Thor: Love and Thunder is the first film that received the smallest promotional campaigns. Many had taken this as a sign of the studio’s lack of faith in the film and wondered if it was bad. But the film isn’t bad at all. But it isn’t great either. Taika Waititi’s latest Thor adventure is a typical MCU film that entertains and even dazzles in part, but barely rises above being ‘just good’
Thor: Love and Thunder pick off from where we last saw Chris Hemsworth’s Thor – at the end of Avengers: Endgame. Since then, he has been engaged in adventures with the Guardians of the Galaxy. But the stakes are raised as he learns of a new threat – Gorr the God Butcher. As the name suggests, he is a being hell-bent on eliminating all gods from the universe, which is not exactly good news for the God of Thunder. So he enlists the help of his trusted friend Korg (Taika himself), the current King of Asgard Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), and his ex-girlfriend Dr. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who now has Thor’s powers herself.
Thor: Love and Thunder Rating, and Cast
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Tessa Thompson, Taika Waititi, Russell Crowe, Jaimie Alexander, and Chris Pratt.
Director: Taika Waititi
Rating: 3 and a half stars (out of 5)
Director and co-writer Taika Waititi brings his quirky storytelling sensibility to bear upon Thor: Love and Thunder pretty much in the way that he did five years ago in Thor: Ragnarok.
Thor teams up with Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), who is now king of the Asgardians, the ever-loyal Korg (Taika Waititi), and his ex-flame Dr. Jane Foster (referred to once as Jane Fonda and another time as Jodie Foster). She is now a female version of Thor with the Mjolnir having chosen to be her weapon. Thor has to make do with the battle-ax Stormbreaker as he faces off with Gorr, who is armed with the deadly Necrosword.
The good thing about the film Thor: Love and Thunder is that it does not waste too much time on exposition and backstories. The background of everything – from why Gorr hates gods to how Jane is able to wield Mjolnir – is explained crisply yet completely. This not only keeps the runtime short but gives the characters more time to grow and interact. And the interactions and dialogue between two characters are the highlights of any Taika film.
Like Ragnarok, the best scenes of Love and Thunder involve just two characters talking. And while the dialogue between Thor and Jane or Thor and Korg is fun indeed, the most sparkling chemistry belongs to Valkyrie and Jane. Any scene with these two is delightful and it’s a shame Natalie and Tessa have limited scenes together here.
Natalie Portman makes a smooth return to the MCU. Her Mighty Thor is a brilliant cocktail of power, confusion, fear, and confidence, and it had to take an actor of her caliber to manage all those emotions, and not go overboard.
Not all the tropes that the film presses into service deliver the goods, but even when they don’t Thor: Love and Thunder do not cease to be thrilling and entertaining because the film does not lose sight of its primary purpose of delivering a superhero saga that also superbly balanced between the sepulchral and the sly.
The writing by the director and Jennifer Kaytin Robinson is consistently inventive. The back-and-forth shifts that the film makes between action and visual effects and humor and romance happen seamlessly for the most part
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