Friday, 8 July 2022

Thor: Love and Thunder (Movie Review)

The fourth film to center upon the misadventures of the MCU's resident god of thunder has arrived. And its arrival marks the return of Taika Waititi who once again takes his place in the director's chair, looking to replicate some of the magic he had infused into Thor: Ragnarok. But does his latest film manage to surpass the lofty heights of the previous one or is this just another case of more of the same?

The story picks up right where Avengers: Endgame left off, with Thor Odinson (Chris Hemsworth) now a proud member of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Meanwhile, a new villain named Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale) lives up to his name by wreaking havoc across several planets as he goes around slaying their gods. This would force Thor to set off on a quest to stop him before he rids the entire galaxy of all the gods. But Thor would need all the help he can get, even if it means looking for it in the most unexpected places.

The Thor movies haven't always been in the topmost tier of the MCU. All that had changed with Thor: Ragnarok of course, a movie that many considered a pleasant surprise with how well it balanced some of its heavier subject matters with moments of levity. But with that sense of surprise now gone, Thor: Love and Thunder can't help but feel like another attempt to capture lightning in a bottle. 

This is my way of saying your enjoyment of the film could very well hinge on how much you enjoyed the last one. Because for better or worse, the new film doubles down on a lot of the humor and overall lightheartedness that has since come to define the series. Taika Waititi once again proves that he knows how to handle these characters, bringing out yet another round of standout performances from the cast. Christian Bale was formidable as Gorr, while Russell Crowe provided some of the movie's biggest laughs.

The whole thing did tend to border a little too close to the edge of slapstick this time around though, and while not every single one of its jokes might land, there is bound to be at least one or two that will get even the most jaded or cynical of moviegoers chuckling out loud. I particularly found the two goats to be comically obnoxious, and there was a line about Gorr's teeth that had me in stitches.

Aside from getting its audience to laugh, the movie still needs to provide some decent action to be considered a true product of the MCU. And it certainly delivers on those fronts as well, with some of the most gloriously over-the-top action and heavily stylized blood and gore I've seen in a PG-13 movie. There is one particular scene that was shot in stunning black and white, using splashes of color to depict the interplay between light and shadow. It is such moments that helped elevate the film beyond being just another formulaic entry in the Thor series and larger MCU.

Thor: Love and Thunder employs a lot of the same tricks that helped define Thor: Ragnarok, particularly its reliance on humor to tell an otherwise dark and heartfelt story. Taika Waititi has already proven through prior films like Jojo Rabbit that he knows how to tug on people's heartstrings when he needs to, and he does that so effortlessly in this one. The film might not quite manage to reach or exceed the sheer brilliance of Thor: Ragnarok, but it still offers enough entertainment value to be considered a good time at the movies.

4 comments:

  1. I hated Ragnarok so I'll just wait for it on Disney+

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    1. Lol. That's not a bad idea then. Hopefully you enjoy this one more than you did that one.

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  2. I've enjoyed the Thor movies more so than Iron Man, so sure I'll like this one. Seeing it early this afternoon.

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