Thor Nails it in The Dark World
I loved this film as a fan of Thor. Outside that fandom, I loved it less, but still found it highly entertaining. For Thor fans, this is an Easter egg rich environment. For this fact, long time, or even recent, fans will enjoy this film more than those only familiar with the films. That is not to say this does not stand on its own merits. It very much stands on its own. While firmly, and inescapably, in the Avengers universe, the tone and pace is entirely different. That tone and pace fits the characters, anything else would make for less relatable and enjoyable relationships.
This film centers on the Dark Elves, who were around long before creation. In the beginning, there was darkness, and Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) ruled that darkness. Malekith waged war on the light and everything that came into existence with it. Bor, father of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), defeated him but his ultimate weapon, his Aether, could not be destroyed and so it was hidden for eons; until the convergence of the nine realms came again, and Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) stumbled upon its hiding place. The discovery of the Aether awakens Malekith from his long hibernation. Fearing for Jane’s safety Thor (Chris Hemsworth) returns to Earth and takes her back to Asgard. Determined to recover his weapon Malekith attacks Asgard, killing Frigga (Rene Russo)in the process. To claim vengeance, and to defeat Malekith, Thor frees Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to aid him in avenging the murder of their mother. At which point things become fun.
The interaction between Thor and Loki is worth the price of admission alone. The chemistry Hemsworth and Hiddleston share is uncanny. If I didn’t know better I would believe the actors were actually (adopted) brothers. The action sequences are well shot and staged. They are neither too brief nor too gratuitous. The villains Thor ultimately has to overcome are formidable enough to present a convincing sense of jeopardy for the main character. At least as much of a sense of jeopardy, you can have when dealing with a superhero like Thor. The story is more than enough to keep an audience actively engaged, and the romantic interaction between Thor and Jane Foster is tantalizing without being overwhelming.
It is difficult to say at this point, on my first viewing, but I may like Thor: The Dark World, better than the first Thor film, which was my favorite of the initial 5 Avengers precursor films.
Thor: The Dark World deserves 9 out of 10 hammers