THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER review – are you not entertained? (you will be)

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Director: Taika Waititi
Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Christian Bale, Tessa Thompson, Jaimie Alexander, Taika Waititi, Russell Crowe, and Natalie Portman
Movie Length: 2 hours 5 minutes

What it is: The next chapter in the ongoing MCU saga and a direct sequel to 2017’s THOR: RAGNAROK. This time, we see Thor – along with Valkyrie, Korg, and old flame Jane Foster – on a quest to stop Gorr and his vengeful mission to kill all the Gods.

What Dan thought: I enjoyed it, it’s just over two hours long but doesn’t feel like it. The movie itself delves into some dark themes which considering some of the source material, is pretty honest and authentic.

Christian Bale’s portrayal of Gorr is great, he plays creepy really well and the motivation behind why is character does what he does is perfect. Russell Crowe plays Zeus and plays him well (if you know Greek mythology you’ll get it). I also got a kick out of the scenes in the pantheon of Gods with them showcasing all the various Gods that exist in the MCU (including a Bao God).

The rest of the returning cast including a very buffed up Portman were great and put in some emotionally charged scenes (once again having to do with some of the source material).

Taika’s visual style in the movie is slightly different when compared to his last outing (Ragnarok) as this movie is less colorful. There is a scene/character that is straight out of the mind (and art) of the late Steve Ditko which I enjoyed.

The score from Michael Giacchino as can be expected is terrific, and the soundtrack features a lot of Guns N’ Roses, and one song from Dio.

The visual effects (including the shadow creatures from the Necrosword) were well done, which considering how many different VFX companies were involved is expected.

The fight and action scenes were enjoyable (including one that made me laugh, you’ll know when you see it).

Dan’s grade: A. If you need your summer MCU fix, this one will fit the bill quite well. The movie does have some comedic moments (which is normal for Taika’s scripts), but mixes it up with some darker themes as well.

Leonard’s Thoughts: Marvel has finally solved its ultimate problem – how to have a solid and relatable villain as strong and dangerous as Thanos. Christian Bale infuses Gorr with some genuine menace, driven by pain, torture and the stripping away of belief. It’s a powerhouse of a performance.

The other standout performance comes from – hardly surprisingly – Natalie Portman, an actress who has been criminally wasted in her last two THOR outings. Here, director Taika Waititi winds Portman up and lets her fly, bringing the heart and purpose to her Dr. Jane Foster that was missing from the first two films in the franchise. Hardly difficult but I, for one, am glad that the character finally is given the respect she deserves.

The fireworks from the film comes not from the visuals – although there’s some rather tasty set pieces – but the real spectacle comes from a rockin’ G’n’R soundtrack. I watched my screening in IMAX and several people were commenting on leaving the theatre that, once the drivers stopped thrashing out and the film closed, everything seemed very quiet in comparison. This is bombast of the highest order, the first MCU rock concert.

Leonard’s Grade: B+. It’s a beast of a ride, with Taika Waititi’s signature humour tempted against menace and threat of real steel. It’s ‘80s bombast turned up to 11 – but ultimately, while serving as a great standalone movie, feels very aloof from the rest of the MCU, setting up its one breadcrumbs for Phase 4 and 5 which now seem more like throwing stuff at the wall and hoping something sticks.

I now want Waititi to direct a Spinal Tap movie.

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Be sure to check out our own Darren Shulman (along with Tracey) in their latest episode of Through the Lens give their verbal thoughts on the movie https://anchor.fm/darren-shulman/episodes/Thor-Love-and-Thunder-e1kt64n

Thor: Love and Thunder is set to be released in theaters in the US on July 8th 2022, and is already playing in the UK.


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