Thor: The Dark World ★★½

So now for THOR: THE DARK WORLD. I will say I liked this one somewhat better than I did the first time, but it is still my least favorite of the Phase II films by quite a bit. At the end of the day the main thing the movie has two going for it is Tom Hiddleston, who basically carries the Thor franchise on his back.

Without Loki these films would be a more self-serious BEASTMASTER II, and that's one of the big problems here; Loki is much more of a side character than in the first film. This might not be a problem if Malekith worked as a villain at all, but as it stands he is about as well defined a character as the aether itself.

There are also tone issues here. Half the time the film seems to be going for serious fantasy, the other half it's the adventures of that crazy Thor and all his wacky friends. It definitely has its moments (the final fight in particular is very visually interesting; I just wish I cared about the villain more), but I'm not sure they've decided what exactly these Thor movies are supposed to be.