Thor: Love and Thunder
Director: Taika Waititi
Writer: Taika Waititi, Jennifer Kaytin Robinson
Based on: Stan Lee‘s, Larry Lieber‘s and Jack Kirby‘s comic character
Sequel to: Thor, Thor: The Dark World, Thor: Ragnarok
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Tessa Thompson, Taika Waititi, Russell Crowe, Kieron L. Dyer, Jaimie Alexander, Idris Elba, Kat Dennings, Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Sean Gunn, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Simon Russell Beale, Luke Hemsworth, Sam Neill, Matt Damon, Melissa McCarthy
Part of: Marvel movies
Seen on: 15.7.2022
Thor (Chris Hemsworth) hasn’t been doing too well after recent events, although he doesn’t look it. Traveling around with the Guardians of the Galaxy to help people, he finds some fulfillment in fighting for the weak. When he hears a cry for help from his old friend Sif (Jaimie Alexander) who tells him about the God Butcher Gorr (Christian Bale) who has been hunting gods all over the galaxy, Thor returns to New Asgard, where King Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) leads the rest of the Asgardian refugees. And just in time to find not only Gorr attacking Asgard, but also his ex-girlfriend Jane (Natalie Portman) who has taken up Mjolnir and has also become Thor. Together, they go after Gorr while also trying to figure out where they stand with each other.
Thor: Love and Thunder is a really fun film that surreptitiously tackles some hard topics, ending with a positive message that is a breath of fresh air in the age of movie cynicism.
I loved Thor: Ragnarok, and Love and Thunder tries to connect as closely as it can to Ragnarok while ignoring or undoing most of what Avengers: Endgame ruined with/for/about Thor. It is definitely much appreciated that the fat suit only makes a short appearance (would it hurt if we had gotten simply a fat Thor? No. But in the way everything in Endgame was set up, plus with being pretty settled on a thin actor, I prefer a thin Thor over that mess). It was also great to see that the movie managed to take Thor and his emotions seriously, despite being funny.
That’s generally a pretty good thing that both Ragnarok and Love and Thunder achieve: we got some big topics here: love, death, what makes a god a god, grief, revenge, … But with the breezy fun exterior of the film, you barely notice it. I’ve hear from a couple of people that they found that the film reminded them of the 80s Kids Adventure movies. I honestly can’t say that if felt like that for me because everybody and their themes were much too adult for that (hilarious screaming goats be damned), but the aesthetics certainly play with that.
Speaking of aesthetics, the film makes some excellent visual choices and looks really nice. It also makes some excellent (fresh) casting choices, above all with Christian Bale who is the film’s center of gravity with his serious air and they way he never lets us forget Gorr’s humanity, even as a villain. (I had missed that Bale was cast here and was overjoyed to see him in a role where I could enjoy him again. It’s been a while.) The emotional core lies with Jane and Thor, though. I loved how the film treats Jane and Thor, although I didn’t love that Jane only gets to be Thor for such a short time. But you can see here why they would love each other and how they fit together despite their differences. I also really appreciated that Thor utterly respects Jane’s decisions, even when she does things he advised against in the first place.
The film throws a lot at you and maybe a little trim here and there would have worked, maybe one or two detours less. (Or maybe different detors that would have given Valkyrie more space. I mean, when does she finally get her own movie?) But then again, it’s kind of ADHD nature is absolutely a huge chunk of its charm. I certainly don’t mind jumping around space with Waititi’s take on Thor.
Summarizing: wonderful fun.