Review: Thor: Love and Thunder

The fourth installment of the Thor franchise is Thor: Love and Thunder. Director Taika Waititi came onboard for 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok as director and the voice of Korg. Taika infused color, his particular brand of comedy, joy, and some more comedy into the Thor series. Taika used his canvas to create films that looked and felt like nothing else in the MCU.

In Thor: Love and Thunder, Taika picks up right were he left off. The film opens with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) traveling the Guardians of the Galaxy. After they go their separate ways, Thor receives a distress call from Sif (Jamie Alexander). Someone has been killing Gods using a weaponon known as the Necrosword. That someone is Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale). Thor rushes to New Asgard when he learns that’s Gorr’s next target.

When the battle breaks out in New Asgard, Thor sees his old hammer Mjolnir flying around. Who would could be worth enough to wield the might hammer? None other than Thor’s ex Dr. Jane Foster aka Mighty Thor (Natalie Portman).

During the chaos of the fight, Gorr escapes kidnaps the children of New Asgard. Thor teams up with Jane, Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), and Korg (Taika Waititi) to bring the children home and stop Gorr.

Taika Waititi embraces quirky comedy and outright silliness in his films – all of it is on full display in Thor: Love and Thunder. It’s a very silly movie and at no point does it take itself too serious. Often times, it feels like a film made for kids (which comic books are). There’s running joke that involves Thor’s weapon Stormbreaker being jealous of Mjolnir and Thor talks to both like they’re exes. Every call back to Stormbreaker gets goofier and more absurd, but it fits with Taika’s vision for the film.

Jane and Valkyrie’s blossoming friendship feels like a cinematic relationship plucked right from an early 2000’s rom-com. It was refreshing seeing two badass women just be silly and fun for a few minutes. These are character types/actions not seen in in the MCU often but they fit perfectly in Taika’s vision for the film. I could watch a buddy-cop style film with Valkyrie and Mighty Thor fighting crime across the universe.

When the film isn’t peppering audiences with jokes flying at 180MPH, there’s an interesting adventure Thor and crew are on that introduces new characters like Russell Crowe’s Zeus. There’s also an interesting analysis of sacrifice and what that looks like. A film with a talking pile or rocks and jealous hammers isn’t going to spend a ton of time on anything serious, but it the story more interesting.

Bale is very good and very creepy as Gorr. The biggest misstep of the film is not letting audiences spend more time with Gorr as he seeks revenge. Allowing audiences to see how he changes from they saw in the opening minutes would’ve added much more weight to the final battle. It was good to see Bale back doing comic book movies. I hope he returns for more.

Thor: Love and Thunder is best when it’s Thor being Thor. Taika allows space for Hemsworth to be funny, heroic, emotional, and reflective. The journey Thor is on and the decisions he makes are a result of the dominoes that began to fall in Avengers: Infinity War. The events did lead to one of the best entrances in comic book movie history:

Thor is a comic book character known for his superhuman strength. In Thor: Love and Thunder, Taika allows for Thor to be much more than a weapon wielding muscle for The Avengers. He’s complicated, he makes mistakes, he’s silly, and he loves hard. The film may not be your standard MCU offering, but it’s enjoyable seeing the misadventures of Thor & Friends for two hours. Give Thor: Love and Thunder some time and it will is a film audiences will love and appreciate.

Grade: B