Director: Taika Waititi
Writers: Taika Waititi and Jennifer Kaytin Robinson
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Christian Bale, Tessa Thompson, Jaimie Alexander, Taika Waititi, Russell Crowe, and Natalie Portman
Thor: Love and Thunder is essentially Thor: Ragnarok turned up to eleven, with lots of comedy and action, all wrapped up in a quirky and light-hearted film. Somehow, it’s the 29th film in the MCU and works as a sequel to both Ragnarok as well as Avenger: Endgame. Being written and directed by Taika Waititi the film has a quirky and offbeat style, and it really works. Love and Thunder is by the far the funniest film in the MCU so far with laugh out loud moments coming left, right and centre. It’s a thrilling good time that doesn’t miss a beat. There’s also a little more emotional weight this time around, with some character driven moments that don’t feel hollow like they did in Ragnarok, even though it still doesn’t hit you as hard as it should.
Chris Hemsworth is just brilliant as Thor. Every time he plays the character he seems to get better and better. This time around Thor is in a dark place, isolated from everyone and not wanting to let anyone in. He spends his time meditating and waiting to be called into battle by the Guardians of the Galaxy, who make a much more minor appearance in the film that the trailer suggests. Love and Thunder also sees the return of Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), and it’s so good to see her again. Jane is suffering from stage four cancer and turns to Viking Mythology to see if there’s a cure, when Mjolnir calls upon her and offers her an alternative to chemotherapy. Natalie Portman is great every time she’s on screen and both Portman and Hemsworth are excellent together.
The highlight of the film is Christian Bale as Gorr the God Butcher. He’s incredibly sinister and menacing in the best way possible. He feels like a serious threat and at the same time, like with all great villains, you can completely see his side and why he’s doing it. He’s a man mourning the loss of his daughter, and he has a great character arc. The most memorable moment is when he’s toying with the children he’s kidnapped, acting as if he’s a children’s TV presenter, showing that Bale can be terrifying when he wants to be. Gorr is scarier than any villain that’s come before him, and even though there is mostly a fun style to Love and Thunder, there is some real darkness to the story because of Gorr.
However, that darkness is kind of undercut with the focus on the comedy. The threat to the children never feels quite real when Thor and co. are all having a good time on their adventure, making catch phrases, Guns ‘N’ Roses needle drops whenever the opportunity arises, screaming goats, and a fabulous appearance from Russell Crowe. This is a comedy first, and then everything else second. Thankfully, it’s incredibly funny and the time absolutely flies by. It doesn’t matter that the darkness doesn’t hit as hard as it could, when you’re on a thrilling and hilarious adventure.
Thor: Love and Thunder is an improvement on Ragnarok in every way and its two-hour run time absolutely flies by. Chris Hemsworth continues to be fantastic as Thor and will hopefully stick around in the MCU for a long time to come.
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