I went into this movie a little tentative.  I loved the first Thor movie.  THE AVENGERS picked up very well from that.  I really did not like IRONMAN 3, and I was hoping that this movie would redeem the Marvel stage 2 for me.  I got exactly what I wanted.  I loved every bit of this movie.  

For those wondering what's the 411 on this and haven't seen it, its been two years since the events of the first movie.  We also find out what happened when Loki was returned to Asgard at the end of THE AVENGERS.  Beings called the Dark Elves who were defeated by forces led by Thor's grandfather are setting to return to destroy the "Nine Realms" which does include Asgard and Earth.  

Everything in this movie is bigger than the first movie.  The first movie was more Earth centered.  In this film you see so much more of Asgard, and its all absolutely stunning.  The effects in the film were very well done.  The amount of production and post production that went into this really show in the final product.  Of course, being me, I love the fight scenes, and there's plenty of those to be had.

Chris Hemsworth once again did a wonderful job playing Thor.  Yes ladies, he does take his shirt off.  I know this is important to many of you.  That aside, he really delivered with everything asked of him be it the big action heroics, the heavy drama, the romantic parts, and the humor.  Natalie Portman is great as Jane who is once again in way over her head (not a short joke, honest) but shows a lot of guts in dealing with the fantastic things she's experiencing.  Anthony Hopkins shows a lot fo gravity and restraint in playing Odin.  It would be so easy to go over the top with the role.  Chris Eccleston plays the big bad in this and he's quite monstrous in his quest to destroy everything.  There's no liking this villain.  

Three people in this really made this a memorable movie for me.  Kat Dennings as Darcy was a joy.  For the most part she was comedy relief, but she so great here that you can't help smiling whenever she's on screen.  Rene Russo as Frigga was magnificent.  She was quite under used in the first film, but this movie gives her these really great scenes that made a lasting impression on me.  Finally, I have to talk about Tom Higgleston as Loki.  Yes, I know there's a lot of fan-girling over him.  I wasn't too sure about how they were going to be using him in this film.  Tom Higgleston gave an amazing performance, and he's given so much great material to work with.  The character's motivations are constantly questioned both by the other characters in the film and the audience.  He keeps everyone guessing, but is so consistent that who can really latch onto him as a character.  The actor has gotten a lot of praise for the role, and earns every bit of it.

This movie had a lot of action and drama.  Outstanding effects.  The final battle was completely nuts, but I loved every bit of it.  They also did a great job in lightening things up with great humor at all the right times.  There were real laugh out lot moments.

Lastly, this movie succeeded where IRONMAN 3 failed.  IM3 felt like a final chapter, as if that part of the Marvel Universe was closing down.  This movie expanded on thing in the finale which will leave viewers wanting more.  Also, make sure to hang in for both of the bonus scenes.  The first one mid-credits surprised the crap out of me.  The one at the end of the credits was a lot of fun.

Great film.  I'd pay to see it in theaters again.

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