In the distant past, the Dark Elves waged war against Asgard in an effort to return the Nine Realms to their former state of perpetual darkness. After their devastating defeat, the Aether, their primary weapon, was hidden from them. Nearly 5,000 years later, Jane Foster discovers a gravimetric disturbance in London, and is pulled into it, getting exposed to the Aether in the process. This garners the attention of both the Asgardians and the remaining Dark Elves. In order to protect her, Thor must go against his father, and team up with his brother, Loki, who has been imprisoned after the events of The Avengers.
Generally, one can expect a sequel to be a pale copy of the original movie, but Thor has not only a body of myth, but also several decades of comic continuity from which to choose a story. The filmmakers did a terrific job of further fleshing out the characters, and exploring Thor’s ties to his family and friends. In addition to the excellent story, the effects are fantastic, showing all the grandeur of Asgard, while exploring its unusual mix of ancient and futuristic technology.
If you enjoy extras with your movie-watching experience, the DVD/Blu-Ray seem a bit light in that department, but the Marvel One-Shot featuring The Mandarin is definitely worth watching. Whether you’re a comic book fan, someone who has been enjoying Marvel’s recent super-hero offerings, or just a fan of action movies in general, this film is a great addition to your library.–Sheila Streeter