Following closely behind 'Iron Man 3' as the lowest end (at least for myself) of the MCU, is 'Thor: The Dark World'. Although, I will at the very least give this one credit for having some pretty genuinely funny moments. But unfortunately it's just not enough to save this from being, quite literally, the only other movie in the MCU I give a low rating to. That's right folks, it's pretty much all ratings 3 or over after this. So despite these weaker titles, I remain a solid Marvel fan. These were just kind of the 'Episode I' and 'Episode II' of the series for me.
The film starts with a back story taking place ages ago. Odin's father, Bor, clashes with Malekith (Christopher Eccleston), a Dark Elf, chasing after something called the Aether - some sort of powerful weapon, and the second known Infinity Stone (The Reality Stone). Bor safeguards the Aether within a stone column after defeating Malekith's forces, buried where it will "never be found" (Jumanji style). Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Bor, Malekith, and several other dark elves manage to escape, placed in suspended animation.
In present day-ish (seemingly right after the events of 'The Avengers', so technically taking place before 'Iron Man 3') Loki is brought to Asgard, and imprisoned for his crimes on Earth by Odin. Meanwhile, Thor is off fighting in another realm and bringing balance and doing his thing. The rainbow bridge that was destroyed at the end of 'Thor' has been rebuilt, using the Tesseract's technology, which at this point is in Asgard's vault. This allows Thor to do what he needs to do.
Meanwhile on Earth, Jane and Darcy discover an anomaly that ends up being the Aether, which manages to conceal itself inside of Jane's body. Long story short, Thor comes to Earth based on Heimdall no longer being able to see her, brings her to Asgard, and the whole thing is essentially the equivalent of those escort missions we all love so very much in gaming. Oh, and the Aether awakens Malekith, who ends up being the big threat 'cause he wants to use it to destroy the universe. So yeah, we have our over the top villain here as well. I mean, at least Loki had the motivation to rule Earth due to not getting his Asgardian throne. This guy's just like "I hate everything, make it dark".
However, as I mentioned before, despite my gripes with this movie, it does manage to find a way to tickle my funny bone just as well. Loki has an interesting role to play here having just unleashed what he did on Earth, and yet asking for the audience's sympathies, and somehow or another even getting it to some extent. Unfortunately, however, it's not quite all-out fun like 'Ragnarok' yet. It has it's humor, but it's still a pretty dark film, and does ask you to take it seriously.
In the end, the main reasons I personally give this one harsher credit are the same as 'Iron Man 3', but perhaps to a lesser extent. It's just really busy, and there's just too much to keep track of. I even had to pause and Google how Thor was able to use the Bifrost (Rainbow Bridge I mentioned before) again. The idea of the Tesseract repairing it might be mentioned in passing once and quickly, if it is at all, 'cause frankly I don't recall. I dunno, Odin said something about it. But see, things like that are the issue. We don't need spoon-feeding, but it'd be good to know something like that, otherwise it's a gaping plot hole.
'Iron Man 3' and 'Thor 2' have pretty much the same kinds of problems going on in them, and to me they equal the least memorable movies of the MCU. The next movie in line, however, wouldn't only fix the problems, but would spark a lot of greatness to come with the two and only Russo brothers - the ones responsible for the upcoming 'Infinity War' movie that gives me reason to do "Marvel March"
MID-CREDIT SCENE - Volstagg and Sif deliver the Aether to The Collector (Benecio Del Toro) with the thought that having it so close to the Tesseract could prove dangerous. The Collector is heard to say "one down, five to go". The scene is a tease to events that may occur in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'.
POST-CREDIT SCENE - Thor returns to Earth to see Jane, and the embrace with a kiss. Meanwhile, it's shown that a creature that came through a portal in the climactic scene of the film is still running around London, England.