Not as much fun as the first THOR film, but packed with great special effects, action and humor, THOR: THE DARK WORLD is two hours of eyeball filling, ear splitting fantasy.
After the attack on NYC depicted in "The Avengers", Thor has returned to his home world of Asgard.
Opening narration by the ever powerful Anthony Hopkins explains, as these types of movies do, the pending alignment of nine worlds that will lead to thin walls between them and the chance for the evil Malekith to reemerge and rule them all.
A weapon known as the Aether is key to the villain's powers and through one of these wormhole like thin walls, it finds its way to Earth and into the body of Thor's human love, scientist Jane Foster.
Of course, Thor returns to Earth to save her and whisks her back to Asgard, where all sorts of family conflict and inter-worldly battles ensue.
Thor's brother Loki (the great Tom Hiddleston, a superb & powerful bad guy) is in the middle of the conflicts, freed from his prison cell to help Thor battle the forces of evil.
As the "Convergence" of the worlds grows near, the epicenter of the event is London, bringing all the players to Earth for a huge final battle.
The good news is that Chris Hemsworth is great as Thor. He's funny, a powerful hero and holds the center of the action perfectly. Natalie Portman is okay as Jane, but overshadowed by some great actors in smaller roles. Zachary Levi (TV's "Chuck") is unrecognizable as Thor's ally Fandral, Kat Dennings is fun as Jane's assistant and Idris Elba is great as Heimdall, keeper of the bridge.
For me, the movie spends a bit too much time ON the Dark World of Asgard and not enough time on Earth. There is plenty of action, but after awhile, all those rocky, dark worlds start to look an awful lot alike.
That being said, it's certainly never boring and the only place that may be more damaged than London is your ears after an all out assault of explosions, inter-dimensional travel and a non-stop, less than subtle music score by Brian Tyler.
Stick through the credits for a great tease of future films with Benecio del Toro as "The Collector" and a second added scene featuring our main characters.
The last scene before the credits offers a major twist that left me less "WOW!" than it did.."wait, what does that mean, how the hell....?" So I will lean on my fellow Marvel film buffs to explain to me exactly how and what that twist meant, BUT I like where it left the characters.
Thor and company loudly and stylishly hammer their way to a B-.
Followed in 2017 by THOR: RAGNAROCK.