‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ Review: Taika Waititi’s Marvel Return Is a Disappointing Encore
Thor Love and Thunder appeared to be a certain slam in the dunk. Director Taika Waititi has returned to the helm following 2017’s enthralling Thor: Ragnarok, with Chris Hemsworth’s Asgardian Avenger firmly in his hilarious groove. Natalie Portman made her epic return to the live-action Marvel Cinematic Universe after a nine-year absence.
Surprisingly enough, the 29th MCU film debuted on the screens in July and is scheduled to release on Disney Plus and digital stores on the 4th of September. 8, it is different from what you would expect. In attempting to balance the drama with comedy and blending various classic comics into a single story, Thor’s fourth solo adventure has too much to offer and results in being a bit tinny (even down to the 2 post-credits scenes).
The film will be released on 4K Blu-ray, DVD, and 4K in September. 27. It will also include special behind-the-scenes features, deleted scenes, and an audio commentary by director Waititi for a more home-based watching experience.
It opens with a promising start with a critical introduction that sets up Christian Bale’s terrifying Gorr, The God Butcher. After his harsh desert world takes the life of his daughter and son, his encounter with a vengeful God who is apathetic and petty God drives Gorr to launch an army to slaughter all gods that exist.
The sequence is atmospheric and slow and gives Bale’s performance room to breathe, and allows viewers to experience his increasing frustration, anger, and despair. Then, the Marvel Studios logo rolls in, and the roller coaster start. Do you feel emotional resonance? No, you’re not receiving in this film.
Read More : The Forest Beginner’s Guide (Story Guide)
When we last were introduced to Thor in the 2019 film Avengers: Endgame, the character had decided to join Guardians of the Galaxy for various space-based adventures following Thanos his defeat. However, Thor, the God of Thunder, surpasses all of his new comrades, which makes him look like a video game character when the Avengers take on their foes and gives the Guardians a look of utter horror.
We’re treated to a vivid visual action sequence and plenty of superhero collateral damage. However, Thor and his rocky allies (he’s made out of rock) Korg (Waititi) soon decide to go their separate ways, abandoning the Guardians storyline and wasting Chris Pratt, Karen Gillan, and the rest of the cast before the gag is given a chance to evolve. The film is eager to break out of the annoying continuity and return to the Asgardian storyline that Thor has developed in his solo films.On Earth, Thor encounters his ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Portman) in the fight when Gorr fights Thor’s peers Asgardians. She is wielding the hammer of her old Mjolnir, has been judged worthy during her darkest moments, and has gained powers similar to Thor’s.
With the relatable human health issues Jane has to face, this narrative ought to be Love the Thunder’s emotional core. The film doesn’t give enough time to allow the challenges she faces to take in, and it’s like it’s scared to be too real and too eager to send us off to another adventure (the two post-credits scenes diminish some dramatic scenes).
This desire for speed is evident in the action scenes -The action scenes are awe-inspiring – Jane is the most notable character, using her new skills in thrilling ways. Yet, editing and cinematography need to allow us to appreciate the spectacle. It’s unlikely that many scenes from this film will engrave into your mind as other moments from MCU films have none of them reach the awe-inspiring levels in the Captain America elevator fight, three Spider-Men fighting in combat, and Scarlet Witch’s encounter with Illuminati.
The awkwardness of Jane and Thor is at first quite entertaining, mostly due to Portman and his charisma and their chemistry, but it needs to be developed more engagingly. A single-minded comedy concerning Thor and his latest weapon, Stormbreaker, makes more sense but becomes a semaphore.
To complete the hero group includes King Valkyrie ( Tessa Thompson). The character is bored with her job as the head of the magical tourist attraction which New Asgard has become (this area also features an outstanding deep-cut come). While the film fails to examine her frustration enough, Thompson infuses the character with enough wit that she’s fun to watch. The clothes she wears suggest a fascinating inside life. Thompson’s Phantom of the Opera shirt is far more interesting than any superhero outfit.
One of the most memorable scenes is a peaceful conversation between Jane and Valkyrie, as it’s not often that you see the film slowing down and allowing its writers and actors the chance to communicate emotionally. With Hemsworth’s captivating appearance on screen and flawless comic timing, it’s hard to imagine this movie would’ve been as good without Thor.
Following his unforgettable introduction, his threat to the world is diminished. The God Butcher comics equivalent (introduced by Jason Aaron in his popular 2013 Thor: God of Thunder series) is an imminent threat because Thor is following a path of religious slaughter through the universe.
Love and Thunder merely allude to this and reduce Gorr’s crime of kidnapping Asgardian children in the context of a larger plot. Gorr doesn’t seem like a threat to the heroes, making him appear much more similar to Gorr, the God’s Bothererer.
But Bale’s performance and aesthetic choices give the character an abundance of spectral boogeyman spectral creepy images ( apparently inspired by Aphex Twin’s eerie “Come to Daddy music video). The midpoint encounter with the heroes ranks among the MCU’s visually amazing sequences, featuring clever use of shadows and colors.
The film is more awash with cameos than its MCU precursor, Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness. However, it does include the scene-stealing Russell Crowe as a selfish and narcissistic Zeus. However, his character is mostly one glitzy scene that is boring as the story progresses.
Love and Thunder don’t live up to the epic stories that inspired it. It’s not a true reflection of its director’s style, nor does it maximize the dramatic potential of its cast. It’s more of an unsatisfying, shallow blend. It’s still an enjoyable, silly addition to the MCU canon, but it’s not the original Thor adventure that its handsome protagonist seems to believe that he’s in.