REVIEW: ‘Thor: Love And Thunder’ — The MCU Welcomes a New Thor (and It’s a Pretty Fun Movie Too!)
Chris Hemsworth returns as Thor in his fourth solo outing as the God of Thunder. This time around, he has a little help from his ex-girlfriend, Jane Foster. Jane, played by Natalie Portman, also has the power of Thor — and it’s going to take the both of them to stop Gorr the God Butcher from destroying all of the gods in the universe.
“Thor: Love And Thunder” does not have a great story, but it is a fun movie. The plot seems rushed at times, and there were a ton of things that I felt the movie would have been better off without. But there are just enough good parts that made me overlook the wacky parts. In the end, you want to leave a movie entertained, and I was. As far as Thor movies go, I would say it is definitely better than “Thor: Dark World,” but not as good as the original “Thor” movie. Whether you like it more than “Thor: Ragnarok” may depend if you prefer more Hulk or more Jane Foster.
At first, I was concerned about Thor. His character has become a bit of a buffoon in the last few movies, and at times he still is in this one, but I feel like there are times in this movie when his story gets very deep and his character is maturing instead of regressing. I was also glad to see that this is still Thor’s movie. Even though there is a lot of Jane Foster and Valkyrie, it is not their movie. They are just supporting characters and also very good ones.
I was also concerned about Natalie Portman as Mighty Thor. Portman is a kind of petite actress; she is 5’ 3”, and Jane Foster’s Thor in the comic book is an intimidating figure. But Portman nailed it. She is a great Thor and a great Jane Foster too, and I would love to see more of her Thor in the MCU. In the previous movies that Thor and Jane were both in, I always felt that they didn’t have much chemistry. Not this time around. In fact, some of the best scenes in the movie center around the two of them, and you get the feeling that they really do love each other. I think if those scenes were not in the movie, I would have rated it much lower. And there are several scenes like that throughout the movie, and they are each perfectly written and performed.
Barely any movie is perfect, and this movie is no exception. Probably the biggest problem that some will have with this movie is that it is very heavy on the comedy. Marvel usually does a good job injecting comedy into their movies, but there comes a time when they have to realize that there is a main story that they need to follow, and sometimes comedy becomes too much of a distraction. We could have done without the goats and some stupid scenes with Thor and Stormbreaker. Korg could have also stayed behind for this one, and I don’t think anyone would have missed him. And the Asgardian children should have remained in their beds and not have been a plot device.
Christian Bale joins the cast as Gorr the God Butcher. Bale usually puts in a good performance. But he’s just OK in this. You don’t see much butchering from the God Butcher. Most of the killing is done off screen, and we are left to imagine what was done, which is kind of disappointing. Maybe they toned it down to be more family friendly, but I would have preferred more butchering over the overdose of comedy we got. And the character of Gorr again highlights a huge problem for Disney. All of their villains need to be portrayed as sympathetic or misunderstood by society. Give me a scary villain who just wants to win at the end by destroying everyone who gets in his path. I don’t want to meet Gorr in some group therapy session one day.
I will warn parents that part of the plot has to do with all of the children of Asgard being kidnapped by Gorr, and I think some of those scenes might be scary for some young children. None of these kids are like young Leia from the “Obi-Wan Kenobi” series. They are held in a dark place, and they are all scared, and they often scream out of fright. Parents know their children best and what they can handle. I’m sure it’s fine, but I thought I would mention it.
As usual, with all the MCU movies, there are after credit scenes (and there are two of them this time). And for a change, both are quite good. So I would stick around for both as one introduces a potential hero or villain for the inevitable Thor 5. The final end credit scene is a nice epilogue to the movie.
Love and Thunder is a fun movie, but sometimes it comes dangerously close to being a spoof of a Thor movie than an actual Thor movie. I would say that Thor and Jane’s relationship saves the movie from its comedic shortcomings with some great performances by Hemsworth and Portman. It’s not the best MCU movie ever made, but it’s not at the bottom of the list either.