I enjoyed Thor: The Dark World much more than the original. It’s not a great movie, but as far as a Hollywood interpretation of a Marvel comic interpretation of the Norse myth goes, it was an entertaining couple hours. This movie is meant for people who enjoy a bit of binary good vs. bad mindless violence between larger than life superheroes. And it mostly satisfies that criterion.
Thor suffers in two areas.
First, and this was the biggest problem with the first movie, I am willing to admit that Natalie Portman is FINE, and like the guy who’s selling a clacker to get a Nisan 370Z, I would seriously consider parting with a testicle for the opportunity to get with her, but this is Thor, the God of Thunder. He just looks at a woman and she’ll sneeze, cum, fart, and get pregnant all at the same time. So the whole giving up everything for Portman is still a bit too much. Though not gone entirely, that plot point is tuned back a bit, allowing Thor his testicles so he could bring the thunder.
Secondly, it’s hard to juggle the fantastic and believability. Everyone’s threshold is different, but while it’s not likely that a filmmaker could ever hit everyone’s sweet spot, they can hit most. Thor has a hard time because it is literally about Gods, though in this universe they deny they are. The mythology around Thor talks about fantastic things which don’t translate well into “real world” scenarios. So there’s the tension between all the Renaissance Festival stuff on the one hand and the space ships and lasers on the other. Top that off by bringing it all to Earth with a couple scientists who’ve figured out, perfectly, all of the magical mystical science of the Asgardenverse, and are even able to manipulate these fantastic forces… Eh, this ice is really thin.
While I would recommend seeing this movie it is lacking. More of Thor busting up giant rock monsters then asking, “Anyone else?” and less overly convoluted scientific sounding horse shit to explain complex plot devices and emasculation of Thor, please.