‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ Review

To expand upon my quick thoughts in the video, Thor: Love and Thunder is a space-adventure superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Thor, directed by Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarök), who co-wrote the script with Jennifer Kaytin Robinson (Someone Great). Featuring Chris Hemsworth, Christian Bale, Tessa Thompson, Jaimie Alexander, Waititi, Russell Crowe, and Natalie Portman, it is the fourth film in the Thor series and the 29th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Set after the events of Avengers: Endgame, Thor, and Korg have teamed up with the Guardians of the Galaxy traveling from planet to planet saving those who need help. After receiving a distress call from Sif about a being named Gorr slaying numerous gods, Thor and Korg must return to New Asgard and recruit King Valkyrie and Dr. Jane Foster — now wielding a reconstructed Mjølnir and going by the Mighty Thor — to stop this god butcher before it’s too late.

On a desert planet, Gorr (Christian Bale) carries his daughter (India Rose Hemsworth) through the harsh terrain. Stopping only for shelter and prayer, Gorr calls on his god to save them. After some time Gorr’s daughter passes away and he buries her in the sand. After seeing what initially looks like a mirage, Gorr heads toward what turns out to be a lush oasis. Gorr drinks water from a small stream and fills his belly with discarded fruit he finds on the ground.

Finding his god Rapu (Jonny Brugh) in the oasis, Gorr begins praising him stating he is the last of his followers and has been awaiting him to fulfill his promise. Rapu tells Gorr he is not there to fulfill anything but is celebrating the defeat of a warrior who carried the Necrosword, as the weapon can kill a god. He then tells Gorr that his worship means nothing to him as more followers will eventually come after he is dead. Upset at this revelation, Gorr renounces his Rapu, kills him with the Necrosword, and makes a vow to kill all the gods across the universe.

Thor is the first MCU character to receive a fourth solo film. This is groundbreaking as Thor and Thor: The Dark World are considered two of the weakest entries in the Infinity Saga. It wasn’t until Taika stepped in to direct Thor: Ragnarök that fans began to embrace the character’s solo appearances. Returning for Thor: Love and Thunder, Taika adapts two of the most recent Thor comics runs, The Mighty Thor (2016) by Jason Aaron and illustrator Russell Dauterman, and Thor: God of Thunder (2012) by Aaron and illustrator Esad Ribic. These comics introduced Jane Foster as Mighty Thor and Gorr the God Butcher respectively. Both characters are heavily featured throughout the story making for an interesting narrative about life, death, love, and belief.

There are many aspects of this movie that work. Unlike most MCU films, Thor: Love and Thunder does not start with a title card. The meaning of the title alludes to the love between Thor and Jane, but when it finally does appear at the end of the film its true meaning is just as touching. The relationship between Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is the best it’s ever been. For the first time, you want these characters to stay together forever and make Thor babies. Jane’s transformation into Mighty Thor is tied very closely to the comics and the reason she is able to wield Mjølnir is shown in a neat emotional way. It’s great to have Portman back in the MCU after such a long absence and I hope she sticks around. Thor at this point is mainly the comic relief, but there are still serious moments with his character that peep through the jokes. Having Hemsworth leans into his comedic side seems to be paying off nicely. That and his killer workout routine. It’ll be interesting to see what Thor’s next arc will be after everything the Odinson goes through in this movie.

The Rock ‘n’ Roll music is great with Guns N’ Roses taking up most of the soundtrack. This is also one of the few MCU films with a memorable score. Such a great collaboration between Michael Giacchino (Spider-Man: No Way Home) and Nami Melumad (Star Trek: Strange New Worlds). The theme for Mighty Thor is spectacular and highlights her first appearance as a top-tier MCU moment. More of this throughout Phase Four and beyond is needed. Barry Idoine (The Mandalorian) also does some great work in the cinematography department. There is a particular fight scene that looks straight out of Frank Miller’s Sin City. The battle is mostly devoid of color save for the few splashes created by the weaponry being utilized.

Taika is a master of comedy and there are laughs to be had throughout the film. Some scenes feel straight out of an episode of Rick and Morty. However, once again Taika ruins what could be serious moments with a joke. This happens a couple of times throughout the film when characters are expected to have died only to be okay a scene later. The pacing of the first half of the flick feels rushed. We barely get any time with Gorr and Mighty Thor’s origins so it makes it hard to care about their story. This is more so an issue with Gorr because we never see how he and his daughter got into their tragic situation, to begin with. Also, his plan to kill the gods does not feel impactful as we only see him kill one. Any others are only mentioned or shown after being killed. It would have been great to have Gorr interact more with these beings he has grown to despise. Also with so many gods, like Zeus (Russell Crowe), featured so prevalently in the story, it’s surprising there were no immediate ties to Moon Knight.

Overall, this is probably the best Thor film ever made. The pacing starts rough and the comedy can be a bit much, but by the end, it turns into a truly emotional story, Shakespearean in its dénouement. I give Thor: Love and Thunder a Decent 8.9/10. It definitely appears that Thor will be getting more solo films beyond Phase Four as the ending and both post-credit scenes set up some major implications for the god of thunder and the MCU.


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