ADVENTURE; 1hr 55min
STARRING: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins
Down to Earth: Portman and Hemsworth
The astral sets are spectacular in director Kenneth Branagh’s godly romp — vast, celestial structures of inordinate glam. Ruled with prudent wisdom by King Odin (Hopkins), the realm of Asgard is a haven of peace. It is shattered, however, when Odin’s impetuous and cocky son Thor (Hemsworth, beefed to the nth degree) leads a splinter rebellion, unleashes war and is banished to New Mexico, where he is scooped up by astrophysicist Jane Foster (Portman) and her team (Stellan Skarsgård and Kat Dennings). The eggheads can’t believe their luck. Thor, on the other hand, is furious — and when a scarily buff Norse warrior gets himself in a state, he’s going to make an impact.
Cutting between Asgard, where, thanks to Thor’s treacherous brother Loki (Hiddleston), all is not well, and Earth, ditto, the Marvel Studios brand of action is rounded out by sound performances and flashes of fish-out-of-water wigginess. Putting it mildly, Branagh (Hamlet ) isn’t the obvious choice for such tentpole piffle. But he keeps the show on the road through all kinds of crazy.