Thor (Chris Hemsworth) must contend with Malekith (Christopher Eccleston) a dark elf who did battle with Odin's (Anthony Hopkins) father Bor (Tony Curran) eons ago. Despite being defeated and sealed off from Asgard, Malekith has found a way to infiltrate the realm.
Meanwhile Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is locked away for his crimes from the first film.
At the same time, the Nine Realms are to be aligned ever-so-briefly which means that travel between them will be possible to many, both good and evil.
On Earth, Dr. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) is in London doing sciency things with her intern Darcy Lewis (Kat Dennings). In their travels, they discover the invisible portals to other realms. In her exploration, Jane is infected by the Aether, one of the dark elve's new weapons. This alerts Thor and he returns to Earth to find a way to save her.
Can Thor save Jane? Will Malekith be defeated once and for all? Will Loki be included in the picture at the next family reunion?
Much like the first movie, Thor exists in a fantastical different dimension. This story is much more rooted in Asgard and realms beyond, so it is even more removed from reality or an identifiable setting. With that said, there is much less time wasted on introductions and royal drama/deception. It is still present, but there is much more action and a faster pace even if there are a few clunky moments in the script. A lot of this improvement is probably due to having Alan Taylor as the director in place of Kenneth Branagh.
Loki was a much more interesting villain than Malekith, though the Dark Elves have a memorable look and some nifty weapons. We have probably also hit the limit to how many movies we need that feature planets aligning for a limited time to keep an interdimensional portal (or whatever) open.
As stated before, Hemsworth was a choice to play Thor. Portman doesn't have much to do in this role except to spout some scientific facts and to be in distress. She is capable of much more. Stellan Skarsgard, brings us consistent comic relief as the wacky professor. Most movies would certainly benefit from having more Kat Dennings.
Special features include: nothing.
'Thor: The Dark World' is a fine continuation of the introduction to the character. It offers a slight improvement upon its predecessor.
This isn't one of the more universally likeable characters and the fantasy elements tend to overtake the action, so this is best-suited to hardcore Marvel fans.
Rated PG-13 112 minutes 2014