Late to the game on Thor: Love and Thunder, I agree with the 78% Audience Score. Safely ensconced in Europe, I did not know of all the hubbub over “queerbaiting.” For those of you unfamiliar with his name, Taika Waititi is the writer and director of Thor: Love and Thunder. His work ranges from the great (Hunt for the Wilderpeople) to the downright weird (Jojo Rabbit). Apparently, he promised his film would be “super gay.” After viewing the film, the LGBTQ+ community was unimpressed. Given the articles on the subject, there is little doubt that the “promise” affects the 67% Rotten Tomatoes score. All that aside, I found the film fun, a pleasant change from usual super-hero sameness.
Above all, Thor: Love and Thunder is a love story. Thor is somewhat a lost soul as he bemoans the loss of everyone he ever loved. Then, by happenstance, Dr. Jane Foster re-appears in his life. Although it’s been 11 years since the original Thor, I seem to remember Thor and Foster having pretty good chemistry. My only complaint about the film is that Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman lost it somewhere in the cosmos. While Hemsworth is clearly rocking, tongue-in-cheek with the role, Portman struggles. I acknowledge that dying of fourth stage cancer takes a lot out of Foster, but this is the love of her life.
In any case, love wins the day, but in a way you might not expect. Through it all, expect Thor: Love and Thunder to be dotted with cameos to keep the merriment going. I give the two hour movie 4.0 Gavels and it receives a lower-than-expected 6.8/10 IMDb score.
Despite his faith, Gorr loses his daughter in a barren desert. When the god Rapu shows no empathy, Gorr kills him and vows death on all gods. Now on the rampage, Gorr’s next target is New Asgard, in an attempt to lure Thor into his trap. Armed with a newly re-forged hammer, Jane emerges to assist her ex. Gorr escapes with the children of New Asgard and the hunt is on. Thor realizes he needs more help to conquer Gorr but will the other gods pitch in? If they don’t, Eternity awaits. The God Butcher will show no mercy.
At times, he overacts, but Chris Hemsworth (MIB: International) is as likeable as Dwayne Johnson. That quality assures a $250 million budget grosses $511 million thus far. Christian Bale (Ford vs Ferrari) is fantastic as Gorr. His tortured facial expressions should be taught in acting classes. Re-teaming with Hemsworth again after MIB is Tessa Thompson. Even though she is now the King, she doesn’t get much to do since not part of the love story.
As a tourist trap, New Asgard has the look of a Viking (pun intended) destination. I did not recognize Russell Crowe as Zeus, and looking at the picture below, I still don’t. Is this a Marlon Brando/Godfather transformation? And surprise, surprise, wait until you see who the next Hercules will be. Ted Lasso fans will be enamored.
“It is so much fun and often genially goofy, two words that don’t usually apply to superhero movies, that it is satisfyingly entertaining.” Movie Mom
“Thor: Love and Thunder is a superhero romantic comedy with plenty of rippling biceps, an unshakable love for 1980s action movies and heavy metal, and most importantly, a big goofy heart.” USA Today
So, goofy is the adjective of the day. You either appreciate its goofiness or you don’t. Still, one would think that Dr. Foster could come up with a better attack line than “Eat my hammer.”