I liked Thor 2 a lot, but not as much as the first one. I had wondered how it would strike me, when I first heard there would be more actual location filming, giving it more of a feeling of reality. One of the things I loved most about the first one was how alien and beautiful Asgard looked. Like a science fiction dream from a master artist’s imagination. It was still alien and beautiful the second time around, but for me some of the visual magic was missing.

I really enjoyed the way Jane was a fish out of water type character, allowing us to see the now familiar through her eyes. The sequences where she discovers and experiences the anomaly/aether were thrilling and way cool. And her interactions with Thor’s parents threw different light on personalities and dynamics. The developing relationship between Jane and Thor is one I find very sweet and charming. I love the idea of a gorgeous, powerful god who walks a fine line between his duty and his heart’s desire.

One of my favorite scenes was when Loki morphed into different characters, especially Captain America. That was very entertaining and amusing. As Loki always is, even when he’s being his own walking  dark world. The way he redeemed himself grandly, then immediately snapped back to form as his wickedly charming self was both shocking and predictable. That is great storytelling.

Which brings me to the main reason I wasn’t as thrilled with the sequel. Odin, since he is portrayed by my favorite actor, is my main draw to the Thor franchise. The last movie with Anthony Hopkins in his golden bed or attempting to rule as he wrangled his difficult sons’ wrangling over the throne was mesmerizing in its political and familial struggles played out against wider stories of war and
romance. The Dark World saw his story somewhat reduced and left him so Lokified by the end that the question left with us is whether he’ll even be back for Thor 3. (I read an article where Anthony Hopkins seemed to think it could be unlikely) Fortunately, Anthony Hopkins is one prolific actor. Even if Odin doesn’t turn up in a dungeon someday, his portrayer will still grace the silver screen in multiple multiplexed movies as fast as he can make them.

So, I found a lot to love in Thor 2. Just not quite as much as the Thor that came before.

Thor 2: The Dark World Trailer