Written by: Angela Rairden
In a sense, Marvel’s latest installment in the MCU, Thor: Love and Thunder is a call back to the very first Thor film. In that movie, released all the way back in 2011, audiences were first introduced to Chris Hemsworth’s god of thunder – young, brash, and not entirely aware of what life had in store for him. That Thor was one who needed to do a lot of growing up in order to reach his full potential.
Now, in 2022’s Love and Thunder, we are reacquainted with a Thor has been through a lot since we first met him. He’s lost his mother, his father, his brother, literally his entire world, and he’s one of the last remaining members of the original Avengers. Furthermore, the film also chronicles how exactly his relationship with Jane Foster ended, something we hadn’t previously been privy to in the MCU.
Ultimately, this is a Thor that’s really lost himself. And, although he loses that dad bod and tries to team up with the Guardians of the Galaxy, his particular brand of wayward and rather obtuse immortal god zaniness proves too much even for that group of misfits.
All of this leads to a Thor that’s going to have to embark on quite a journey to rediscover who and what he truly is. In other franchises, such a journey might be depicted as poignant and emotional…but this is a Marvel movie. Furthermore, this is a Marvel movie directed by Taika Waititi, which means that our favorite god of thunder will be making this journey of self-discovery with as much hilarity as possible (and, of course, a stellar soundtrack!).
For the most part, Love and Thunder is a pretty solid film. It boasts a familiar, all-star cast with a few unexpected and exciting cameos thrown in as well as Christian Bale as villain Gorr the God Butcher and Hemsworth’s own daughter portraying Gorr’s daughter. When images of him were first released, there was a lot of outcry about Bale’s Gorr not looking enough like the comic book version of the character; however, I feel that Bale did such a great job portraying the cursed character than any disparities from the comic book version are incidental.
Of course, Natalie Portman reprises her role as Jane Foster and here Love and Thunder stays true to its comic book source material, 2015’s Mighty Thor. Sick with stage four cancer, Jane feels the irresistible call of Mjolnir, the iconic hammer of Thor, which transforms her into the Mighty Thor when she picks it up. Understandably, seeing his ex-girlfriend wielding his ex-hammer along with all the strengths and powers of a Thor gives Hemsworth’s Thor quite a shock.
Still, Thor and Mighty Thor find themselves teaming up with Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie and Waititi’s Korg to track down and destroy Gorr on an adventure that includes the unexpected combination of a flying tourist cruise ship, giant screaming goats, and Zeus. Yes, that Zeus.
I do feel that it’s worth mentioning that the editing on Love and Thunder felt rushed to me. There were inconsistencies that stood out to me – scenes where characters would be conversing and every time the camera panned back to one character, there would be differences that didn’t line up. I don’t know if there’s a name for this in cinematography, but an example is a scene where a character is eating fruit and has the seeds from the fruit all over their face, then the camera would show the character they are conversing with, then back to the first character and suddenly no seeds on their face. Back to the second character, then back to the first and the seeds would be back even though the character was no longer eating the fruit. This isn’t the sort of thing that I normally pay attention to or even notice in films; however, I saw examples of this sort of thing more than once in Love and Thunder.
Furthermore, parts of the film felt like they dragged a bit to me (our team of heroes must rescue children and there were a few moments that felt terribly cheesy and nonsensible to me about this particular plot line). However, the overall feel of the film is the expected level of frivolity meets character growth while ultimately advancing the overall storyline of the MCU. Is it my favorite Thor film? Well, no, that’s still Ragnarok, but it for sure ranks higher than The Dark World and is definitely worth a watch or two!
Angela “LaLa” Rairden is an avid fan of comic books, Star Wars, and most things nerdy. A cosplayer, she loves to attend comic cons dressed as her favorite fictional characters, particularly Harley Quinn. Although her day job is at a grocery store, writing has always been her true calling. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she is currently writing her first novel.