humor and fantasy to become one of the most important films in the Marvel cinematic storyline. Thor took break-out star Chris Hemsworth’s Norse God of Thunder and turned him into an alien-being that changed Earth the second he and his enchanted Mjolnir fell from the sky. This week, the Avenger is back to save the nine realms in Thor: The Dark World.

In Thor: The Dark World, our favorite Goldilocks hero is trying to make peace in the nine realms. By peace, I mean Thor is smashing his enemies into submission in a very entertaining fashion. Fans of Asgard and the nine realms of Thor’s world will be happy to know most of the action happens off Earth unlike its predecessor. After a deadly invasion of Asgard by the Dark Elves and the welcome new bad-to-the-bone villain the Kurse, Thor is forced to rebel against Asgard law to save the nine realms from total annihilation. This time around, we get Thor in full hero mode with his trusted Mjolnir obeying his every move and dinging bad guys on the head. No lost powers this time around. It’s all about the thunder in Thor: The Dark World.

The pace and plot are very well done in Thor: The Dark World, but what takes the film to the next level once again is Tom Hiddleston’s performance as Thor’s evil imprisoned brother Loki. I would have never thought in a million years that Loki would be central antagonist of the Marvel Universe cinematic universe, but Hiddleston charisma and snarky charm steals the show once again. We also get treated to some great back forth between the brothers with the smarter Loki using his illusions to toy with the more bull-headed Thor. Plus, we get an Asgardian brother team-up thanks to the theory of my enemy’s enemy is my friend. Once again you end up rooting for the villainous Loki.

Thor: The Dark World looks like a mash-up of director’s Alan Taylor’s Game of Thrones and Star Wars with its Sci-Fi gadgetry existing in a world that looks like Medieval times. They have really taken the alien aspect in Thor: The Dark World to the next level and, as a fan of the comics, I couldn’t be happier.  Thor: The Dark World is an important building block in Marvel’s Phase 3 of films, so make sure you stick around through the credits. And yes ladies, Chris Hemsworth does take his shirt off.

Overall, I give Thor: The Dark World 3 out of 4 stars.

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