Rated 3.0

The Norse thunder god Thor (Chris Hemsworth), a real being inhabiting a parallel universe like all the Norse pantheon, is banished to Earth, where his path crosses that of an astrophysicist (Natalie Portman) engaged in some vague but important research. This isn’t a movie, it’s a come-on, a two-hour preview trailer for next year’s The Avengers (as this July’s Captain America no doubt will be). As such, there’s not much plot, and what there is might have dissolved into utter nonsense; it’s to the credit of writers Ashley Edward Miller, Zack Stentz, Don Payne, J. Michael Straczynski and Mark Protosevich that it doesn’t. Director Kenneth Branagh marshals his actors and CGI effects surprisingly well; scenes in Thor’s native Asgard are suitably pseudo-Shakespearean, those on Earth light-footed and fun.