I still feel like I regard the first Thor film higher than most people. It’s one of the MCU films that is talked about the least and is underappreciated. Maybe that’s because it gets lost behind how Thor: The Dark World is one of the worst. But then Thor: Ragnarok made everyone sit up again and be excited about Thor going into Avengers: Infinity War. We saw a broken character over Infinity War and then even more so in Endgame, setting him up to be in an interesting place when we join him in Thor: Love and Thunder, where he is trying to find his purpose in the world, having rejected being the ruler of Asgard.
Thor: Love and Thunder picks up with Thor working with the Guardians of the Galaxy, then once they hear about Gorr, The Godbutcher killing many Gods, they decide to split up. Thor returns to protect Asgard, but this means an unlikely new hero already protecting them.
I have to say, I was very worried going into this film that it was going to be too much of a comedy. People had responded really well to Ragnarok‘s sense of humour, which was naturally something you get when you bring Taika Waititi on board, a fantastic director and writer known for his comedy. The trailer really emphasised that comedic tone, with some of the jokes not landing. Despite those jokes still not landing in the film, as well as some others, there was a surprising amount of jokes that did land. I was worried that the heart of the film wasn’t going to be there, but thanks to Christian Bale and Chris Hemsworth’s characters I do truly believe the heart is very much there and helps it hit harder.
Christian Bale is an incredible actor, we know this. When we found out he was going to be joining the MCU as the villain of this film, I was almost disappointed. We’ve seen some incredible actors be wasted in these films, by getting a villain with not enough character or arc, that doesn’t allow the actor to shine. Thankfully, the same can’t be said for Bale. He gets enough time to shine and show what he can do. You can tell he is really enjoying getting to be in this world and be a villain. His character, Gorr is creepy and his story is heart-breaking and makes you question if what he’s doing is justified, always the sign of a strong villain.
Chris Hemsworth has always nailed his role as Thor. You can tell how much he loves the character. The fact that he had lost the love for it and had enough of playing him before Ragnarok, shows what that film did for him. Really revitalising his love for this universe. I actually think some of his best work as this character had been in Endgame and then in this film.
Natalie Portman returns as Jane Foster, after sitting out Ragnarok. This time she has a lot more to do, getting a big role, as The Mighty Thor. A comic story I have read so know a little bit about. It certainly feels a little rushed in this film, and not fully done the justice I would’ve liked. There’s enough there for it to be it’s own solo film, so to put it as the side plot doesn’t give it the justice it deserves.
The main other problem I have with goes back to the problem I have with Disney at the moment, weirdly; CGI. There’s just a few moments where the whole look is cheap. We know they used the Volume a few times in this film and that actually worked for me. There were a couple of times it felt a little small. Particularly at the beginning with The Guardians of the Galaxy and then again during a fight with Gorr. The Volume is a genius piece of technology which got big due to its use in The Mandalorian, that is becoming far too relied on, there are moments that it works well, but the size of the volume narrows the camera down and scale of the film in a way which doesn’t work, especially after the big scale you expect from Marvel films.
Overall, Thor: Love and Thunder is another win for Marvel Studios. A lot of laughs for everyone as well as a lot of heart, even if it doesn’t always 100% land. This film gives you exactly what you want from Thor and Gorr, but might leave you wanting more from the other characters. It sets up some really interesting and exciting points for the future of this character and others too, and excited more Thor once again, as we are no doubt getting a third from this Taika Waititi trilogy, which could be announced in a couple of weeks at San Diego Comic Con.
What did you think of Thor: Love and Thunder?
I’ve got a few other posts I want to do coming up, including a review for Elvis, but I do also want to do more of a spoiler talk and what could be next for Thor, so be sure to follow via the links below to keep up to date with these reviews and posts, as well as Film and TV updates.