I wasn’t a fan of Taika Waititi’s previous MCU installment, Thor: Ragnarok. The shift in tone and characterization clashed so much with what was previously established that it almost felt like an unnecessary reboot of the character. However, if Ragnarok’s placement was after Endgame with Thor (Chris Hemsworth) joining the Guardians of the Galaxy, I feel like would have been more receptive to the movie the way most audiences received the movie on opening night. But now that all the heavy lifting has been done to reshape Thor’s character, is “Thor: Love and Thunder” a worthy offering?
The answer, I’m sad to say, is no.
In this latest instalment, Thor finds out about the “God Butcher” from a wounded Sif (Jamie Alexander). He, Mighty Thor (Natalie Portman) and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) embark on a quest to stop Gorr (Christian Bale) before he can eradicate all the gods.
Thor’s time with the Guardians allows for a God of Thunder who is a bit more humorous than previous appearances, which on paper should be a good thing. Unfortunately, Love and Thunder does a disservice to the character, at times making him borderline idiotic. Most of the comedy is childish, and the uneven back-and-forth when the story calls for Thor to be “more serious” is enough to give a viewer whiplash.
It’s not all bad though. Portman steals the show as Doctor Jane Foster/Mighty Thor. The movie finds its footing each and every time it addresses Jane’s cancer, despite it’s constant need to make light of the situation. Gorr is another one-note villain, albeit a reasonably well acted one. His tragic backstory involves him losing faith in the gods of the universe after the death of his daughter. It’s a universally understandable concept, but his motivation seems to step from the Necrosword corrupting him more than anything else.
Thompson returns to the role of Valkyrie and is almost completely sidelined for most of the movie. She participates in a few action sequences, but it seems the writers weren’t sure how to utilize the Asgardian King. Korg’s voiceovers aren’t as annoying as Waititi was in Lightyear, but a lot of his narration was telling rather than showing. Also, the storytelling technique would have made a lot more sense if Korg had been abducted alongside the Asgardian children, allowing him to regale them with tales while imprisoned.
The best action sequence in Thor: Love and Thunder comes when our three heroes (Thor, Mighty Thor, and Valkyrie) go to the Shadowrealm and face off with Gorr. The loss of color adds a level of tension even if it is only on a visual level. The usage of light and shadow really highlights the Thors’ lightning and gives Gorr a real sense of gravitas – gravitas that is sadly lost every time he opens his mouth.
Sadly, the vast majority of Thor: Love and Thunder never lives up to the bombastic opening scene featuring the Guardians of the Galaxy tagging along on another Thor adventure. Waititi’s decision to use the best of from Guns N’ Roses for the soundtrack is fitting because this movie feels more like a reissue than original content.
Thor Love and Thunder is available now on Digital, 4k HD, Blu-Ray, and DVD
Big Comic Page was provided a review copy of Thor Love and Thunder for this review.
· Gag Reel – Take a look at some of the fun outtakes on set with the cast and crew of Thor: Love and Thunder.
· Audio Commentary – Watch the film with audio commentary by director/writer Taika Waititi.
· Hammer-worthy: Thor and The Mighty Thor – Trace Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman’s journeys to becoming Thor and The Mighty Thor, respectively. Watch as the costars speak about the preparation behind embodying their legendary roles and describe how they combine their unstoppable forces.
· Shaping a Villain – This featurette introduces Love and Thunder’s primary antagonist, Gorr the God Butcher. Shining a light on the man who brings the character to life, this piece highlights his recruitment and process. Then fellow cast and crew reveal personal anecdotes.
· Another Classic Taika Adventure – This piece looks back on Taika Waititi’s journey taking over the Thor franchise and reinventing the God of Thunder. Revisit the moment Taika was announced as the new custodian of Thor and follow Taika through the production of Thor: Love and Thunder.
· Looking for Zeus – Thor, Valkyrie and Korg run into a few characters while seeking an audience with Zeus.
· Wasting Time – Star-Lord and Mantis convince Thor to help their cause.
· A Safe Vacation – A nonchalant Thor chats with a panicked Star-Lord and Mantis in the middle of chaos. An explosion thrusts Korg into the scene.
· Fighting For You – Zeus gifts Thor a special tool after overhearing a heartfelt conversation.
The writer of this piece is: Laurence Almalvez
Laurence tweets from @IL1511