Thor: Love and Thunder REVIEW
The record-setting fourth solo film for the iconic character has finally arrived, and it clearly inherits all of the brilliance, and pitfalls, of its predecessor; This is our Thor: Love and Thunder review.
Thor: Love and Thunder introduces itself to audiences with one of the best opening sequences- and opening shots- of any Marvel Cinematic Universe entry; it represents the movie’s most remarkable qualities, alongside its most detrimental flaw.
Fans first encounter Gorr the God Butcher in a fantastic, riveting, and visually striking opening that perfectly embodies the character’s discovered pursuit; but it is a sequence that feels as though it is moving at breakneck speeds, not allowing the genuine emotional beats to hit the way they need to.
There is pain and suffering in Gorr that feels very true, but also tremendously generic, which creates the great dichotomy of this villain; he is so justified, terrifying, and enthralling, but he is also unattainable to us as he feels so poorly defined by the small moments he gets on screen.
Christian Bale reminds everyone of his tremendous talent, and he deserved more time to explore this character that offers the MCU a villain as compelling and interesting as any that they have introduced to this point.
It feels as though Bale’s tremendous performance is almost a detriment to the film as a whole, as you are so engaged with that character that it feels like a disservice when he isn’t on screen, a fact made worse when his pursuit changes into the traditionally villainous ‘bad guy chases artifact’ trope.
Although, it feels as though this is less of a Gorr problem, and more of a recurring issue for the MCU in general; their long documented history of balancing compelling villains with the time they need to be explored continually is a shortfall of the Marvel method to this point.
Above anything else, it is clear that Thor: Love and Thunder is Taika Waititi’s manic brilliance at its most honest; peeking into the world of the Marvel Universe from a perspective that has been untouched by the MCU to this point.
There is comedy at every turn, and that will surely ware on some viewers, but it never feels unwarranted; it feels as though this movie carries on from the narrative that was established in Avengers: Endgame, that comedy has become a coping mechanism for the god of thunder himself.
Thor is at his most… well, Thor, in this movie; he is in a constant state of metamorphosis, and self-preservation brought on from losing just about every single person that he has loved in some form or another but feels more mature by the movie’s conclusion than where we find him.
Chris Hemsworth may not be at his best in this film, but he is certainly not far off, as this narrative provided an opportunity for the MCU Veteran to truly establish himself in a league of his own as far as his contribution to this franchise is concerned.
Jane Foster’s story is great, and Natalie Portman was commendable, but there is still the lack of chemistry that plagued the disastrous Thor: The Dark World, with her character also suffering from the film’s pacing problems, disallowing a true connection to occur between viewers and the hero.
Portman seems to lack a certain presence and charisma that spells disaster when she is placed in a scene with the magnetic Hemsworth or Tessa Thompson, but still brings forth a performance worthy of praise in some of Jane’s more difficult moments.
Overall, the movie feels like a rightful follow-up to Thor: Ragnarok, and although many have stated that Thor: Love and Thunder is the lesser of the two, it feels as though that may not actually be the case; as time may prove this film is Thor at his very best.