Thor Love and Thunder Review

The character of Thor in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has had some films that were received very well — Thor and Thor: Ragnarok — and one that wasn’t — Thor: The Dark WorldThor: Love and Thunder is the fourth film in the franchise. Throughout Thor’s incarnation in the MCU, he had his fair share of trials and tribulations. After Endgame, he was considered fat and out of shape and went off with the Guardians of the Galaxy. This film picks up where Endgame left off, but maybe Kevin Fiege and company should have left sleeping dogs lie and see what happens with him in the next Guardians of the Galaxy film instead of making another Thor film.

Taika Waititi infused Thor: Ragnarok with his own blend of comedy that made fans of the character proud. The action was great, and the story was pretty cool. He was hoping to do the same with Thor: Love and Thunder. I’m here to say he didn’t capture the same magic he did on his last film with this new installment. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and the crew of the Milano — Star Lord, Rocket, Drax, Groot, Nebula, Mantis, and Kraglin — are on some nondescript planet helping some natives fight a war for them. While that’s going on, Gorr (Christian Bale), on a different planet, sees his daughter die of thirst and blames the gods he worshipped for not saving her life. He finds a sword called the Necro Sword that channels the Dark Dimension. He vows to use this sword to take revenge on all gods. Also, on Earth, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) has been diagnosed with inoperable cancer. She seeks help from New Asgard in Tonsberg, Norway.

Taika doubles down on the humor and the zaniness that he brought to the last film in this franchise, but it doesn’t work this time around. It just feels forced and out of place in this film. Like the previous film, he brought some serious subject matter to the forefront, and those story beats were good, except they were sidetracked by the comedy schtick he added. The film’s strengths were Bale’s Gorr the God Butcher and Portman as Mighty Thor. You could say this film lacked the thunder and brought the love. The film’s title was a bit misleading because Thor was the weakest part of his own movie. Portman and Bale stole the show. It’s almost like Chris Hemsworth ran out of material as the character and didn’t know what else to do except this comedy routine. He was also pretty bad at it.

Portman is an Academy Award-winning actress, and so is Bale. You can see they took these roles seriously, Portman in her return and Bale in his first appearance in the MCU. There were scenes where these two seasoned actors brought gravitas to the screen. The subject matter involving their characters was serious here. You can see why these characters had these types of performances. It was like Hemsworth was in a different film altogether. It’s a shame because he has been as great as this character for a decade. The writing and or ad-libbing failed him and the rest of the cast because this film had the potential to be very good.

Some of the technical aspects of the film were pretty good, though, such as the whole dark dimension sequence. That was filmed beautifully. Also, the scenes of Omnipotent City where Thor met Zeus and the other gods were pretty to see. The costumes were also pretty awesome. Thor, the Mighty Thor, Gorr, and the Guardians all had pretty cool costumes and looks that befit this film and the MCU. The soundtrack was full of Guns n Roses songs, which made me happy.

I wanted to see more of the Guardians of the Galaxy. The end credits were pretty cool, but the actual end credits scene was unnecessary. Russell Crowe as Zeus was unbearably bad, and he took me completely out of the film. I don’t know why Waititi and Crowe went in this direction with these characters, as well as Thor. They just ruined the film for me.

Sometimes characters and franchises go too long, lacking the originality and stamina to keep themselves fresh and reinvigorated. I think that’s the case with Thor and Chris Hemsworth. It was clear he and Crowe were doing something completely different than Portman and Bale. The comedy routine completely ruined the movie for me, while it worked better in Thor: Ragnarok. The technical aspects like cinematography, costumes, and the soundtrack were all on point. The writing and direction, for the most part by Waititi, and the acting by Hemsworth and Crowe were what turned a promising film into a complete disaster. If the talk is true and there is another Thor movie, I hope they go in a different direction from Waititi and his schtick. I’m sick of it after seeing this film. It’s sad because I had high hopes for this film and franchise.

1 1/2 stars

Dan Skip Allen

Sean Borlman Founder/EIC disappointment media

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