Thor: Love and Thunder continues the formula introduced by Ragnarok. But this time, the humour is too repetitive and disruptive.
Thor: Love and Thunder Synopsis
He meditated, got a tattoo, even returned from dad-bod to god-bod, but Thor still can’t get over the losses he has suffered since his first visit to Midgard. Would the reappearance of Jane Foster, the thunder god’s one true love, finally heal him? And would their combined thundery powers be a match for Gorr the God Butcher? A transformed being whose deadly Necrosword is feared by even the mightiest gods?
Marvel’s big hit for the 2022 summer is out and so far, reviews are divided. The complaints mainly involve excessive goofiness and an uneven tone.
I find the criticism unfortunate. Firstly, I feel we have come to expect too much from what are essentially, high-budget popcorn flicks. Secondly, as energetic as this sequel is, one cannot deny that there is truth in the complaints.
Quite a bit of truth, for that matter.
Let me explain this from a personal perspective. I enjoyed and appreciated the lighter, sillier story tone introduced in Thor: Ragnarok. Beyond the initial surprise, I felt the “revamped” Thor meshed quite well with subsequent MCU entries too; in the process, adding a layer of complexity to the once-proud Norse God of Thunder. To be honest, out of all the characters who survived Thanos, I was most looking forward to the further comedic adventures of Thor.
Love and Thunder gleefully delivers on comedy but regretfully, the humour soon pushes into overkill too, often in an almost petulant way. I mean, the screaming goats were a riot when they first stumbled on screen. Still one 30 minutes later. But all the way to the final leg of the show? The same for jealous Stormbringer. Or all the trashy jokes.
“Making this worse,” so to speak, was how the story struggles to unite all tropes introduced. We have Thor’s quest for healing, his unresolved relationship with Jane, Jane’s mental and physical suffering, the abandonment of selfish gods, a bunch of kids perfect for transformation into 80s-style heroes, Valkyrie and Korg’s different takes on love, a being determined to destroy because of love. I mean, in the end, everything more or less wraps up, but one just can’t shake the feeling that there is no real weight to anything. Because there were just so, so many things competing for attention.
It’s a pity. A trimmer, sterner story would have provided for a richer adventure. Done better justice to Christian Bale’s masterfully disturbing depiction of Gorr too. (That, BTW, is the best part of the movie to me)
On another note, the hazy direction of the MCU Phase 4 is starting to exasperate me. Just where is everything heading? Multiverse? Cross pantheon god bash? Celestial mayhem? The impression I’m getting is that Marvel is still dangling teasers to see which direction enjoys the best reception before deciding.
This is not unexpected or commercially unwise, but I really hope they get down to a decision soon. I’m starting to lose interest.
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