Thor: The Dark World opens with a monologue from Anthony Hopkin's Odin explaining the plot of the movie. That was pretty much that; I settled in for a fun, dumb romp through the world of Asgard and I was not disappointed. 10,000 years ago, a bunch of dark elves (why elves is never explained) discovered an ultimate weapon called the Aether which will destroy all life everywhere on all worlds, but looks suspiciously like a rejected CGI effect of the blood vampire at the end of Blade. The elves, led by Malekith, are defeated by Thor's grandfather and the Aether imprisoned in a box somewhere in another realm. Malekith and a small group of his people escape to a dark hole somewhere and bide their time, presumably to wait until they're needed as a plot point.
Meanwhile back in present day, Thor's girlfriend Jane Foster's in London studying an anomaly of some kind that she can sense on her Star Trek tricorder, which leads her to a building where the worlds are converging and a scene of some pretty epic Portal effects. Jane somehow, SOMEHOW gets sucked through the one hole in the universe that leads directly to the stashed Aether, which she promptly sticks her stupid hand in and gets infected by.
Idris Elba's Heimdall has been keeping track of Jane for Thor, and when she vanishes from his sight he alerts the guardian of her disappearance. Thor has been traveling the nine realms fucking up all enemies of Asgard with Lady Sif and the Warriors Three, until Jane disrupts the death device and wakes up Malekith and the slumbering elves. Then all hell breaks loose as the elves attack Asgard, only to leave once Thor and Jane disappear from the scene.
So of course Thor needs Loki to help him settle the score, and the rest of the film depicts their attempts to cure Jane of the Aether infection, and save all nine realms from the elves and their attempt at total destruction. The action scenes and the special effects are all done really well, gritty and in your face with none of the cutaway tricks that I've come to expect from modern action movies. The script is also really funny, with a lot of well written gags and some cute fan service moments. The big problem with this movie is that it, like Iron Man 3 before it, is post-Avengers and as such seems very small in comparison. At this point even the destruction of Asgard seems kind of insignificant with only one Hero running around through it.
With that said I enjoyed the film, it's far funnier than it has any right to be and I actually enjoyed Tom Hiddleston's Loki in it. For once his character has actual change and growth on screen and it made me care about him for the first time in three films. I also bought the Thor/Jane relationship and thought their scenes together were cute. Check out the after-credit scene to see a little more about their relationship and why Thor will be on Earth for the foreseeable future.
[easyreview title= "Review of Thor: The Dark World" cat1title="Jack's Rating" cat1detail="Overall Review" cat1rating="4.0" overall= false]