Monday, April 22, 2024

Movie Review: ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ Brings The Thunder From Down Under


Director: Taika Waititi

Writers: Taika Waititi, Jennifer Kaytin Robinson

Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale

Synopsis: Thor enlists the help of Valkyrie, Korg, and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster to fight Gorr the God Butcher, who intends to make the gods extinct.


During the inception of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thor was the one hero who didn’t seem to have much depth in his character arc. In his first film Thor (2011), we were introduced to what seemed like the Marvel equivalent to Superman. He was the almighty Thor, god of thunder. We were shown how powerful he could be. We knew his strengths, weaknesses, and what made him tick. No matter how powerful he became, I felt no empathy for his character. By the time that Avengers: Age of Ultron came to theaters, it felt like his character was drowning and being thrown to the wayside. That all changed when Thor Ragnarok came into my life. Thor became relatable and humanized by director Taika Waititi. He gave Thor a fresh start, not only for the character but for the fans, and Taika Waititi has done it again. Thor: Love and Thunder has graced us with its presence, and it’s a story to remember.

With a runtime of 2 hours and 5 minutes, Thor: Love and Thunder has impressed me on multiple levels. This is easily one of the best Marvel films that we’ve received since the start of phase four of the marvel cinematic universe. It’s extravagant, witty, and has almost the same emotional barriers as Spider-Man: No Way Home. Thor’s humanity is continually shown by Taika Waititi from start to finish. This film opens with a hilarious voice over monologue that explains what Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has been up to since the events of Avengers: Endgame. The last time we saw our hero, he was traveling with the Guardians of the Galaxy who make a small appearance to kickstart Thor’s latest journey, which was something that I appreciated. I was afraid going into this film that Thor’s journey would be sidelined by the Guardians, but thankfully this is not the case. This film focuses on Thor maintaining his current and past relationships with his countrymen, the Asgardians, and his former lover Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) whose portrayal as The Mighty Thor was brilliant and inspiring. Her character has been mentioned a few times throughout Thor’s adventures with the Avengers but I adore how Taika Waititi was able to bring her back into Thor’s life, as she is one of the main reasons why Thor becomes the hero he is today. 

A superhero film is only as good as its villain and Christian Bale (The God Butcher) gives us one hell of a performance. This film gives us a respectable amount of backstory as to how he came to be. His motives are simple, to kill all gods, deities, and supreme beings. Christian Bale does a phenomenal job with getting the audience to resonate and empathize with his character much like we have seen in past Marvel films. Such as Black Panther with Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), Thanos (Josh Brolin) from Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers Endgame, and Wenwu (Tony Leung) from Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. The God Butcher leaves a ominous presence throughout the film as the tension builds as to where he will strike next, which is why he is one of the best villians in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

The music of Michael Giacchino nicely complements the movie’s soundtrack. Anyone who hears his song Mama’s Got a Brand New Hammer will notice how it gradually intensifies.I also appreciate Taika Waititi’s taste in music. It seems as if he creates soundtracks based around specific decades. Thor: Ragnarok;s  soundtrack was heavily 70s rock based with tracks like Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” and now moving on to 80s rock with Guns N’ Roses “Sweet Child O’ Mine being the driving song for the film. I have officially associated this classic 80s rock tune to this film and have declared Taika Waititi as the master of needle drops.

Thor: Love and Thunder is an emotional rollercoaster with the perfect amount of humor, as you would expect from a Taika Waititi movie. I will always be grateful that the character of Thor has been given a new life. The story does a fantastic job of giving us new aspects to explore with Thor; not as a god, but as a hero. The movie provides us a cause to empathize with Christian Bale’s and Natalie Portman’s characters, which pay off in the most beautiful way possible. Both actors deliver standout performances. I strongly advise staying for both post credit scenes because they are both worthwhile.

 

Score: A+

 

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