THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER (2022)
Release Date: 07/08/22 [Cinemas]
Studio: Marvel Studios
"Thor enlists the help of Valkyrie, Korg and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster to fight Gorr the God Butcher, who intends to make the gods extinct."
OUR MOVIE REVIEW:
Taika Waititi is one of the rare directors in the film industry who has never truly struck out since he first broke out with 2014’s What We Do In The Shadows. Unfortunately, Thor: Love and Thunder may be his first foul ball, but even then it’s still a blast.
The film suffers from comedy overload at times, with Taika at the helm and Marvel clearly allowing him more control in comparison to Ragnorak. Thor: Love and Thunder feels further apart than any other MCU film thus far, and in doing so also feels the least attached to anything happening in the general timeline.
Aspects of Ragnorak that originally shined through that have now transferred over to Love and Thunder have less shine to them, and in the case of the once lovable Korg, become a bit of an annoyance.
The neon lights, the bright colors, and the brilliant cinematography all return from Waititi’s previous installment, and it remains just as dazzling as ever. One sequence in particular where everything becomes void of color is truly remarkable imagery that struck a chord instantly and braced myself in dread for what was to come.
The film may be built on a comedic foundation, but when the action takes center stage it rocks the house down. I do wish there may have been a little more variety and time in battle with our New Asgard team; the final action scene in the end was a little much (possibly way too much), and the action had me clamping my fist ready for the next attack. With the action should come reaction and the stakes felt lower than expected for a feature all about a “God Butcher” villain.
The villain himself is where the film ultimately has its biggest downfall. Christian Bale plays a terrific menacing villain in his own right, as he’s delivering all he’s able to in the role, and the character design is haunting (for someone unfamiliar with the comics). Where Gorr the God Butcher falls short is in the actions shown and ultimately his time on screen that leaves a lot to be desired from the character’s namesake.
Natalie Portman’s return to the MCU is triumphant, and her chemistry with Hemsworth’s Thor is quite literally out of this world. If the film would have been entirely focused on the relationship between Mighty Thor and Thor, the film could have been a one of a kind love story not yet seen in the MCU, but what we’re left with are wishes. Mighty Thor’s design is unbelievable and every time she appears on screen, you can just feel your pulse heighten, ready to see her kick some ass alongside Thor.
As mentioned previously, Love and Thunder carries over some existing characters from the MCU, along with some new faces. The aforementioned Korg is back, Valkyrie is back in a needless rule of New Asgard, the Guardians make a brief appearance with the assistance of James Gunn, and Russell Crowe makes his introduction to the MCU as the arrogant Zeus. The supporting characters fail to bring anything revolutionary to the table, and even when characters like Zeus are introduced they’re merely used with overindulgent jokes. Waititi securely placed comedy at the masthead and everything else in the hull.
Thor: Love and Thunder is wonderfully over the top, while simultaneously lacking consequences - it’s clear Taika Waititi enjoys playing in this particular sandbox, and I’d be open to another wild adventure in it. With that being said, if Taika were to return for another feature on the Thor side of things, the comedy would need to be trimmed, the story would need to be excavated, and the characters above all else would have to shine through. Laughter is said to be the best medicine, except in the case of a weak script.