Thor: Love and Thunder

Directed By Taika Waititi

Starring – Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale

The Plot – Thor’s (Hemsworth) retirement is interrupted by a galactic killer known as Gorr the God Butcher, who seeks the extinction of the gods. To combat the threat, Thor enlists the help of King Valkyrie, Korg and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster, 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.

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action, adult language, some suggestive material and partial nudity

Marvel Studios’ Thor: Love and Thunder | Official Trailer – YouTube


It was 2012’s “Thor” that expanded on the Marvel Cinematic Universe and introduced us to the kind of foreign galaxies that makes Earth feel small by comparison, so it’s no surprise that “Love and Thunder” continues this sentiment with perhaps the series’ deepest exploration to date. Sifting through a barrage of various galaxies with a vast diversity on world-building and color-coated intricacy, Waititi seamlessly captures the fantasy and science fiction elements of the comics that pop with an almost three-dimensional vibrancy to the depiction, made all the more radiant with an abundance of top-notch production value to enchant the occasion. Whether in the mirroring similarity of the comics’ wardrobe designs that the franchise FINALLY articulates with comfort and accuracy, the layers of the make-up that visually eviscerates the familiarity of Christian Bale, or even the ambitious dependency of the film’s believable special effects, everything works cohesively towards the same goal of crafting an epic summer blockbuster that feels bigger and bolder than its predecessor, catering towards an occasion that demands the audience see it on the biggest screen possible for peak captivity. Beyond this, some clever techniques in the confines of the movie’s cinematography from “Rogue One” visionary Barry Baz Idoine supplants an infectious energy to intensely fun action sequences, all the while saving his sharpest tricks visually for the moments they resonate tonally and texturally for the creativity of the script’s exploration. Without spoiling anything, the climactic showdown on one particular galaxy intentionally rids the presentation of all of its warmth and exuberance, setting the stage for the movie’s abundance of stakes and circumstance that gives this villain a tangible influence that we not only feel, but interpret in the atmospheric dread that feels foreign even to our god of thunder. Speaking of such, the performance once again from Hemsworth brings with it the same rich charisma and stoicism that we’ve come to expect from the titular character, but this time with a layer of dramatic merit during one such key scene in the film’s second act that points to more of the film I wish that Waititi ran with. More on that later. Aside from Hemsworth, I found Bale’s turn to be majestically maniacal, especially in the Shakespearian deliveries for dialogue that proved he gave his all to the character, despite how silly it could’ve otherwise felt in less capable hands. He stitches to Gorr a haunting and agonizing existence that like other great villains, defines his reasoning without downright justifying it, solidifying a turn that I wish the film spent more time fleshing out.



Even despite its array of positives, “Thor: Love and Thunder” is a bit of a creative mess that immediately begins with its abundance of humor that is unmistakably Waititi’s doing. Whether you love or hate Taika, his humor often adds to a film, instead of compromises it. You look at “Thor Ragnarok”, which was a heavy dependency on humor over drama for the first time in the franchise but worked because it was not only effective in its consistency, but it also worked simultaneously with the direction of the script surrounding it. Such an advantage isn’t prominent here, as the humor is not only embarrassing in how often and forcefully it reaches for a gag reaction, but also painful for how it practically deconstructs everything else surrounding it. For about the first hour of this film, I felt it was incapable of taking anything seriously, whether that be a confrontation between characters pasts or even just the arrival of Gorr himself, and it all sort of creates this spoofing surrealness that feels like MCU characters in a Saturday Night Live skit that they cannot elude. This is made all the more baffling with the film’s second half, which shifts abruptly towards dramatic, creating a tonal disjointed juxtaposition in its complete picture that feels like it was two distinctly different films shoehorned into one, and never feeling anything other than sloppy for its inability to remain true to itself. Aside from this, I was deeply bothered by some aspects of the script spontaneously materializing. This could lend itself to Gorr’s backstory, which kicks the film off abruptly with the kind of depiction that makes it feel like a story that we wandered into halfway through, but it’s also an aspect of Jane’s own newfound capabilities, which while they are explained from a weaponry perspective, doesn’t quite allude to how she’s all of a sudden, this physical force that doesn’t require ten minutes to learn through. More time donated to these areas and less to the movie’s framing device, which is Korg telling the movie’s narrative to kids, would’ve helped it in a lot of ways. Where it hurts is in this framing device not only highlighting predictability for the obvious ramifications of a character involved in the conflict telling the story after it has happened, but also in the script’s necessity to explain literally every relationship of the first act with a flashback montage borrowed entirely from formulaic romantic comedies of the 90’s. Seriously, did Waititi assume that we haven’t watched the previous three films, and have just taken a chance with the fourth film out of gamble? Finally, the musical score from Michael Giacchino is once again a versatile spectrum of audible enchantment that bares influence from the many galaxies the film continuously pulls from, but we only get to experience this a couple of times because of the boisterous nature of the soundtrack, which is basically Guns-N-Roses greatest hits. Seriously Taika, did you need four different songs from the same band in the movie? Songs that didn’t resonate lyrically or thematically in the context of the scenes they decorate. Songs that are repeated with the kind of clipped edits of a 3 AM infomercial with no other intention but to hammer home a series of familiar notes into your head so that you’ll shamelessly pander to music downloads?


“Thor: Love and Thunder” is a noticeable drop-off from the galactic heights of “Ragnarok”, but it does elicit with it more than a few productive elements of creativity to distract hardcore Marvel enthusiasts into having a good time. Though its occasional charms are there, they eventually wear off in a few creative blunders that fumble the hammer when a confident grip is needed, leaving Waititi’s latest on the lower tier of the MCU spectrum that in phase four hasn’t quite found its rhythm yet.

My Grade: 6/10 or C

9 thoughts on “Thor: Love and Thunder

  1. I am super excited to see this But, I am nervous after reading this. The way you tear into Taika over Guns & Roses is quite hilarious and I could see that becoming a nuisance if the songs didn’t fit in with the overall scene dynamics. I was curious how they’d pull this movie off– and now I’m concerned lol.. As always, great review!

  2. I think the Thor movies are a good litmus test for people’s taste. The first one is heavily tweaked high fantasy. 2 is dark fantasy. 3 reminds me of a d&d game put on screen (& that’s not necessarily a compliment) so I’m curious about 4. Still planning to see it Tuesday…hopefully I’ll get more out of it.

  3. As long as it’s better than Thor: The Dark World I’m good. It’s hard to compete against Ragnarok but, I’m glad the visual affects are on point with this film. Which is one of the main reasons why Ragnarok was so good. Awesome review Film Freak!

  4. To be honest I was a little concerned about this one. Ragnarok was so good, and felt like Love and Thunder was destined to fail in comparison. I still really want to see it, and will definitely check it out on the largest screen possible, but at least now I know to go in with lower expectations. I am really happy to hear that Gorr was done properly, as in the comics he is quite terrifying. I’m sad that they forced the humor, and overplayed GNR, but I remember that in Ragnarok they used the Immigrant Song multiple times, so maybe that is just something he does as a director. I heard that the mid credit scene was awesome, so that is one more thing to look forward to. Great job as always!!

  5. Finally got around to finishing my review, and I have to say that we were very close on grade despite agreeing with almost everything you said. Between the charisma of the cast, the stunning visuals, and that rocking soundtrack, there’s definitely fun to be had in the film. But as you pointed out, the comedy is so abundant that it never balances out like it did with Ragnarok. It also doesn’t help that some of the comedy just isn’t all that funny. In the grand scheme of the MCU, this feels insignificant in the long run so it’s just forgettable. Excellent job as always!

  6. I was afraid of the direction this movie looked to be heading with the comedy. You confirmed my fears. I will be saving my theater money for another movie and try to enjoy this when it hits Disney+

  7. There’s a large diehard MCU contingency that are going to see this regardless. I think you’ve taken a chunk of those individuals and laid out a very robust honest review to not appease fans. Sticking to your slogan all day, on every film, but this one should stand out pretty good to how you dissect a film. It’s ideally swaying a few readers that would typically run to the theater to see this, into holding out for an at home experience. High five! Nice review!

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