Thor: Love and Thunder Movie Review – Cloudy With A Chance Of Feelings
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Thor: Love and Thunder Movie Review – Cloudy With A Chance Of Feelings

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The discussion surrounding whether Marvel movies are just cookies made using the same cutter is interesting yet somewhat disingenuous.

One on the side, you have a standard setup and outcome with a revolving door of heroes and villains, plot points that blend together over the entire canon, and outcomes in favour of telling a greater overarching narrative (which, in this writer’s opinion, are these movies’ greatest strength in that it’s treated, storytelling wise, as an afterthought. Insert DC reference).

On the other hand, however, poses the god of thunder. Specifically, the stark contrast between his first two movies and his two later ones.

Thor has undergone a stylistic transformation that results in his character and sub-franchise standing out as one of Marvel’s greatest and most distinctive. And while Thor: Ragnarok (Read Our Blu-Ray Review HERE) is a formula definitely worth replicating in the case of Thor: Love and Thunder, Waititi’s second outing sadly doesn’t have the emotional or dramatic underpinnings to slam a fulfilling home run.

Somebody to love

After leaving Earth with the Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor (played by Chris Hemsworth) is on a journey of self-discovery across the cosmos. It seems to be going well, but the journey is disrupted by the appearance of Gor, the God Butcher (Christian Bale), a disillusioned sword wielder who has made it a life goal to eradicate all divine entities.

With the help of former-warrior-turned-town-mayor Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) and rock-hard gladiator and friend Korg (played by Director Taika Waititi), Thor sets out to defeat Gor while also having to deal with the return of former girlfriend Dr. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), now wielding a repaired Mjolnir (that’s the hammer, for the uninitiated) and a suspicious enthusiasm for getting in on the godlike action.

Somewhere over the rainbow

Let’s be frank; Love and Thunder is visually stunning.

There’s a part of me that suspects that if Waititi were to have helmed the Masters of the Universe movie back in ‘87, it would’ve gone down a treat thanks to He-Man looking and feeling something along these lines.

The film is bursting with colours and a classic rock soundtrack that suits it perfectly. The costume work is the best we’ve seen Marvel weave since…well, Ragnarok. And despite the lack of a plot that doesn’t go anywhere (we’ll get to that), the film treats us to a great deal of beautiful locations and regions that do justice to the over-the-top nature of the characters.

There is an especially effective black-and-white scene at the midway point that works incredibly well thanks to the contrast it creates to the rest of the film and as one can expect, the CGI work continues to be top-notch.

Something just like this

While Hemsworth and Portman get top marks for their performances, and have a great deal of excellent and much-needed chemistry, Love and Thunder’s actor of the moment is undoubtedly Christian Bale. Gor will go down as one of the best Marvel’s villains.

There’s a muted manic about him combined with a design that is incredibly simple yet incredibly effective. And with his backstory sorted in the first few moments of the film, his motivation remains clear and intense throughout the runtime.


But let’s get to the problem. All of this looks and sounds very nice, but it doesn’t really amount to much in the way of narrative fulfilment.

Love and Thunder supposedly has very high stakes but the unstoppable barrage of Waititi’s humour, and inclination to keep it as unserious as possible, greatly impacts how much drama can boil to the surface.

There is a lot going on in regards to Thor and Jane’s relationship and it’s not some standard romcom fluff. It’s high stakes being wrenched down by the desire to tell jokes. To be fair, the jokes are funny, and Ragnarok proved a funny Thor is better than a stern Thor. And I will never not love Tessa Thompson’s utter contempt for most of it.

The film also feels aimless for long stretches. We get a very funny sequence with Russel Crowe’s turn as Zeus and let me assure you, it is worth every second of the runtime… but the story takes detours that don’t amount to much and the result is compromised pacing.

Again, nothing wrong with a slow film, but after the non-stop ridiculousness of Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness, this is a movie that isn’t served with enough meat on its bones.

Thor: Love and Thunder delivers another dose of director Taika Waititi’s much-appreciated splash of colours and comedy. Good performances all around, and the debut of a sinister and memorable villain, is enough for a fun time. But the film’s story fails to reach its potential as proposed by its presentation.