Thor: The Dark World, in short, was a different movie from Thor. The original Thor, much like its director Kenneth Branagh, was extremely Shakespearean. And many people either loved it, or hated it for that. I was in the former camp, but I’ve known several in the latter. Thor: The Dark World however, was very much a Marvel movie. More action, less depth, etc. Is this a bad thing, no, not at all. The movie was still quite good, but it just didn’t feel like a true sequel other than the same characters existing in both. There was very little action in the first movie, it mainly focused on character, and plot. The second movie, however, had a lot of action, and at times, I’ll admit it dragged on just a bit too long (not Iron Man 2 long, but still, longer than was necessary).
The movie focuses largely around a relatively shallow enemy that reminds me a lot of the antagonist from Star Trek. There, but really not very deep… only wanting to bring about his own vision of the universe, and revenge. They did more than Star Trek to flush him out as the antagonist, but not a whole lot. On the “good guy” side, viewers were obviously expected to be Marvel fans, with several references, and tie ins, to the original movie, and Avengers. I would imagine someone viewing this movie without the others would enjoy it, but be rather lost on much of the plot.
The cast of the movie, as usual, was extremely well selected, and there seemed to have been no recasting from the previous movie. The acting and direction were also superb. The only flaw really was that the movie left it’s former Shakespearean roots behind and went to the Marvel storeroom for action and motivation. Overall, I enjoyed it, and I would certainly place it above most other Marvel sequels (save maybe Spiderman 2). Recommended, though maybe not the 3D version I watched as it probably isn’t worth the extra expense.