Thor: Love and Thunder is as fun as any Marvel movie can be, at the cost of developing a genuine emotional connection.
The opportunities are there, however, director Taika Waititi instead chooses to go for laughs over emotional stakes at a pace best suited to those with extremely short attention spans. Ultimately, the film hits the mark for what it is, but it’s not enough to elevate it to greatness in the broader MCU discussion.
In Thor: Love and Thunder, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) finds himself in an existential crisis, desperate for love but feeling that all he can do with his life is fight battles, and that he does that well, albeit destructively. Enter his old flame Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who by the miracle of the gods manages to gain the powers of a god not unlike Thor’s own, and the two of them, along with several familiar faces, join forces to fight the evil Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale).
Bale turns in an excellent performance as the profoundly empathetic Gorr, outshining his counterparts whenever he’s on the screen. His presence adds some class to the film, though his character doesn’t quite fit the film’s silly tone – and this is the silliest movie to date.
Thor: Love and Thunder could have been made in the 80s as a stoner movie, and it would have suited perfectly. It’s flashy, colourful, and full of action, adventure, and hair metal music. It takes the most ludicrous aspects of Marvel movies and turns it up a notch while never letting its audience catch a breath.
Despite its flaws, Thor: Love and Thunder is a genuinely fun time, but anyone looking for a Marvel movie with a bit of depth need look elsewhere.
Christian Bale had initially turned down the possibility of appearing in any more comic book or superhero films after The Dark Knight Rises (2012), seeing the genre as uninteresting from an acting perspective, and especially finding the experience of donning the Batman costume to be a miserable one. He agreed to take part in this film however, after his kids begged him to take the role.