See The Flash!
Hear The Thunder!
Feel The Love!
Do you hear that? I do. And you should, too! The God of Thunder is back. Introduced in 2011 (THOR), followed by deeper, darkened touch-ups in 2013 (THOR: THE DARK WORLD) and a fantastic re-invention in 2017 (THOR: RAGNAROCK), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) returns with lots of LOVE AND THUNDER! This time, the hammer slams twice as hard with spectacle, only exposing it with romantic appeal. An appeal that may make its audience tilt their heads, smile, and say “Aww..”
After ENDGAME, the MCU has been pretty meh. I can’t say I’ve hated it, but I can’t say I’ve loved it either. It’s been fun watching SPIDER-MAN grow, along with the obvious anchor towards the next phase with DOCTR STRANGE. But has the magic stayed strong? To a degree, right when it started to feel like the MCU has overstayed its welcome, they redeem themselves by digging deep within their bag of enticing tricks and go back to the drawing board upon one of its original standalones that’s helped this monster franchise series stay afloat – and thank God for that!
LOVE AND THUNDER finds Thor on a journey unlike anything he’s ever faced — a quest for inner peace and tranquility. But his retirement is interrupted by a galactic killer known as Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale), who seeks the extinction of the gods. To fight off the threat, Thor enlists the help of King Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Korg (Taika Waititi) and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who — to Thor’s surprise – for some strange reason carries and swings his magical hammer! As a team, they embark upon a complex cosmic adventure to uncover the mystery of the God Butcher’s vengeance.
First things first, did any of you think of the original crew (and standalone flicks), Thor would be the one to have more than 3 films (with a couple more on deck)? If your answer is “yes,” you’re a liar, liar, pants on fire. I didn’t – and I ain’t even mad! It gives me great pleasure to say this was a lot of fun and felt like old times.
It was great to see the Guardians in a brief yet, enjoyable segment to set the pace, followed by a story that reunites old lovers and friends, and introduces a new, charismatic villain into the MCU. In the end, it’s a pleasant digestion of protagonist and antagonist arcs – heartfelt and in form of emotional intelligence. An execution that humanizes everyone on display. While comedic and quirky, the element of drama and weight balances everything out.
Sure there’s our favorites dominating the screen scene after scene, but for me, Christian Bale as “Gorr the God Butcher” was interesting and carried an it-factor. While simple, quiet, and minimal to extent, his presence is felt. There was something charismatic about this role. There were reasons for his acts. A driving force that oddly mirrored a lot of what was on the opposite side with Thor – especially among Jane Foster – in different ways. It didn’t really feel like there was a “bad guy” on a clichéd rampage for destruction. Honestly, that was brilliant and felt unique. Sort of what we saw with Killemonger (Michael B. Jordan) in BLACK PANTHER. I, for one, always love it when villains justify their existence.
On the flip, what also works with this movie are its visuals. It looks gorgeous and inventive, and it stands alone. Very engaging throughout its entire run, especially a lengthy segment that takes place on a shadow-like planet, shifting from color to black-n-white, and unleashes a sharp, edgy, interesting, and sinister(ish) exposition among its leads. So much, it’s been looping in my head for a minute and looking forward to checking the flick out again JUST for that segment. Aside from its look and cool action sequences, the soundtrack is dope, too. It’s basically a heavy metal album from the 80s visually presented in an artsy, extended music video kind of way.
Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson are still strong and important forces in the flick and universe; therefore, I conclude Girl Power is front and center, too. Then there’s Korg. This character still manages to be enjoyable and glad he’s still around. Hilarious cameos, too, especially one by Russell Crowe – who’s memorable in this – and of course, stick around during those credits, because there are some nice treats and teases.
Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi | Rated: PG-13 | Run Time: 2:00
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Christian Bale, Taika Waititi
Directed by Taika Waititi
Official Movie Website: https://www.marvel.com/movies/thor-love-and-thunder
(C) Marvel Studios 2022