Thor: Love and Thunder Movie Review -- An unbridled Taika Waititi spectacle


Thor: Love and Thunder is one of the funnier, more manic, and incredibly heavy additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Par for the course for Taika Waititi, who in Thor: Ragnarok turned Thor Odinson into a bigger himbo that he already was.

After Endgame, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) finds himself lost within and without. Having lost his brother (twice!), his father, his friends, and a good chunk of his Asgardian brethren in the past few years alone, Thor has nothing to live for and stays busy diving headfirst into danger. But when a mysterious being called Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale) starts killing deities across the universe, Thor must assemble a team of gods if he has any hope of stopping their extinction!

Despite the wet blanket premise, Love and Thunder is pure escapism, injecting your eyeballs with colorful locations, larger-than-life characters, and ass kicked in copious amounts. At the center of it all is Chris Hemsworth, fully embracing the God of Thunder's role. Or is it Thor fully embracing the character of Chris Hemsworth? These days it's hard to tell. Waititi seems to like Thor more when he acts dumber than a bag of hammers so he can be a source of the movie's many laughs. Fortunately there's still some heroic heart underneath Thor's oiled-up pecs, which makes his antics easier to swallow. My condolences to fans of the Shakespearean straight man Thor as it fades into memory.

Speaking of heroes, a new one arrives in the form of Dr. Jane Foster (played by a jacked Natalie Portman), who is granted the powers of Thor after a broken Mjolnir finds her worthy and assembles itself out of sheer respect. Portman's journey as the mighty Thor is the emotional heart of the film, and her chemistry with Hemsworth is worth the price of admission alone.

But you're not paying for just that. In that sense Thor: Love and Thunder feels like the smallest of all the Phase 4 movies so far even if the grandiosity of it all says otherwise. The stakes don't feel that high, especially since Waititi can't help but lay on the comedy thick in places it often shouldn't be. And despite being called the God Butcher, Gorr doesn't really do a lot of butchering on-screen as all of his kills are ex post facto. If not for Christian Bale's absolute dedication to his role, Gorr would have been another one-note wonder in Thor's rogues gallery.

Still, there's a lot of fun to be had here. I mean, isn't that what we watch movies like this for? Thor: Love and Thunder may simply be a spectacle to Taika Waititi's excesses, but it's spectacle nonetheless.

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