Did you know that Marvel put out two movies this weekend? Yes, there was Eternals, but there was also the movie we all actually care about, Thor: Love and Thunder. Directed once again by Oscar-winning funny man Taika Waititi, the new film has Chris Hemsworth’s musclebound thunder god being replaced by a different musclebound thunder god: Natalie Portman’s returning Jane Foster, aka the new Mighty Thor.
[Editor’s Note: In which we imagine what this weekend might have been if the pandemic hadn’t continually shifted movie release dates. -Jill P.]
Oh, but it’s not just a buff Natalie Portman that’s the big selling point here, folks! There’s also Tessa Thompson being the second first groundbreaking LGBTQ character in the MCU. She was a little miffed to share that honor with Eternals’ Phastos, Brian Tyree Henry’s gay alien whose inventions helped lead to the creation of the atom bomb, but it’s still nice to just have a seat at the table. To be honest, it’s just surprising to see that this billion dollar franchise with almost 30 films and 12 TV shows has finally decided that gays can help turn a profit. And gay aliens, no less.
With a packed cast that includes quite a few Guardians of the Galaxy, Russell Crowe as Zeus, and Christian Bale as new baddie Gorr the God Butcher, Love & Thunder is both incredibly busy and yet surprisingly personal, even as it delivers one gut buster after the next. It truly lived up to Waititi’s claims that it was “the craziest shit” he’s ever done. And you can truly tell, because the Obligatory Act 3 Fight is one of the best things Marvel’s ever done, certainly not a sign that they need to change their structure at all!
The surprising thing about Love & Thunder isn’t how it truly commits to Valkyrie’s quest for a queen by having an extended sequence where she sets up a Tinder profile, or even Jane Thor’s 10-minute workout montage set to Scandal’s “The Warrior.” No, it’s that Marvel just hasn’t really advertised it. As the sequel to Ragnarok, aka the Thor movie most people would say they definitely liked, it’s weird how there’s yet to be a single trailer or promo. Maybe they’re doing a stealth release so the Eternals can get their sea legs since they’re the new franchise. Or perhaps it’s like with Titanfall 2 where they think the two movies can stand on their own and won’t cannibalize each other, in which case, they probably forgot how that went for Titanfall 2 in the short term.
In any case, we wanna hear your thoughts on the movie. Did you love it? Did you hate it? What did you think of those three post-credits scenes? Can’t believe it turned out Korg and Miek were in a polycule with Beta Ray Bill and Darkhawk! Let us know in the comments below, we’d tell you our thoughts, but for some stupid reason, Marvel won’t let critics put out reviews until July 8, 2022.
Update 11/8/2021, 8:54 a.m. ET: Updated to add editor’s note for clarifcation.
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