Marvel Studios’ “Thor: Love and Thunder” finds the God of Thunder (Chris Hemsworth) on a journey unlike anything he’s ever faced – a quest for inner peace. But Thor’s retirement is interrupted by a galactic killer known as Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale), who seeks the extinction of the gods. To combat the threat, Thor enlists the help of King Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Korg (Taika Waititi) and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who – to Thor’s surprise – inexplicably wields his magical hammer, Mjolnir, as the Mighty Thor. Together, they embark upon a harrowing cosmic adventure to uncover the mystery of the God Butcher’s vengeance and stop him before it’s too late.
What We Thought:
Did you like Thor: Ragnarok? Well you’ll like Thor: Love and Thunder then. If on the other hand you aren’t a fan of Taika Waititi’s brand of humor and didn’t laugh during Thor: Ragnarok, you won’t particularly enjoy the comedy in this film either.
Despite having my two favorite actors in Christian Bale and Russell Crowe, I wasn’t particularly looking forward to this film. I don’t find Taika Waititi’s work funny. I sat through Thor: Ragnarok wondering what people were laughing at and I pretty much did the same here. To me the director takes a joke and beats into the ground. A good example are Thor’s screaming goats. I might have laughed when they were first introduced, but the joke got less funny each time they were on screen. Same for Taika’s Korg character narrating the entire movie. I get it’s supposed to play out like a Norse tale, but it grew tiresome quickly on me. Others love it, it’s just not for me.
I thought Ragnarok wasted the Planet Hulk storyline because it felt shoehorned into that movie. This does a similar thing too having both the Gorr storyline and Jane Foster as The Mighty Thor. I’m familiar with that story from the comics and I thought the return of Natalie Portman and her story here actually worked quite well. Unfortunately because it’s a Taika Waititi film, there are so many tonal shifts that feel out of place. Part of the movie is Gorr and his quest for revenge, part of it is a rom-com between Thor and Jane Foster who haven’t seen each other in years. There are rom-com flashbacks to their relationship and break-up and then oh yeah, we’re on an adventure to find Gorr. Mix in all the colors and music with these drastic shifts in tone and it feels too jumbled. You don’t need constant visuals and audio to tell a story. Not all of us need constant stimuli to get through two hours.
It’s a shame too because Christian Bale’s Gorr the God Butcher might be the best villain in all of the MCU. Bale is absolutely fantastic in the role bringing a level of acting we aren’t used to in these movies. You 100% understand why he does what he does and is the most sympathetic villain since Killmonger in Black Panther. I loved every scene Bale was in and if I ever watch the movie again it’s because of him. Russell Crowe is completely wasted though and ultimately his character could have been portrayed by anyone.
People will love Thor: Love and Thunder. It’s going to make a ton of money. The box office is booming and it will easily open big and stay hot for a while. Thor is one of my favorite characters. Bale and Crowe are my two favorite actors. I want to like the movie more. I genuinely do. Bale is utterly amazing I just wish I wasn’t getting blasted with colors, sound and “jokes” the entire time. A great villain performance is wasted in a movie with slapstick rom-com tropes, screaming goats, and an unnecessary voiceover. Other people I know loved it and think it’s the best Thor movie to date. To me it’s not the character I like. You know whether or not you’ll see it anyways.