In the mystical realm of Asgard, Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the reckless son of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), prepares to take his father's place on the throne. With the peace of the land resting on an uneasy truce with the Frost Giants of Jotunheim, war looms when the gigantic creatures infiltrate Odin's palace to steal an ancient artefact that could give them the upper hand.
Out for revenge, the hot-headed Thor, his mischievous brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Thor's brave companions, The Warriors Three, head to Jotunheim to confront Laufey (Colm Feore), the king of the Frost Giants.
Enraged at his son's insolence, Odin banishes Thor to Earth where the shamed Norse warrior is found in New Mexico by astrophysicist Jane Foster (Natalie Portman).
Despite his lofty attitude, Jane and her colleagues Darcy (Kat Dennings) and Dr Erik Selvig (Stellan Skarsgar) agree to help him retrieve Mjolnir, the mystical hammer that gives him his power.
With government agency S.H.I.E.L.D guarding Mjolnir, and the treacherous Loki hellbent on ruling Asgard and killing Thor, the dashing deity embarks on an epic battle that spans two worlds.
Although he was a surprise choice to direct this Marvel Comics romp, Kenneth Branagh brings just the right mixture of pomp and wry humour to this special effects spectacular. Although the visuals are suitably stellar, it's Hemsworth's hugely likeable performance as the hilariously vainglorious hero and his sparky chemistry with Portman that make Thor a winner.
Over the top, but sidestepping becoming too camp, Branagh's film also gives the effortlessly powerful Hopkins the chance to chew through the CGI scenery.
There's also fun support from the likes of Ray Stevenson as Thor's food obsessed companion Volstagg, and Idris Elba as Asgard sentry Heimall, looking fetching in a golden get-up that would make Liberace blush.
Bold, brash, visually-dazzling and lots of fun, Thor is proof that Marvel Comics' remarkable run at the box office is far from over.