2021 and 2022 have seen the MCU bring in some new blood and highlight the oldies who didn’t entirely get enough love during the Infinity Saga. But with this weekend’s Thor: Love & Thunder, we’re going back to Chris Hemsworth’s beloved, funny thunder god as he and a returning Natalie Portman as the Mighty Thor team up to take on Christian Bale’s god butcher, Gorr. With two Thors, one of the most interesting villains in recent comics history, and Taika Waititi back to direct and also co-write the film with Jennifer Kaytin Robinson (of Sweet/Vicious fame), Love & Thunder should be an instant knock out, yeah?
Yeah...no. The actual final film is kinda divisive across the critical and audience board, surprisingly so. While it’s the performances and visual palette that have sold people, the tone and its writing are getting dinged. It’ll still do well at the box office, because Obviously, but given how much Ragnarok lit our world on fire (in addition to settings its own world on fire at the end of the movie), it’s s little striking how much L&T isn’t winning everyone over from the jump. As always, we wanna know what you thought of the actual, real film if you saw it.
I came away from Love & Thunder mostly enjoying it, but the criticisms of its tone are absolutely dead on. Between Jane’s cancer getting accelerated by wielding Mjolnir and Bale’s Gorr being a horror movie creature that feels like he’d be better home with Sam Raimi, the goofy antics of Odinson stand out all the more, and not in a good way. Levity’s good, and there’s some solid gags like the goats, but the humor feels too pleased with itself more than anything.
Jane suffers for this more than anyone else, because it feels like the movie is just barely interested in exploring Jane Thor in any real capacity. For her story to get breezed by is a real disappointment given how her comics incarnation managed to feel so alive and consistently vulnerable while also being a force of nature. The biggest problem with the movie is that Jane Thor feels like a TV show concept stapled awkwardly into a movie where Odinson is feeling adrift now that most of his earth friends are retired or dead. They both feel like guest stars in each other’s story, with the only thing connecting them being Gorr, who would probably be better as an antagonist for Jane rather than Odinson himself.
Excising Odinson would also help the movie get a different ending, preferably one that is actually earned. For the movie to consistently show that the gods are shit, it feels kinda wrong for things to end with Odinson getting to adopt Gorr’s kid—since a child is something he’s always wanted, apparently—and galivanting across the cosmos. Jane in Valhalla, fair enough, and surely we’ll see her as a Valkyrie within the next year or two. But yeah, the last 10 minutes of the movie left a bad taste in my mouth.
Let us know what you thought of Love & Thunder, and its intriguing post-credits scenes—Roy Kent as Hercules? Alright then—in the comments below.
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