Warning! Spoilers will follow!
I recently went to see Thor: The Dark World. I've heard many people say how good it was, and now I can finally agree. In my opinion, The Dark World was one of the best superhero movies in a long time. Discounting The Avengers, discounting Nolan's Batman movies since they're not official superhero movies, Thor 2 blew me away, on a par with Captain America and Iron Man 1, which were my favorite movies until this point.
The movie started slow, I'll admit. The beginning was slightly hampered with exposition setting up Malekith and explaining what's happened in Asgard since Thor 1. It picked up after that with Thor's return. We were quickly introduced to our villains resurfacing, we saw his plan taking place. We were instantly given something to care about, versus Thor 1 where all we had to care about was Thor's return.
One thing that worked very well in this movie was the supporting characters. We got nice amounts of each of the Warriors Three, of Sif, even of Darcy and Eric. We also got more Heimdall, including him jumping off a bridge to STAB a spaceship to pieces in a really awesome opening to a battle. As for the main characters, Loki got his share of screen time for some beautiful scenes, without smothering over the rest of the characters. Eccleston portrayed a beautiful villainous Malekith, and we got to see a more believable Thor we could care about.
Speaking of battles, Thor 2 had them in spades. From Malekith's introduction in the opening war, then a quick battle in Vanaheim, the attack on Asgard, the fight in Svartalfheim, and then the final battle in Greenwich. One step that Thor 2 took away from it's original was becoming a lot more like science-fiction from fantasy, and it worked. We saw a more technology-based Asgard, with flying ships, energy blades, defense turrets, laser weapons, grenades, and spaceships. Each of these kept a magical aspect to them, but melded with science, creating a much more believable. coherent version of Asgard. They worked beautifully, the aerial assault on Asgard being my favorite scene in the film. We saw more into the 9 realms as well, with Svartalfheim, Vanaheim, Jotunheim, Asgard, and Midgard all making appearances. As well, I may add, a small glimpse into Muspelheim, Surtur's realm, leaving only Nidavellir, Alfheim, and, of course, Hel to be seen on-screen.
Where does Thor 2 leave us? I've believed for a while that the final Thor movie will be Surtur rising up for Ragnarok. This movie just confirmed my suspicions. From the very beginning we are reminded of the gods' mortality, that they do, in fact, have an end. Even Odin tells us directly that a time will come when all the gods will be no more, one of several reminders placed throughout the movie. As for the ending...while Loki's surprise reappearance probably surprised no one, it's implications are chilling. Loki is in control of Asgard, maybe even the Odin Force. Odin himself is MIA. The gatekeeper is in prison, and it's unlikely Loki-odin will release someone as perceptive as him. Thor is in Midgard with Jane. Should Surtur rise, his opposition would be minimal. Ragnarok could fall on the gods.
Beyond Thor 3, what does this mean for the rest of the universe? As Odin, Loki now has access to the vault. Stored in the weapons vault is the infinity gauntlet and the Tesseract, two artifacts Thanos is still hunting for. Loki could now complete his promise and deliver the Tesseract to Thanos, as well as the Gauntlet. Not to mention that in the vault is Surtur's eternal flame, which is all he needs to re-light his sword and begin Ragnarok. Could we indeed see Loki return as an Avengers 3 Villain?
Overall, Thor had a lot of really well-done action, mixed with some nice comedy, including the greatest cameo appearance ever from Captain America. The plot was realistic, the villain was captivating, and, of course, we got more Loki. It was by no means perfect, of course. It had its slow moments, its awkward breaks. I personally found Kurse rather disappointing. It had a few over-done jokes, or moments where the pacing fell flat in mid-action. But overall, it was a very good film. If you haven't seen it, I suggest you get out there soon.
And make sure you stay through the credits!