The Gist: Before there was light in the universe, the Dark Elves reigned supreme. Then, thousands of years ago, Malekith, the most powerful Dark Elf, had tried to return the universe to its dark state, but was thwarted by Asgardian warriors. His weapon, the indestructible Aether, was taken from him, and hidden away. Now, thanks to the imminent realigning of the nine planets, the Aether reawakens and Malekith sees a new opportunity to turn all the lights off in the universe. Asgard is once again at the forefront of the effort to contain the forces of evil, and Thor will play a key role, together with his half-brother Loki.
Thor: The Dark World is the second movie in the series, and there is a notable improvement. The cast seems more acclimated to their characters, and the story is well written and well developed.
Of course there are fantastic visual effects, but the level of acting is impressive. Chris Hemsworth (swoon!), Tom Hiddleston (this man is so incredibly handsome), Christopher Eccleston, Anthony Hopkins, Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgård, and Idris Elba (oh boy!) all do very good work.
The Bottom Line: Thor: The Dark World is a very enjoyable comic book movie that subtly sets the stage for more chapters in both the Thor series and the Marvel universe at large.