6 Thoughts on Thor: Love and Thunder (Review)
I loved Thor: Ragnarok. It was one of the best, funniest movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I love the other works of director Taika Waititi. The dude is very creative and does good work. So I, like most people, was super excited for his direct follow-up, Thor: Love and Thunder. And I really like the movie, I think Thor: Love and Thunder is good. But all of the pieces were there where it could have been great.
Movie Rating: 7/10 – Good
I think my voice is just one in a multitude chorus of people having the same response to Love and Thunder. It’s not as good as Ragnarok. It’s still good and entertaining. But man, it’s nowhere near as amazing as we all hoped it would be. That’s a shame. But it’s not the end of the world. There are still a lot of great aspects about the movie to enjoy. And I would definitely recommend anybody to give it a watch. This is not the death knell of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, no matter what the haters say.
Join me after the jump for my full thoughts and review on Thor: Love and Thunder! Expect FULL SPOILERS for the whole movie. And feel free to share your own thoughts in the comments!
6. Just a fun Thor adventure
Just like the movie kept reminding us, this was a fun Thor adventure. And that’s pretty much all it is. No real fuss, no real muss; just Thor and his pals on an adventure where they fight a nasty bad guy and save some kids. There are some jokes — though the movie is not nearly as funny as Ragnarok — and there’s some cool action. And there’s a touching moment or two. But the movie never really delves too deeply on any of its major themes.
What is the purpose of gods if they’re all jerks? Why is Thor unique among these jerkly gods? What are Thor’s thoughts on having children of his own? And having them with Jane? Wasn’t Valkyrie supposed to be on a mission to find her queen in this movie? What happened to that promised subplot?
I’ll get more in depth as we go along, but there’s so much of this film that felt unexplored, even when all the pieces were right there to explore. And at only two hours long, there was plenty of time to explore. Marvel fans are used to longer movies. I think we can all agree that every single one of us would have gladly sat through another 30 to 40 minutes of Gorr the God Butcher material.
5. Coulda used way more Gorr the God Butcher
Christian Bale was absolutely perfect as the creepy and diabolical Gorr the God Butcher. Perfect casting, perfect implementation of a character; he was a phenomenal villain! Too bad he wasn’t in the movie very much. Seriously, I could have sat through an extra hour of Gorr material as he slaughtered his way through the pantheon of gods, or spread his raison d’etre to anyone who would listen. Gorr was a real villain. He had a compelling origin, but then he was also really evil and dangerous. We needed a full montage of him butchering gods, rather than Thor finding out after the fact that he’d killed a bunch. Why not show the actual fight scene between Gorr and Lady Sif? That would give her more to do with her big return to the franchise.
I would have also liked to have seen Gorr try and indoctrinate some of the children he’d kidnapped. If he’s so firm in his beliefs, why not try to spread them? Have him tell stories to these kids about why gods aren’t so great, and why the gods haven’t saved them yet. Then some of the kids could start believing in Gorr, making him even more insidious. But then Heimdall’s son still believes in Thor and has faith they will be saved. That could then add to the story of why Thor is different from the other arrogant jerk gods. And could lean more into the importance of faith when it comes to gods.
But whatever they would have done with him, we needed a lot more Gorr the God Butcher.
4. Too many McGuffins
One thing that really stuck in my craw was how too many key plot points revolved around sudden interest in objects or specific locations. Lots of movies use McGuffins, and they’re not automatically a bad thing. But Love and Thunder had a couple of moments that really stuck out to me as awkward. First was Gorr’s desire to travel to the Altar of Eternity. That is just suddenly name-dropped by Zeus in the god city, in a very ‘tell, don’t show’ sort of way. We’ve never heard of this thing before, and it has nothing to do with what we know about Gorr up until this point. But all of a sudden this gets randomly name-dropped and the entire movie swerves with it. Definitely felt awkward.
Second was Zeus’s Thunderbolt weapon. We get this big set piece where they sneak into the god city, and it’s a great mid-act event. They have plans, there are lot of gods around to interact with; it’s a big scene. But all of a sudden, the entire point of the scene changes on a dime and then it’s all about grabbing Zeus’s Thunderbolt. Of all the gods in the city, of all the magic weapons they must possess, of all the magic weapons the team already does possess, suddenly the scene becomes all about grabbing this one McGuffin.
Too often in the film, important plot elements were just dropped in out of nowhere to suddenly take all of the focus. It felt rather clunky.
3. The Mighty Thor story was great
I really enjoyed Jane Foster’s story and I thought everyone did a great job with that one. I definitely would have preferred to actually see Jane grab Mjolnir and become the Mighty Thor that first time. That’s one of many scenes that should not have been off-screen. But beyond that, Natalie Portman did a really great job as both the Mighty Thor and the cancer-stricken Jane. She was fun, flirty and had a newbie energy that was a really neat twist to the character. She was awkwardly unprepared to be a superhero, but eager to do her best. And then she makes the heroic sacrifice in the end to be a true hero. I’m glad they went through with having her die and go to Valhalla. The comics chickened out on that part. I hope she stays dead. She earned that final reward.
2. I really liked the ending
The ending was the strongest part of the movie for me, especially the parts involving children. I liked when Thor took all the kidnapped kids and deputized them, giving them thunder-weapons of their own. That was cool. And then I really liked how Thor and Jane convinced Gorr to use his wish to save his daughter, and how everyone decided it would be OK for Thor to raise the girl right. Then that epilogue scene, of Thor making the girl breakfast and taking her out to kick some butt was adorable and great. So I was pleased with all of that — though I think the movie could have done a much better job of driving Thor towards fatherhood. There was a single moment in that montage of dating Jane where he looked longingly at a baby, but that was way too subtle. Thor wanting to be a dad (or whatever his feelings were) should have been a stronger plotline throughout the film. Or Thor wanting to mature and have responsibility, and then the daughter thing being the answer to all of that.
Whatever the case, I look forward to more Love and Thunder in the future! The Young Avengers could definitely use a Thor analogue whenever that film comes along.
1. Bring back Taika Waititi and Chris Hemsworth
In the days since the movie came out, both director Taika Waititi and lead actor Chris Hemsworth have mentioned coming back. Hemsworth said he’s eager to keep playing Thor until the fans don’t want it anymore. And Waititi said he’d gladly do Thor 5, as long as Hemsworth is still around. I’m fine with both of them coming back. Hemsworth remains perfect in the role of Thor, and if he’s still happy with the role, let him stay. It’s the role that made him a star, and I love it when actors appreciate that sort of thing. And it would be great to have at least one original Avenger stay around through the MCU.
And I still love Taika Waititi and his style. He may have dropped the ball a bit with this film, in certain places, but that doesn’t make him any less awesome as a creative. Just learn some lessons about Love and Thunder and do better next time. I believe he didn’t write the script for Ragnarok, but he wrote the script for Love and Thunder. Maybe do that for the next one.
Then include Beta Ray Bill. He can help fight Hercules.
Posted on July 13, 2022, in Avengers, Lists of Six!, Marvel, Movies, Reviews and tagged Chris Hemsworth, Christian Bale, Gorr the God Butcher, Marvel Cinematic Universe, MCU, Mighty Thor, Natalie Portman, Taika Waititi, Thor, Thor: Love and Thunder, Thor: Ragnarok. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.