Thor: Love and Thunder
review by Bobby Blakey
I was never a big fan of Thor, but when the first film hit in 2011 I was on the fence, but ended up loving it. Since then he has been one of my favorite MCU characters and one that has an interesting evolution through 3 solo films and 4 Avengers films. Now director Taika Watiti and Chris Hemsworth are teaming up for the fourth outing with Thor: Love and Thunder. This marks the first time a characters as gotten a fourth solo film and co-stars Tessa Thomspn, Christian Bale, and Taika Waititi returning as Korg as well as plenty of other surprises. Could this latest chapter of the God of Thunder bring the lightning or will it fail to find its true power?
Thor: Love and Thunder follows Thor who is on a journey unlike anything he’s ever faced – a quest for inner peace. But his retirement is interrupted by a galactic killer known as Gorr the God Butcher, who seeks the extinction of the gods. To combat the threat, Thor enlists the help of King Valkyrie, Korg and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster, who – to Thor’s surprise – inexplicably wields his magical hammer, Mjolnir, as the Mighty Thor. Together, they embark upon a harrowing cosmic adventure to uncover the mystery of the God Butcher’s vengeance and stop him before its too late.
One of the things I loved about Thor Ragnarok is that they not only brought more humor to the character, but took it in a bigger more vibrant direction than the previous outings. The trailers for this latest entry looked to be more of the same and possibly a lot sillier which could go horribly wrong if not handled correctly. Initially it does just that and had me concerned that it was going too far off the rails, but it ended up finding its balance with the light and dark, once again bringing come interesting fun to Thor.
One of the big things that these last two films have done is keep things away from Earth for the most part which in turn gives the films a bigger scope and feel that harkens back to more of the universe of Thor in the comics. Sure there are a lot of elements missing in his overall tone throughout the films, but keeping the magic and fantastical nature of this universe as the forefront makes it standout much in the way the Guardians of the Galaxy films have done. For those hoping to get more of the Asguardians of the Galaxy this time around might be sorely disappointed since they are only in the film for a brief amount of time. I for one was glad since I am ready to get these films back to more single character stories like the comics instead of ongoing crossovers. They are front and center, but used to wrap up where things left off with End Game and allow it to move forward for them all.
All the cast are on point with Hemsworth back in the best fighting shape of his career as the Odinson and looks to be having a blast. While he is great it is Bale and Portman that steal the show. Natalie Portman’s return to the series after being absent since The Dark World is right out of the comic story and does a great job at not only bringing her back into the mix, but also Mjolnir. Both of their returns offer up a fun and sometimes silly romantic side of Thor dealing with getting them both back and his confusion with his relationship with both Jane and Stormbreaker.
On the flip side of the romance and laughs is the dark nature of Christian Bale as Gor the God Butcher. He is perfection here bringing pain, suffering and torture to the role in one of the darkest MCU villains to date, but one you can still relate to. This is as much his journey as it is the duel Thor’s despite him not having as much screen time. When he is there it is dark and powerful and a load of fun to watch. The rest of the cast are great with Thompson returning to the role of Valkyrie and Waititi as Korg. They round out the team perfectly and keep things feeling like balance to this universe. Russell Crowe’s turn as Zeus showcased in the trailer is a smaller sequence, but fun and ends up being way more important than you might think to the possible future of the character while also being funny.
In the end this is a fun and often times silly new entry and I loved it. Filled with a great soundtrack, laughs, plenty of action and fun it harkens back to why I love comic films and doesn’t need the rest of the MCU to pull it off. I am even more excited to where it looks like it is going in the future and hope it keeps the momentum and the creative team intact to pull it off. As usual stick around as there are two extra scenes in and after the credits.
In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including commentary, gag reel, deleted scenes, featurettes and more. Grab your copy of Thor: Love and Thunder available now on digital and then on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on September 27th from Marvel Studios.