Thor: Love and Thunder Review

The character of Thor has gone through evolution through the years in the MCU. Going from the seriousness of the first film to the wild and adventurous third film, audiences have warmed up to the God of Thunder and has become one of the fan-favorite heroes in Marvel. It is partially thanks to Taika Waititi for giving Thor a fresh new perspective in Thor: Ragnarok and he is back to direct another whimsical adventure in Thor: Love and Thunder. It is without a doubt that audiences will get a laugh out of this one like the previous entries with some old and new characters coming into the mix.

In Thor: Love and Thunder, the former leader of Asgard (Chris Hemsworth) are at a crossroads in his life where he doesn’t know what kind of future awaits him. After spending some time with the Guardians of the Galaxy, he is suddenly called back to New Asgard by Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) who informs him of a new danger that has threatened their new home. Meanwhile, we find out that his old weapon Mjolnir has found a new warrior, his ex Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). After wielding the hammer, Foster has inherited all the powers that come with it. All three of them are called into action to stop a nefarious villain called Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale), who has become a new danger in the galaxy as he is on a murderous rampage eliminating the mythical Gods in the universe with the dangerous Necrosword in his arsenal. What ensues is a grand adventure between our characters as they are all facing some personal issues in their lives.

The plot of the fourth Thor film hits some darker tones than the previous film, but it still keeps the comedic tones for the most part. The movie hits some heavy topics like cancer, a God doing some soul-searching, and a murderous villain out to destroy all deities in existence. Its thanks to Taika Waititi’s direction and script that balances the comedic aspects of the screenplay with the more serious parts of the story. However, it does struggle with the emotional depth of these characters. It is often that the film focuses more on the story than on humanizing our characters. Sometimes the subplots like Jane’s struggles with cancer are cast aside to move the story along. The film misses the opportunity to have the audience fully connect with Thor and the gang, making them more like plot devices as they become part of the overall plot.

The driving force of the movie boils down to the reunion of both Thor and Jane, which pretty much makes this a romantic comedy in some regard. Unexpectedly, this film would go with this genre, but it works. By fully embracing the tone that the film is going for, Waititi manages to bring a strong connection with our two main leads. It brings us back to the first two films that built on their relationship. Even though it seems like both of them have moved on from one another, this mission they find themselves on has brought them together and forces them to put their past in the backseat to defeat Gorr.

Speaking of Foster, Portman never got her due in the first two Thor films but it seems like over here she has fully flourished as her character. After being chosen by Mjolnir, Foster finds purpose in her life as she becomes the Mighty Thor. Waititi brings out all the strengths that Foster carries and puts them on display in every scene she’s in. Portman gets to do a lot here as she takes on a new role with Foster as she comes to learn about this new power and how it affects her future. However, sometimes the goofiness that Foster displays when she is Mighty Thor can be a bit off-putting and becomes a parody of itself.

Perhaps what we can give credit where it’s due is Christian Bale’s performance as the power-hungry Gorr. The film establishes Gorr’s journey of how he became the God Butcher with the belief that all gods must die. Bale manages to achieve everything that is needed in a villain, a terrifying force of nature who’s also nefarious like previous MCU baddies. Bale takes the chance to play this character and has some fun with it in all the scenes he’s in. The film does take the formulaic route when dealing with a villain who’s out for vengeance and that is perhaps where some of the faults lie. It seems like the film doesn’t take it a step further with the darker tones that it goes for and just plays it safe.

However, some other characters were underutilized and this doesn’t allow them to fully be a part of the film. Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie doesn’t get enough screen time to shine after being a standout in Thor: Ragnarok. Her character seems to be in the backseat and is only there to support Thor’s mission to stop Gorr. We do get to see the new role she has as the ruler of New Asgard and not much is given beyond that. With much of the movie focused on Thor and Jane, it seems like we get little presence from Valkyrie. The same goes for Russell Crowe’s take on the Greek god Zeus and his questionable accent. His introduction to him and the rest of the mythological gods end up becoming a subplot that loses attention without knowing how important it will be further down the line.

With the film running for just about two hours, the pacing can be a bit fast-paced. With Korg narrating much of the story, the movie streamlines through most of the backstory without showing it to the audience. It doesn’t feel necessary to show Thor’s entire history if the audience knows the films, but it would benefit to show what has happened since we last saw these characters. The action sequences are beautifully shot, especially during the last act of the film. The film plays a lot with the color palette during these action sequences, especially during the black-and-white sequence that takes place in Gorr’s world. Taika pulls off all the stops making Thor’s latest adventure a spark of color and energy all around. We also have to give it up for the rocking soundtrack that utilizes some songs from one particular band, although it would be great if there were more songs to go around from other bands from the 80s.

Thor: Love and Thunder exceed in bringing out the best of MCU’s God of Thunder in his most personal journey and reminding us of how far he has come. The film is at its best when it comes to the amazing chemistry between Hemsworth and Portman. Love and Thunder fully go in on the comedy but also goes deeper into our characters at their most serious points. The film takes the safe route, which can be the film’s downfall in going forward with the story. We also don’t get enough screentime with Bale or Thompson as the film pushes forward with its quick pacing. Taika’s trademark style in direction and humor are all there, but it can come across as a bit cut-and-dry like previous MCU films. This is perhaps MCU’s first feature tackling a romantic comedy angle, and the film embraces it well. As we head into an uncertain future with Thor, we can rest assured that it’ll be just as bright and adventurous as what we’ve seen here.

Thor: Love and Thunder releases in theaters on July 8th, 2022.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


All Ages of Geek Simple Curved Second Line Green