The one is not the only.
Thor: Love and Thunder is a 2022 superhero fantasy comedy film directed by Taika Waititi, written by Taika Waititi and Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It's based off of various Thor comics by Marvel Comics. The film stars Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman. This is the thirty-sixth project and the twenty-ninth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was preceded by Thor: The Dark World, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Endgame, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, and Ms. Marvel and it will be followed by She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
"Eat my hammer!" - Jane Foster
After saving the world from Thanos with the Avengers, Thor has found himself in a strange position. When a vengeful new threat endangers gods across the universe, Thor teams up with his ex-girlfriend, who now wields Mjolnir, to stop Gorr the God Butcher from killing every single god in existence.
Gorr the God Butcher / Action / Jane-Thor Relationship / Climax / Taika Waititi (Part One) / Valkyrie / Goofiness (Taika Waititi Part Two) / Thor's Arc / Guardians of the Galaxy / Rushed / Story and Plot Holes
Easily the best thing about Thor: Love and Thunder is the main antagonist. Gorr the God Butcher was hyped up as one of the best Marvel villains by the cast and crew of the film, and he lived up to expectations. Christian Bale gives us a terrifying and gut-wrenching performance as this tortured soul who has turned to villainy because of his past. Gorr becomes one of the scariest Marvel villains while also having a powerful arc and a sympathetic motivation. He looks awesome. Every time he was on screen, it just felt like a better movie. My only complaint is that I wish he was in more of it.
The action in this movie is also really good. It felt relatively similar to the action in Ragnarok, which is a good thing, because Ragnarok had some really cool action. I love the usage of Thor's powers and the way that they have him team up with Jane. Combine that with the awesome soundtrack and you've got some fantastic fight scenes.
One thing that surprised me about this movie was how well they handled the Jane-Thor relationship. Jane Foster is one of the lamest romantic interests in the MCU, so I was skeptical when they brought her back. However, I'm happy to say that she was one of the highlights of the film and her relationship with Thor felt much better than it was in Thor and Thor: The Dark World. Taika Waititi did a good job of crafting a chemistry between Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman that just wasn't there in the first two Thor films. I was relieved that they were able to nail that down.
The first hour and a half of this film is riddled with problems, but once you move into the climax and resolution, Thor: Love and Thunder peaks. It builds to an emotionally resonant and intense finale that resolves Thor, Jane, and Gorr's arcs in a satisfying way. There are some cool moments of payoff as well as some great action. I walked out of the theater with a good taste in my mouth.
Taika Waititi did a great job with Thor: Ragnarok. He balanced the comedy and the seriousness very well. Here, he didn't, and I will get into that later. However, the serious moments work really well. Like I said before, Gorr is an incredible villain, and Taika just nailed the direction when he was on screen. The way he uses color and shadows when the God Butcher is present is just terrifying. There's a scene when Thor, Jane, and Valkyrie have been captured by Gorr in the Shadow Realm that is one of the coolest scenes in a Marvel movie. Taika brings out a great performance from Christian Bale while also crafting a creepy and unsettling atmosphere. It was super cool.
Finally, I thought they did a pretty good job with Valkyrie's character in this movie. She was, obviously, still a side character, but they subtly hinted at her past and some character traits of hers without ever actually stating those things. I love it when films use subtleness well, and Love and Thunder certainly does with Valkyrie's character.
Thor: Love and Thunder's biggest problem is the comedy. Everyone loved Thor: Ragnarok because it fixed Thor's character. Instead of being this serious, brooding warrior, he became funnier and more charming. However, Love and Thunder takes that to the extreme, making Thor way too goofy. Like I said earlier, Taika did a great job of balancing comedy and seriousness in Ragnarok, but here, he gives way more attention to the comedy, making the seriousness feel out of place and just wrong. Thor and Korg feel like they are in an entirely different movie than Gorr or even Jane at some points. You'll jump from people dying of cancer to talks of a god orgy. You'll jump from a snake's head being violently torn off in front of children to Korg telling stories about rock sex. It's so strange and even off-putting at times. The humor seems so childish, but when you look back at it, it's full of innuendos and double entendres that are kind of gross. I was not a fan of how they handled the tone in this film.
I also do not think that this was the right way to take Thor's character. I don't necessarily mind the arc that they gave him, but I feel like they forced it onto him. Sure, he was funny in Ragnarok, but he wasn't an outright goofball, and he was a total badass in Infinity War. I was not a fan of what they did with him in Endgame, but I felt like it actually set him up for a good arc in Love and Thunder. I think they should've had him transform from this depressed, fat loner into the badass that he was in Ragnarok and Infinity War. I think that would've been an awesome arc for him. Become the hero that he once was. But that's not what they did with him. Instead, they gave him an arc where he keeps everyone at arm's length and has to learn to love and be hurt by love. I thought that wasn't the best direction to take him, even though the way they wrap it up in comparison to Gorr's arc works really well.
Easily, easily, easily the most disappointing part of Thor: Love and Thunder was how the Guardians of the Galaxy were utilized. I was excited for them to be in this, but they were criminally underused. Sure, they aren't the focus of the story, but they could've been in there as side characters. I thought we were going to get the Asgardians of the Galaxy, but instead, we get a lazy, forced inclusion of characters we love for the first ten minutes of this film. It felt weird and lame. I was very, very upset by the way they were written into this story.
The film is also really fast-paced, and it feels rushed at points. Especially with Jane's character. Her introduction and eventual connection to Mjolnir feels like it was given little explanation, and that was one of many things that felt like they were just skipped because this film has a short runtime. I really like it when movies are fast-paced and quick, but I stop liking that if they start skipping plot beats.
The story also just doesn't make a ton of sense when you think about it. The way they use Eternity doesn't entirely work. There's a lot of plot convenience in regards to Gorr's plan and the things he needs to complete his mission. The whole middle act of the film doesn't actually move the plot forward. It just sets up the after-credits and gives Thor something to do while Gorr is off being creepy. The main plot line of the film seems too simple to fill up a two hour runtime, and that's where I think the middle act becomes a slog. When you step back and look at the whole thing, it's just kind of a big mess.
There are two post-credit scenes in Thor: Love and Thunder, both of which are fine. The first one is cool. It undoes something that was done during the main events of the film, which I didn't like, but it introduces a new character who could be pretty important going forward, so I liked it.
The second after-credits had a bit of a surprise cameo, but the actual meaning of the scene was pointless. It wasn't the punchline to a joke. It was an extremely unnecessary scene, so if you're fed up with Marvel after-credits, I'd say skip the second post-credits scene in Thor: Love and Thunder.
Final Thoughts and Score
Thor: Love and Thunder is an incredibly stupid movie that is riddled with plot holes and an overly goofy tone, but a great villain, fun action, and charismatic leads will keep you entertained throughout.
I will go Savory here. Age range is 9+.
SWEET N' SOUR SCALE
Sweet (Great) Savory (Good)
"Thor: Love and Thunder"
Fun Factor: 8/10
Directed by Taika Waititi
Rated PG-13 for superhero violence and action, frightening scenes and images, suggestive material, thematic elements
Released on July 8, 2022
1 hour and 59 minutes
Chris Hemsworth as Thor Odinson
Natalie Portman as Jane Foster / The Mighty Thor
Christian Bale as Gorr the God Butcher
Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie
Taika Waititi as Korg
Russell Crowe as Zeus
Jaimie Alexander as Lady Sif
Chris Pratt as Peter Quill / Star-Lord
Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon
Dave Bautista as Drax the Destroyer
Karen Gillan as Nebula
Pom Klementieff as Mantis
Vin Diesel as Groot
Sean Gunn as Kraglin Obfonteri
Kat Dennings as Darcy Lewis