Thor 2 leaves audience thunderstruck

Severe weather update. The forecast for the Nine Realms is a 100 percent chance of lightning storms with hammer-sized hail.

That’s because “Thor: The Dark World,” the sequel to 2011’s “Thor,” not only takes the audience on an adventure worthy of even the most hardcore Vikings, but it also manages to be a wonderful follow-up to “Marvel’s The Avengers,” as well as a good stand-alone film in its own right.

This movie saw the return of several characters from the first Thor movie as well as a few new ones. The villain Malekith, for example, is new for this film, and the wannabe king/Norse god/boring supervillain Loki notably makes his return here, too.

Somewhat surprisingly, I actually really enjoyed Loki’s part in the film. I was skeptical about him after his somewhat anemic performance in “Marvel’s The Avengers,” during which he got his butt handed to him by every Avenger except Black Widow. However, he provided some nice plot twists and generally added to the movie.

The mid-credits scene is what really made my nerd side feel like it had gotten fried by lightning. The mid-credits scene of “The Avengers” was a huge tease for the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and this scene was almost as big of a deal as that was. I won’t say why, but I will say this: If anyone wants to see a comic book nerd go berserk (obscure Norse military pun intended), then they should take them to this movie.

The movie itself was wonderful. The plot was good and had some wonderful twists — particularly the one at the end. The action scenes were decent and the acting was grand. I suppose that one of the best things about it was seeing everyone’s favorite hammer-wielding, cape-wearing, Chris Hemsworth-portrayed superhero back in action in his own movie again.

One thing I liked about the movie was that it managed to follow up on the events of “The Avengers” while not forgetting that it is, in fact, a Thor movie. An example of this is when Thor’s love interest, Jane Foster (who was left out of the “Avengers” nerd extravaganza), was brought back into Thor’s life in this movie, closing an aspect of the first Thor movie that was left wide open.

Perhaps my only criticism of “Thor 2” is that it feels non-epic, in a way. “Thor” was a superhero origins movie, and that’s what it was trying to be. “Thor 2” was just a superhero movie, but I felt like it was trying to be more epic than it was. Also, I felt like Malekith, the main villain in this movie, was kind of underdeveloped.

“Thor 2” is a wonderful movie, and I don’t have very many bad things to say about it. I recommend it to anyone who likes any of Marvel’s recent movies or superhero movies in general.