Courtesy of Marvel Studios
Thor: Love and Thunder is the newest Marvel Cinematic Universe film and the fourth film in the Thor franchise. This film was directed by Thor: Ragnarok director Taiki Waititi and once again stars Chris Hemsworth as Thor. In this film, Thor is dealing with all the events he has been through and now has to take on Gorr the God Butcher, played by Christian Bale, as well as reunite with Jane Foster, once again played by Natalie Portman.
Similar to Thor: Ragnarok, Thor: Love and Thunder continues the trend of moving Thor into the retro, more comedy side of the MCU. It seems like Taika Waititi relied more on humor this time. The jokes are funny, but it feels like they are used more than they probably should have. For example, a running gag in the film is Thor is torn between wanting his old hammer, Mjolnir, back after Jane Foster uses it and continuing to use Stormbreaker. The film still has dark and serious moments, but it feels like Thor: Ragnarok balanced it better. The third act is probably the most serious in the entire film.
Chris Hemsworth is once again great as Thor. He once again uses comedy along with Thor’s character. It’s great to revisit one of the heroes who has been around since Phase One and has one of the more interesting story arcs since then. Christian Bale as Gorr was great and gave one of my favorite villain performances in the MCU. Bale is one of my favorite actors and was my most anticipated performance in an upcoming MCU movie. Bale at times went back to his American Psycho roots. I wish he had a bit more screen time. Natalie Portman as Jane Foster gives her best performance in the Thor films. They went with her cancer story arc from the comics and utilized it well.
Tessa Thompson returns as Valkyrie and is once again good. We see her ruling New Asgard this time. Taika Waititi as Korg once again provides comedic relief. The Guardians of the Galaxy appear, but very briefly. Don’t expect them to play a significant role as Hulk did in Thor: Ragnarok. When the Guardians do appear, they are still entertaining, and seeing them again makes me excited for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 next year.
The music is great in the film. Michael Giacchino does the score and continues the retro theme that the Thor films have gone with since Thor: Ragnarok. The movie also uses the same song from the first trailer, Sweet Child o’ Mine, very well. The special effects for the most part are great, but a few special effects looked a bit off or unfinished. For example, in one scene where Thor gets in contact with someone, the special effects look unfinished. This has been a complaint I heard with other recent MCU projects due to the VFX teams fighting to meet deadlines, but this was the first time I noticed it. The ending was a surprise for me, but a good surprise.
All in all, Thor: Love and Thunder is nowhere near as good as Thor: Ragnarok, but is still my second favorite Thor film. The film is fun, but sometimes overdoes it with humor. Gorr is my second favorite villain in Phase Four after the Green Goblin from Spider-Man: No Way Home. Natalie Portman redeems herself in her return as Jane Foster. If you like Thor: Ragnarok, you will likely like this film.
Final Grade: B+
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