Caution - Spoilers!
This film is best viewed after you have watched Thor and Avengers Assemble so that all events are in context.
Thor is still trying to clear up Loki's mess after the recent events in Avengers Assemble (or The Avengers, if you're not from GB), so he hasn't had the time to go running around after Jane Foster, however much he would like to. But Jane hasn't been quite so tied up. In the meantime, she has been doing some investigation of her own, and ends up getting pulled into another world, one where a mysterious weapon known as the Aether was hidden away. Unwittingly, Jane absorbs the Aether and then is taken to Asgard by Thor when he comes back and realises something is wrong. But soon Asgard is attacked by the Dark Elves, who were believed to be long dead, and they are looking for the very thing that Jane has absorbed. In a desperate attempt to save Asgard, Thor asks for Loki's help to escape unhindered, even though doing so is treason. The question is, can he really trust the God of Mischief?
Like the first Thor film, this one is packed with action, a few laughs and a lot of cool effects. Team that up with a time-constrained story-line, brotherly affection, a few laughs and a bit of romance and you have a pretty good film. In fact, it's more than good. It is really exciting. Fans will love the Captain America cameo, legend geeks will love the main theme of the story; the fact that the worlds are aligning and may be destroyed may be a reference to Ragnarok, and everyone else will love the adventure, the comedy and the romance of it all. The story takes a few twists and turns, but none that aren't obvious once you think about it a little bit. It isn't anything that will change your thinking or shape you as a person, but it is a really exciting and beautifully executed film. As I may have mentioned in my review of the first film, the effects are stunning and the landscapes of Asgard and of the other worlds are breathtaking.
As always, Chris Hemsworth acts all macho as he should; like a pro. He gives Thor a tiny bit more complexity this time around, which is nice to see, but the character doesn't evolve hugely from the end of the first Thor film. Tom Hiddleston remains my favourite as Loki, who really does go through a character arc. It is nice to see Loki looking less than his usual arrogant self when tragedy strikes, but he still manages to resume his mischievous tricks when he is out of his prison. I was quite amused and yet a little unimpressed with the continuation of Dr Selvig's story considering a lot has happened to him since he last saw Thor, and I feel that Darcy is no longer needed in the plot, she and her new intern only distracted from the story as a funny side-plot. However, I was impressed with Christopher Eccleston as Malekith, the Dark Elf and the antagonist of the plot. Although he played a fairly one-dimensional character, I felt that he did it all with a real presence and he felt like a very worthwhile opponent.
It's nothing new, but worth a watch anyway, especially if you love your Marvel comics and superhero films.
7 out of 10.