The first Thor was probably one of Marvel’s more trickier movies since it centered heavily around Norse mythology. To make it work in the “real” world was a massive task. Integrating a billionaire playboy who doubles as a tech-powered superhero, or a scientist who turns into a green rage monster was easier to accomplish than the fantastic world of Asgard, Gods & Monsters.
Credit must go to Kenneth Brannagh who found the right balance between the fantastic and “real” (that’s a stretch anyways) world. Furthermore, Brannagh focused on the characters instead of bombastic vfx (he still provided tons of beautiful shot visuals though).