The first Thor movie was a ton of fun. I liked pretty much everything in it, but especially Natalie Portman and Chris Hemsworth's muscles (it's not gay, the dude is just a goddamn work of art!). Though I admit that it was a bit too "by the book" for me (it was way too easy to see how the whole story was going to progress and wrap up), and a bit too short on any real explosive Thor-like
violence action. In that regard, Thor 2: The Ninth Doctor Strikes Back is a slight improvement plot-wise, but a MASSIVE step forward in terms of vigor and godly ass-kicking!
Spoilers from the original Thor movie and The Avengers will follow. If you haven't seen either yet, Netflix them both NOW.
So Thor almost totally hooked up with Natalie, he saved the ice giants' realm at the cost of the Asgardian Rainbow Bridge, let Loki fall into a black hole, and then fought his trickster brother again (and his bro's ugly new space minions after Loki somehow returned) with the help of his new buddies Iron Man, Bruce Banner, Steve Rogers, Scarlett Johansson's ass, and Hawkeye. Thor then took the beaten Loki (and the Tesseract cube) back to Asgard where their father, Odin, could paddle his brother's hiney black and blue and throw the adopted god into the slammer.
Thor 2 picks up several years later. Natalie is still looking for a way to reunite with the muscly manwich that she's had a hankering for since they last parted ways in the New Mexican desert (where they only knew each other for like 2 days... though I guess it's better than The Little Mermaid where the chick is willing to dedicate her life to the man she's only known for 6 minutes of screen time — and only by stalking him during that time — But only slightly better).
In looking for a portal between their two realms, Natalie and her comic relief crew stumble upon some scientific readings that show her that dimensions are merging in London. So she goes investigating and finds some crazy dark matter weapon hidden away in a rock vault. That nega-energy device was once used in an attempt to destroy everything in the known universes by some asshole dark elves. Well, that twisted Aethyr taints Nat's body with its powerful endowment (just like any red-blooded male would do if given the chance), and Thor (fresh from cleaning up the 9 realms after they went all chaotic due to the Rainbow Bridge being knocked out of commission at the end of Thor 1) rushes in and takes his mortal wannabe cock-warmer to his home in Asgard in the hopes that somebody there can save her. Then the Ninth Doctor (who wants the dark Aethyr energy for himself) gives chase, then Loki acts like a dick, then Kat Dennings calls Thor's hammer "Meow-meow" again, then a big, awesome, trans-dimensional-tripping final battle. What's not to like?
So the new Thor director (some guy who worked on Game of Thrones prior to this) took all the good parts of Kenneth Branagh's original Thor and made them better — more kick-ass fighting, more humor, and cooler special effects. He also left out the godly fish-out-of-water aspects of the first film, which were honestly starting to get old even by the end of that story. New Director also kept all the action out of a crappy little podunk town in the American Southwest (something that felt kind of lame and cheap, even if the dusty New Mexican shitburg added to Thor's fall from grace) and placed the Earthly segments of Thor 2 in marvelous London Town, which honestly made it feel that much more important and quite a bit BIGGER. What can I say? I'm a giant
testicle spectacle kind of guy.
I have complaints about Thor: Part Deux though; it's not all puppy farts and candy kisses. Just like with the first movie, I wished there were more of the Warriors Three and Sif, who looked like they were going to play an even larger role in this flick, but who ended up just being there for a total of maybe 2 or 3 lines each. During their short screen time their main purpose was simply the obligatory "Be not afraid, comrade Thor, WE shall block the way behind you so that you may proceed without fear of attack from the rear! Tally ho!" role. Sad, really. The Warriors Three and Sif need movies of their own, not less time in the films that they're already in! Also, the "love" we're supposed to feel between Thor and Natalie Portman is pretty damn forced. Thor is found pining for her (with the gorgeous Sif right in front of his eyes) many times throughout the movie, and although Natalie is oh-so-goddamn-lickably HAWT, he has only known her for like TWO DAYS before hand. And he'll live to be like 10,000 years old, and she'll die in no more than 70 years more than likely (and she'll stop being hittable in less than 20). Like I said, unless he just wanted a quick little taste of that Natalie pootie tang in order to add another notch to his bedpost, it just seemed like a bit of a stretch to believe that desire for me. Especially when most of the plot revolved around the two of them being infatuated with the other.
That's pretty much my only problems with it though. It constantly moves forward with no lulls, it's BIG, it's funny, and it's full of comic-booky eye candy (especially that final battle). In hindsight, THIS is what I wanted Man of Steel to be. I liked MoS, but there were parts that slowed down, and a few "What the fuck were they thinking?!" moments in it. Nothing like that in my Thor 2, baby!
Thor only took off his shirt once in this movie. That sucked.
You know, the more I think about it the more contractual that seems. Captain America took his shirt off once in his movie. Thor only took his shirt off once in his first movie, and Robert Downey Jr. gets a bit rip and takes his shirt off once per each of his movies. Their contracts must read: "Must workout like there's no tomorrow, and must go shirtless for one scene in your stand-alone movies. Two scenes and they'll know we're just pandering. One scene."
I'm really not complaining.
Arrrrrrrrrrrrr. Watchin' a man in a manly beard smack a fruity-lookin' elf in a white wig around for two hours be what I consider top-notch entertainment, matey!
The only way they could have improved it even more is if they had multiple mermaids showin' their titties to the camera every 5 minutes or so... Arrrrr, but I guess that's just what the interwebs is for.