Thor: the Dark World definitely lives up to its title. It's a dark movie. Main characters die, the action is more intense than the first, there is plenty of surprises and twists, and plenty of set pieces are destroyed. However, the movie still has that Marvel humor and lightness that we've come to expect from the studio. That is not a completely good thing, however.
Following a very well done narrated introduction to the story, a great scene with Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Odin (Anthony Hopkins), and a little catch up with what Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and his friends have been up to, the movie spends a little too much time focusing on the character of Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). This wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for Kat Dennings as Darcy, who is way more annoying (CONSISTENTLY) than in the first movie. Her scenes are goofy in an Agents of Shield way.
This brings down the movie a little bit, but once we return to Asgard, the movie picks up and delivers on the greatness we've come to expect from Marvel, especially once Loki is released from his prison. As in the Avengers, Loki steals every scene he is in. He's a brilliant character that is brilliantly portrayed by Hiddleston. He is so developed and complex that I literally had no idea what he would do in each scene, whether it was swapping insults with his brother or showing just how honorable he can be.
The movie is raised to a great level once Loki is featured prominently, and stays that way through the rest of the film, until the goofy parts are forgotten. I definitely recommend this film, especially to people like me who have been involved in the Marvel Cinematic universe since they first started building it with Iron Man.
You will not be disappointed. Oh, and stay until the end of the credits (duh)!
7.7 stars out of 10.