Marvel second-stringer Thor gets his own summer-blockbuster vehicle with the unimaginatively titled Thor (what, he couldn’t even get a preceding “The Mighty”?), a merely adequate introductory saga coated in hammy regality by director Kenneth Branagh. Visualizing the god-realm of Asgard as a metropolis of golden-glittering towers, spires and rainbow bridges – the last of these affording inter-dimensional travel to, among other places, Earth – Branagh goes hard for Shakespearean grandeur in his depiction of warmongering prodigal son Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) exile from his homeland by king-father Odin (Anthony Hopkins, acting with his white beard and string-less eye patch). That banishment opens the door for jealous, mischievous younger brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to further sow the seeds of Thor’s destruction, which in turn helps facilitate his own rise to power. Cast out of heaven, Thor lands in a New Mexico town that resembles a cardboard-walled set built out in the middle of the desert, a fact that lends cheesiness to his ensuing efforts to reclaim his powerful hammer Mjollnir with the aid of astrophysicist love interest Jane (Natalie Portman). The CG effects in Asgard have a chintzy opulence that suits the cartoon-divinity of Marvel’s mythologically inclined hero, whom Hemsworth embodies with bland muscularity. And Branagh’s infatuation with Dutch angles – though eventually so persistent that one is inclined to tilt his or her own head to straighten out the images – is in keeping with the material’s comic book roots. Still, only Loki manages to make an impact throughout this saga of betrayal, redemption and Frost Giants, with Hiddleston exuding treacherous envy and hatred with a mightiness that dwarfs the rest of Thor’s superpowered action.