August 12, 2022
Thor Love And Thunder Review

“Thor Love and Thunder is an electrifying and mesmerizing adventure. Taika Waititi perfectly balances humor with the emotional heart of the story. This is undoubtedly the best Thor movie. Christian Bale’s unhinged performance with the amazing Natalie Portman as Mighty Thor are the highlights of this fantastic cast.”

Thor returns for a brand new adventure directed by Taika Waititi. So, is it worth the hype?

TAIKA’S MAGIC
(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.

It is no secret that I am not the biggest fan of Thor Ragnarok. I liked it but it was nothing special. Thus, I was a bit anxious about Thor Love and Thunder. Though, I was also quite excited because of Mighty Thor and Christian Bale. And I have been pleasantly surprised. I would even say more than just pleasantly. I had an absolute blast. Undoubtedly, this is the best Thor movie. But you ask, what made the difference? For me, it is the emotional core of the story. Indeed, with this one it is not just humor. There is still humor, a lot of it but there is so much more than that. It deals with important themes in a deeply moving way. This is Waititi’s strength. Like in Jojo Rabbit, he knows how to balance humor with more serious stuff. It entertains you while also making you think.

STORY
(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.

This movie brings back everyone (still alive) from the previous Thor movies. So it connects all these movies together. And it explains some questions we had with Ragnarok. For example, it finally addresses why Jane Foster was not in that movie. Even though, Lady Sif is only there for two scenes, I am so glad she is back. Hopefully, she will be more than a cameo in the next one.

Furthermore, Thor Love and Thunder delivers exaclty on what it promises – Love and Thunder. Love is the heart of this movie. It is an universal theme and what us, humans are all looking for. Love can take different forms. It is about the special someone in your life but it is also about family and friendship. This movie fully delves into this. And for Thunder, it is quite literally lightning and thunder. After all, it is Thor.

With love, there is also loss and grief. And, I am not going to lie. I cried. I knew something was coming. We were warned. But still, I could not hold the tears. Beyond the tears, there is a beautiful message about grief and continuing to find love.

Taika goes all in. He is insanely creative and shows us the best of what he can do with superheroes. This movie is a proper space adventure. We visit several worlds including the world of Gods where we meet Zeus. Moon Knight and Eternals had tackle the place of Gods in the MCU. Love and Thunder goes even further and shows us more about the Gods of the MCU. It is actually quite fascinating. Because it questions the role of Gods in our society. Taika is so good at this. He can tackle important subjects while still having a lot of fun.

GORR
Christian Bale as Gorr in Marvel Studios’ THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Gorr may actually be the best or at least one of the best villains of the MCU. The most compelling villains do not start as bad guys, they become bad. And they do what they do for a reason. There is a story behind their actions. This is exactly what happens with Gorr. He is a developed villain. We see him become this Butcher of Gods. He becomes a villain for an understandable reason. Actually, it is quite heartbreaking. He goes from a loving person to a bloody heartless executioner.

I do not think there could have been a more fitting villain than Gorr for Thor. Everything opposes them. In many ways, Gorr is Thor’s antithesis.

THE RETURN OF JANE FOSTER
Natalie Portman as The Mighty Thor in Marvel Studios’ THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER. Photo by Jasin Boland. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

It is difficult to talk about Jane’s return without spoiling things. Nevertheless, I do have some things to say about it. We had not seen her since Thor The Dark World. Technically, she was in Avengers Endgame but it was a flashback. I could not have been happier to see this character again. And what better way to bring her back than having her becoming MIGHTY THOR. In fact, in the comics it is my favorite version of Thor. Finally seeing it happening in the MCU is a dream come true. And yes, just like in the comics she is the superior version of Thor.

To bring Jane Foster as Mighty Thor, Taika obviously draw inspiration from the comics. I love the balance from entertaining moments with Mighty Thor to deeply moving scenes with Jane Foster. This movie is as much about Thor than it is about Mighty Thor. Her story is front and center. This is an emotional and grave storyline.

THE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY
(L-R): Pom Klementieff as Mantis, Chris Pratt as Star-Lord/Peter Quill, and Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Marvel Studios’ THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER. Photo by Jasin Boland. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Even though, they only appear for a very short time. It is so cool to see the Guardians of the Galaxy again before the end of their trilogy. They all sport brand new outfits. Rocket is back with orange colors. I loved his more Western look from Endgame but orange surely suits him.

The dynamic between the Guardians and Thor is still so funny. It is the right match. Because both the most comedic aspect of the MCU. Plus, Star-Lord and Thor are quite similar. I just love their interactions.

POST CREDITS SCENES
Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Marvel Studios’ THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER. Photo by Jasin Boland. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

It is an MCU movie so there are obviously post credits scenes. There is a middle credits scene that teases something really exciting for Thor 5. We waited five years for this sequel to Ragnarok. I just hope we will not have to wait as much for the next one. Because my excitment is high, very high.

The second post credits scene is a lovely surprise. Indeed, it is a wonderful tribute to a beloved character. Moreover, if you pay attention to the dialogue in the scene between Sif and Thor, this post credits scene is even more powerful. It sends a beautiful message.

CAST
Christian Bale as Gorr in Marvel Studios’ THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Chris Hemsworth is still the right actor for Thor. As usual, he delivers an embarassingly fun performance. He can continue to play the character as long as he wants, I will be happy to see many more Thor movies. Even more so if Taika Waititi directs and writes them.

However, the real highlights in the cast are Natalie Portman and Christian Bale. Bale is an actor who always gives the best of himself in every role. And as expected, he does wonders here. I have to say the quote. You know the one. “You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” It is what happens with him. He goes from Batman to being villain. And not any villain, like I said he is one of the best, if not the best villain of the MCU. But, I did not expect anything less from him. He delivers a scary and unhinged performance. When I say unhinged, there is actually a little bit of the Joker in his performance. I know it is unlikely to happen but I do think he deserves a nomination at the Oscars for that performance.

Natalie Portman is simply awesome as Jane again. And this time, she gets to do a lot more than in the previous movies. She perfectly plays this version of her character who becomes a new superhero. Indeed, she brings so much energy on screen. Her performance is multi-layared. She plays this strong woman who gets powers while also having to face her own internal struggles. And for that part, there is a lot more gravitas in her performance. Plus, her chemistry with Chris Hemsworth feels even better than before.

And yes, Tessa Thompson is still great as Valkyrie. I love how she delivers those snarky lines and her fierce attitude.

Finally, I cannot write this review without mentioning Russell Crowe. Firstly, when I learned he was joining the MCU I was so happy. Cate Blanchett in Ragnarok, and now him? Taik Waititi is bringing the best of what New Zealand and Australia has to offer. Hugh Jackman in the next one, maybe? Secondly, playing Zeus is simply fitting for Russell Crowe. You can tell he enjoyed filming his scenes.

RE-ENACTING THOR’S STORY
Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Marvel Studios’ THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER. Photo by Jasin Boland. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

They are back. Matt Damon, Luke Hemsworth and Sam Neill return to re-enact Thor’s story from Ragnarok. Matt Damon gets more screentime in this one. It is great to have him be a part of the MCU even though he just plays an actor. The ridiculousness of his character is hilarious. The whole group of actors recreating Thor’s story is simply on point. Melissa McCarthy playing a parody of Hela could not have been more fitting. She is a master of comedy. And she brings exactly what is needed for that little scene. And if you have keen eye you can even spot her husband Ben Falcone as the stage manager.

Honestly, this scene just like in Ragnarok does not bring anything to the story. Though, it is a great moment of comedy. You cannot say no to more Matt Damon playing an actor playing Loki. This is too much fun.

REPRESENTATION
Tessa Thompson as King Valkyrie in Marvel Studios’ THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER. Photo by Jasin Boland. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Moreover, with this movie Marvel Studios continues on the right path for representation. It clearly acknowledges Valkyrie’s bisexuality. And it finally shows that Korg is gay. There is actually a pretty good joke about the name of Korg’s boyfriend. I am thankful for Marvel’s continuous work on representation. It is important that everyone can see themselves on screen. Obviously, there is still more to do but with the recent projects, we have seen some great improvements.

SOUNDTRACK
(L-R): Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Natalie Portman as Mighty Thor in Marvel Studios’ THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER. Photo by Jasin Boland. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Michael Giacchino returns to the MCU. And he reunites with director Taika Waititi. He previously worked with him on Jojo Rabbit. Once again, Giacchino delivers a memorable score. There is a lot of emotional depth in his work. And this time, his score is also quite electrifying. I love his Mighty Thor’s theme. Nami Melumad also worked on the score.

To accompany the score, Taika Waititi has selected a great panel of songs with a focus on Guns N’ Roses. The use of Rock songs with the electrifying score is a perfect symbiosis. If you pay attention, the Guns N’ Roses songs haven’t been selected randomly. Actually, they follw Thor’s evolution throughout the movie.

There is also an ABBA song – ‘Our Last Summer.’ And Waititi made a fantastic use of it. We can hear it in a montage of Thor and Jane. It is so cheesy, fun and sweet. In fact, it plays like a parody of the eighties’ romcoms.

VISUALS
Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Marvel Studios’ THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER. Photo by Jasin Boland. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

This movie is visually beautiful. Taika Waititi makes good use of the Volume (the technology used on The Mandalorian). Each world we visit has a distinct feel and look. The world of Gods Omnipotent City is obviously somptuous and rich. It is a little paradise.

But the boldest world has to be the Shadow Realm. It is a world devoid of colors. That means there’s a whole sequence in black and white. So it contrasts with the rest of the movie that is extremely colorful. And that is where one of fights against Gorr happens. Gorr who is himself not colorful. Which also contrasts Thor’s multicolored costume. It becomes this fight between light and dark. And more importantly, the colors represent Love while what is devoid of color is loveless and lonely. There is a powerful visual storytelling with a lot of symbolism. Everything is connected – the songs, the visuals, the story. Taika Waititi knows his craft.

Furthermore, I do like the design for the creatures summoned by the Necrosword. They are quite sinister. Some of them feel like they come from Aliens (the head design) and others feel like it is a mix of different things (half spider, half dragon). It is a dreadful mix. Which is suiting for Gorr.

COSTUMES
(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.

Thor has four new costumes in this movie. The first one is in line with the Ravagers’ outfits with a Rock N’ Roll feel. The second is a proper Viking outfit. So it is sober. While the two other costumes are this colorful armor. It is basically the usual Thor armor except it is multicolored. There are two variations, you need to pay attention in the movie. What changes are the sleeves and the chest piece. By the way, Hot Toys has announced a great figure recreating both costumes! All this blue and gold give a different vibe than usual. When you see the movie and the themes it tackles, it makes so much sense.

For me, the Viking outfit and these two colorful armors are his best costumes yet. The first one because it is a Viking outfit so it fits right for Thor. And the other two because of what it represents.

Then, Mighty Thor’s costume is a classic comics costume. It is simply amazing! This is a perfect fit for Natalie Portman. Moreover, Lady Sif may not have a lot of screentime, though she has her best outfit yet. It is majestic and also comic accurate. I want to see it again!

Valkyrie also get a costume update. It is a white and black outfit. In fact, it is a lot lighter than her more ceremonial outfit from Ragnarok. Here it is a light warrior outfit. Which I think fits for Valkyrie.

Finally, I want to talk about Gorr’s costume. It is extremely simple and all white just like his skin. Like I said earlier, that complete lack of color represents him not being loved, not feeling loved. He is lonely and it eats him away. Overall, Mayes C. Rubeo has done a fantastic job with all the costumes.

Tessa Thompson as King Valkyrie in Marvel Studios’ THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER. Photo by Jasin Boland. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.
VERDICT

Thor Love and Thunder is an electrifying and mesmerizing adventure. Taika Waititi perfectly balances humor with the emotional heart of the story. It can be hilarious at times while deeply moving in other scenes. He is clearly the right man to tell stories about Thor. May he continue for the foreseeable future. He knows exactly how to balance humor and emotions while also addressing serious themes. This is undoubtedly the best Thor movie. And this is also the perfect movie for this Summer. Christian Bale’s unhinged performance with the amazing Natalie Portman as Mighty Thor are the highlights of this fantastic cast.

Thor: Love and Thunder is now in cinemas around the world.

 

 

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