It’s sequel time in the house of M, which sounds like saying it’s a day where the sun rises in the East, but the big screen means a bigger sequel than most. The success of the Avengers experiment guarantees every character another movie, even Thor, but they’re all starting to see the advantages of the movie format. Especially Thor.
The first Thor movie was more obligated than awesome. They had to have him for the movie, the had to show where he came from, and they had to have him fight something less than world-shattering so that he didn’t spoil the alien invasion in the ensemble movie. The result was “man with a hammer not hitting things with a hammer”, which is a failure any way you look at it.
But the big budget mass market movie has to listen to fan feedback. This is normally negative for comic book movies, as people pick the nits of niggling little errors and simplifications, but here it’s helped the story enormously. People love Loki, so there’s so much Tom Hiddleston in the trailer he looks like the star. People were bored by the first movie, so this one’s about an enemy from beyond time and space itself, an army which makes the Chitauri from Avengers look like a bunch of Level 1 Space Invaders. (In fairness, the Avengers did that too). Comic books take time to respond to the fans, with story arcs written months in advance, often inextricably linked with other properties and plans. This movie looked at how the first one did, and its entire plan is to do better.
Even the love interest gets armed and armored, everything is exploding, and the trailer does everything but shout “Okay, we’re sorry, this movie will not feature extended sequences of shirtless Aryans crying in the rain. Back to the action!”