Thor Love & Thunder Review: When Marvel Fun Goes Too Far

Thor Love and Thunder

In Marvel Studios’ “Thor Love and Thunder,” the God of Thunder embarks on a journey unlike anything he’s ever faced — one of self-discovery. But his efforts are 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 venture out on a harrowing cosmic adventure to uncover the mystery of the God Butcher’s vengeance and stop him before it’s too late.

Thor Love and Thunder Trailer:

Thor Love and Thunder Video Review:

The Good:

Thor: Love and Thunder brought many laughs with its comedy. There’s no mistaking that this is Director Taika Waititi’s movie with his unique style and comedic approach all over this film. There were plenty of laughs to be had from beginning to end. Thor’s character is perfectly placed in his comedy lane, but Waititi managed to bring on the fun with other characters. Probably the most amusing moments were owned by the space goats and Thor’s hammers.

Regarding acting performances, Chris Hemsworth was at the top of his game as he continued the more lighthearted version of Thor. Hemsworth seemed really natural and comfortable in his delivery as Thor. I appreciated his ability to shift his performance during the more dramatic moments in the story. I think that’s when Hemsworth was at his best because he could draw out a good measure of empathy. Natalie Portman was probably one of the brightest lights in the film as Mighty Thor. Given her character’s circumstances, Portman’s delivery had me internally cheering for her at every turn. She made Jane Foster the most balanced character in the movie. She also had some of the most memorable moments as Mighty Thor. How she wielded Mjölnir was much better than what we’ve seen Thor ever do.

Thor Love and Thunder Mighty Thor
(L-R): Natalie Portman as Mighty Thor and Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Marvel Studios’ THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER. Photo by Jasin Boland. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

The visual effects and action were two of the strongest elements working for Thor Love and Thunder. In addition, the cinematography was nicely executed and elevated many of the fight scenes. Although, I do think the slow-motion leap (from the movie 300) may have been overused too often. Regardless, the fight scenes were a joy to watch, thanks to the vivid colors. Similar to the likes of Sin City, the monochrome setting splashed with bright colors during some of the battles was stunning.

As the title suggests, the theme of love is captured comprehensively and effectively in Thor Love & Thunder. It’s probably one of the loudest and strongest messages communicated by the film, and it certainly hits home in several different ways. Taika Waititi brilliantly carved out a way for the theme to find a common thread in the stories of each of the main characters to tell a much grander level. For instance, it was fascinating to see how love played an essential role between Thor and Jane, and then contrast that with how love played a role in Gorr’s character.

The Bad:

Unfortunately, as funny as Taika Waititi can be, he simply didn’t know when to take his foot off of the pedal when it came to the comedy in Thor Love and Thunder. Simply put, it was way too silly when it didn’t have to be. Many scenes felt better suited as extra bonus footage for the at-home release. Genuinely funny jokes, like the space goats, started to get less funny as they were continuously revisited. Not only that but there were moments when the comedy felt like it robbed viewers of having enough time to actually feel the depth of the dire moments in the story. It was like hearing bad news or learning of a serious threat, but a joke quickly was inserted to disrupt any tension. To be fair, though, the 3rd act of the film does a much better job of toning down the humor to allow more of the heartfelt scenes to flourish. My least favorite aspect of the comedy was the structure of making other characters just as goofy as Thor.

Thor Love and Thunder
(L-R): Director Taika Waititi as Korg and Chris Hemsworth as Thor on the set of Marvel Studios’ THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER. Photo by Jasin Boland. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Thor tapping more into his funny side worked well when he acted funny next to other serious characters. For example, his interactions with Star-Lord are hilarious because while Quill played the “straight-man role,” Thor was more comedic. That dynamic was hilarious and made Thor’s humor far more persuasive. However, in Thor Love and Thunder, a character like Zeus taking over as another comical character just didn’t work for me. Russell Crowe’s weird accent for Zeus and his other antics felt off-putting. This was also the case with the character of Gorr, played by Christian Bale. I was surprised to see his transition from being a truly terrifying and creepy villain to practically being another version of the evil clown from It, Pennywise. It just seemed like the actors were having more fun on set than focusing on making the characters work.

Thor Love and Thunder Gorr

Speaking of Gorr, he was the biggest disappointment of the movie. Outside of Christian Bale acting like a wannabe Freddy Krueger at times, Bale did a fantastic job in his acting performance. The problem was more so in the writing of his character. Gorr was nerfed entirely as a villain. I was not a fan of how Waititi robbed his beliefs of having more weight and substance. Even his suffering was regulated to just a few minutes and a couple of jokes to start the film. While the general concept of Gorr’s motivations was easy to understand, I believe the fast pacing of his introduction deprived audiences of truly connecting with his suffering. Gorr’s villainous actions were also negligible to a degree because I didn’t feel a real sense of urgency with him. At no point did I feel afraid for Thor or that there was ever a real sense of danger. Plus, I rarely felt as though Gorr elevated Thor’s character meaningfully. Thor didn’t learn anything from Gorr that he couldn’t have discovered alone.

The Verdict:

Thor Love and Thunder packs a lot of heart, exciting visuals, and quality acting but takes the whole “Marvel Fun” notion too far. The movie just kept getting in its own way with all the jokes. It was sad to see a villain with Gorr’s potential from the comics and Christian Bale’s acting ability both be minimized. If one had to compare it to Thor: Ragnarok, Love and Thunder falls short. Ragnarok worked because there seemed to be a 50/50 sense of comedy to drama, whereas Love and Thunder felt more like 70/30.

Obviously, it should be noted that comedy is subjective. What’s funny for some may not work for others and vice versa. Therefore, it’s always best to make up your own mind on whether this film is for you or not. Judging by the trailer, you should have a good idea of whether this movie is your type of comedy or not. Either way, Thor Love and Thunder is worth the watch in theaters. However, I would recommend going in with lower expectations to maximize your enjoyment of the film. Also, be sure to stay for the two post-credit scenes.

Director: Taika Waititi
Writer(s):  Taika Waititi and Jennifer Kaytin Robinson
Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Nathalie Portman, Christian Bale, Tessa Thompson, Taika Waititi
Thor Love and Thunder will be in theaters July 8, 2022. Be sure to follow E-Man’s Movie Reviews on Facebook, Subscribe on YouTube, or follow me on Twitter/IG @EmansReviews for even more movie news and reviews!

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Thor Love & Thunder Review: When Marvel Fun Goes Too Far
Overall
7/10
7/10
  • Acting - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Cinematography/Visual Effects - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 6/10
    6/10
  • Setting/Theme - 7/10
    7/10
  • Watchability - 8/10
    8/10
  • Rewatchability - 6/10
    6/10
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User Review
0 (0 votes)

Summary

In Marvel Studios’ “Thor Love and Thunder,” the God of Thunder embarks on a journey unlike anything he’s ever faced — one of self-discovery. But his efforts are 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 venture out on a harrowing cosmic adventure to uncover the mystery of the God Butcher’s vengeance and stop him before it’s too late.

Pros

Thor: Love and Thunder brought many laughs with its comedy. There’s no mistaking that this is Director Taika Waititi’s movie with his unique style and comedic approach all over this film. There were plenty of laughs to be had from beginning to end. Thor’s character is perfectly placed in his comedy lane, but Waititi managed to bring on the fun with other characters. Probably the most amusing moments were owned by the space goats and Thor’s hammers.

Cons

Unfortunately, as funny as Taika Waititi can be, he simply didn’t know when to take his foot off of the pedal when it came to the comedy in Thor Love and Thunder. Simply put, it was way too silly when it didn’t have to be. Many scenes felt better suited as extra bonus footage for the at-home release. Genuinely funny jokes, like the space goats, started to get less funny as they were continuously revisited. Not only that but there were moments when the comedy felt like it robbed viewers of having enough time to actually feel the depth of the dire moments in the story. It was like hearing bad news or learning of a serious threat, but a joke quickly was inserted to disrupt any tension. To be fair, though, the 3rd act of the film does a much better job of toning down the humor to allow more of the heartfelt scenes to flourish. My least favorite aspect of the comedy was the structure of making other characters just as goofy as Thor.

About Emmanuel "E-Man" Noisette

Emmanuel is a Chicago film critic who founded Eman's Movie Reviews. He freelances as a writer and video content creator for sites such as MovieTickets.com. Be sure to join the other 33K+ fans on his Facebook Fan Page for even more movie opinions and fun. Feel free to contact him with any professional inquiries: [email protected]

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