Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Thor: Love and Thunder

Phase Four, by far the most experimental and unpredictable phase of the MCU, continues with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) earning his fourth standalone film (moving him past his tie with Captain America and Iron Man). Writer/director Taika Waititi returns for a follow up to Thor: Ragnarok choosing to keep the same tone and humor of that film. If Ragnarok was a 9 on the wacky scale, Love and Thunder is a 12.

After a quick introduction of our villain (Christian Bale) on a mission to kill gods, and speeding through a montage of Thor's time with the Guardians of the Galaxy, we get the God of Thunder's final team-up with the space heroes before returning home to Earth where we'll get a number of familiar faces including Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) now wielding Mjølnir, Brunnhilde (Tessa Thompson), and Korg (Waititi) who narrates off-and-on throughout the film.

Not all the big moments work, and Thor: Love and Thunder is certainly more uneven than Thor: Ragnarok, but when it works it works really, really well. I do think we get shortchanged of not getting a Guardians film with Thor, but we'll have to make due with the limited scenes we get here. The story takes plenty of unexpected turns as Thor raises a team to fight the god killer (including a bit of stunt casting I won't spoil here).

Longtime Marvel Comics readers will be rewarded as following the thread of the MCU expanding its scope in both Loki and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder continues to explore the larger entities/ideas of the Marvel Universe with the introduction of yet another entity. Speaking of the film's non-human stars, perhaps the biggest idea introduced in Thor: Love and Thunder is that Asgardian weapons such as Mjølnir and Stormbreaker have at least a limited amount of consciousness and can feel jealousy just like a certain God of Thunder.

There is an emotional heart to Thor: Love and Thunder that isn't given as much time to breathe given all the various story elements and the time constriction of getting the film in at just over two-hours. Even if it can't quite slow down to explore these more fully between the action scenes, the film doesn't skimp on emotional payoffs at the end. The creepiness of Bale's character also doesn't quite mesh with the lighter tone of Thor's adventures creating a couple awkward spots in terms of the film stumbling to find its tone. Even with these quibbles, Thor: Love and Thunder is an easy recommendation and should provide just the kind of summer popcorn flick fans were hoping for.

Watch the trailer
  • Title: Thor: Love and Thunder
  • IMDb: link

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