I think I had the perfect viewing experience. Wednesday I watched the first Thor movie; then Thursday afternoon I watched the Avengers, before going to see The Dark World Thursday night. I've also been playing the "Avengers Assemble" Facebook game, which prepared me brilliantly for the movie. It's one of the great joys of the transmedia empire that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the Facebook game, the newest Spec Ops mission has Kurse, Dark Elves, and several other elements from the movie. I'm not too familiar with this part of Thor's canon, but being even slightly introduced to these parts of the story via this game made the movie that much more enjoyable.
It's hard to put into words just how much I enjoyed Thor: The Dark World. It was everything a Thor movie should be, and then some. In the first movie, I found myself wishing for more time exploring the Nine Worlds. I also found it hard to care about Asgard and wishing for more time on Earth. This time, not only did I get to see Thor and his Asgardians wrapping up their campaign to establish peace throughout the Nine Worlds, but I also got to see a brilliant before-the-dawn-of-time story. The story made me care about Asgard even more than Midgard (Earth), to the point where, not only did the setting not matter, but I found the scale tilted the other way, where I wanted more Asgard than Earth. Although, Jane Foster and her Phoenix-esque possession by the Aether provided the link for me (as for Thor) back to Earth, and I found myself loving the story that much more.
It was the most fun I've had at the movies since the Avengers. Everything about it was done masterfully, and I can't wait to watch it again! Not only did they do everything I wished they had done in the first Thor movie, and do it better than I ever imagined they would, they also took some of my favorite elements from other movies and perfected them.
Ever since seeing the kids mess with the malfunctioning matrix in Beyond, a short film, part of the Animatrix from 10 years ago, I've been subconsciously wanting to see this squishy gravity concept played out better on the big screen. I got this wish fulfilled in The Dark World. Watching the kids, Jane, Darcy, and Ian throw stuff into the weird anti-gravitational field in the abandoned warehouse was super neat-o. Then, when Thor and Malekith were fighting and warping and teleporting between worlds, with "Mew-Mew" (Mjolnir) frantically trying to find its way across the galaxies and back to its master's hand, I was blown away. This fight couldn't have been better! Ian slamming the car down on the Elves was just icing.
With the Man of Steel a few months ago, a bit of my yearning for the epic super-powered battle that Dragon Ball Z perfected was satiated. But Thor versus Malekith took epic fights to a whole nother level! The timing of The Dark World's release couldn't have been better, with Man of Steel coming to Blu-Ray this Tuesday. There is no competition! Seeing Thor flying through the air like that with his electrified hammer, as he came crashing down into Malekith to teleport him away, I actually believed he was the god of thunder. I dare say I've never seen a better epic battle.
I also loved how they continued to play with Arthur C. Clarke's notion that "magic is just science that we don't understand yet". Jane's back and forth with the healers about the "quantum field generator" versus "soul forge" was just one little example of this. The forcefields both in the prisons and over the capitol were another. It was especially amusing watching Thor and Loki try to figure out how to make Malekith's ship work. There were many other wonderful parts of maybe science-fiction / maybe magic that made the movie just that much better.
During the part when Thor and Loki are escaping from Asgard, I couldn't help but think back to some of the now-lame space battles from Star Wars and how much better this was than that! Even some of the sound effects were the same. I know it's difficult to say anything is better than Star Wars, but, I have to admit, Malekith's fleet was cooler than any of the ships from the former.
So many other good parts to this movie. Too much for my feable mind to have remembered after only one viewing. Thor: The Dark World was such a fun, fantastical, beautiful, amazing movie. Overall, I'd give it a 9 out of 10 stars. I can't wait to watch it again!