I walked in to the theater with OK expectations, after not liking the first one. Something was just not right on that one. Maybe we did not get to see him in Asgard as much. Or him in the Thor suit with his hammer. (SPOILERS AHEAD) This movie was jaw dropping. It was SO much better then the first one. First off. This movie had the villian it advertised. But it was also darker and more in depth then the first one. And the end credits scene leading into GOTG was the only thing I was like 'meh' about. I started balling when (HUGE SPOILER HUGE SPOILER HUGE SPOILER) Loki died. It was a sad death. The actors all had excellent performances. (Looking at you Tom). Loki stole the show. (Here comes another spoiler) When Loki and Thor are going to chase Malekith. The fight scene was gorgeous. And Loki in the end credits scene made no sense. But I wanted Loki to live so I went with it.
Story: The story was pretty good. Maybe some plot holes here and there. But it was still good! 7/10
Characters: I was blown away by how they used them. I am glad that Jane was pissed about Thor not coming to see her when New York happened. And to see that she was trying to get over Thor by dating someone. And to see that they remembered NYC and talked about it a bit. But again it does have one thing I didn't get about Iron Man 3. Where in the world is S.H.I.E.L.D.? This is an alien attack and they were there for the last one.
There are a lot more good things to say. This movie gets an 8.1/10