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Thor Love and Thunder Movie Review

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critic’s rating: 



3.5/5

Taika Waititi made Jojo Rabbit, a child’s version of Hitler and of Nazi Germany. The film said all the right things but from a perspective that even children could relate to. This is what he’s done to Thor: Love and Thunder. It’s a superhero movie where Thor’s biggest worry isn’t some super villain but whether his adopted daughter is eating the right breakfast and wearing the correct footwear before going out. Every child has an imaginary friend, and for Thor (Chris Hemsworth), his imaginary friends are his hammer Mjolnir and war axe Strombreaker. He talks to them, and they’re shown responding, even getting jealous if he favours one over the other. Other changes Waititi has made is to turn New Asgard into an amusement park, maybe taking a sly dig at Disney. The Asgardians live in this idyllic setting, serving as tour guides, hoteliers, and pub owners, regaling the visitors with plays about Thor’s valour (Matt Damon, Sam Neill, and Luke Hemsworth in brilliant cameos as Loki, Odin, and Thor), imbibing them with real Asgardian mead, and taking them on rides atop flying ships. The new Asgardian king, Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), has become an influencer and is busy endorsing everything from cereals to designer labels.

Then, the biggest change is to turn Natalie Portman’s character into the Mighty Thor. Mjolnir, which was broken into pieces by Hela, resurrects itself when he finds Jane Foster worthy and turns her into another Thor. She doesn’t take herself seriously and is forever looking for a catch phrase to announce her arrival in battle. And she’s also dying of cancer. Again, Waitity broached Fascism and the Holocaust in Jojo Rabbit, and here too, he doesn’t shy away from putting cancer in a film aimed at children, trusting in the fact that they’re more mature than what the adults make them out to be in dealing with such topics. It’s great to see Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman back together on-screen. They’ve got their ups and downs, like any normal couple, but also get to face a crisis together. There’s an air of tragedy behind their bantering, and that pulls you in emotionally. Thankfully, the makers haven’t gone in for a magic cure for her, which is a relief.

The film’s main conceit is the tragedy that turned Gorr (Christian Bale) into a god butcher. He’s hurting because his young daughter got killed. He blames the gods for it and vows to kill them all. Waitity has shown gods to be beings of immense power who no longer care for humans and are only interested in living a hedonistic life. Zeus (Russel Crowe) is reduced to being a petulant teenager, more interested in having orgies than saving worlds.

The director can’t seem to make up his mind about how he wants to portray Gorr. He starts off as a supervillain and then comes across as a grieving father. The film, in effect, lacks a convincing villain. We don’t even see him fighting other gods to get to know how good or bad he is as a warrior. He has command over shadow creatures, but even Asgardian children are able to fight them and ward them off. Perhaps the darkness within Gorr has been muted because the target audience is children, but doing that robs the film of its bite. The film deviates hugely from the Marvel canon. There’s no sense of danger, no building up atmosphere. Thor seems to be strangely ambivalent towards the fate of Asgaridian children kidnapped by Gorr. There’s no sense of urgency towards their rescue. The Guardians of The Galaxy, his main allies, whom we see battling alongside him earlier in the film, aren’t even involved in the final rescue. Every situation is summarised in a witty one-liner. Yes, you do laugh along, for sure, but you miss the gravitas present in other Marvel films.

Perhaps this change in direction is Waititi’s way of remaining Marvel that they’ve been taking themselves too seriously and it’s time to do something new. That’s what Sam Raimi did when he turned Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness into a horror film. Here, Taika Waititi has turned Thor: Love and Thunder into a witty rom-com. All you need is love, is the film’s message. It does come with plenty of CGI fights, no doubt, but all said and done, it’s a love story through and through. And it’s a Taika Waititi film and not a Marvel product. It’s great to see that Marvel is granting such a free hand to their directors. That surely means they’re ready for some radical changes in the time to come.

Trailer : Thor: Love and Thunder

Renuka Vyavahare, July 7, 2022, 7:12 AM IST

critic’s rating: 



3.5/5

Synopsis: Before saving the world from Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale), back in shape Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is drawn to his ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and caught between his ex-hammer Mjolnir and current axe Stormbreaker. Keeping him company are also two giant screaming goats.

Review: Thunder rumbled in the recent season of ‘Stranger Things’ more than it does in this romantic comedy that half raises a profound question — Can Gods let you down, too? Are you always on your own and is love the only saviour?

Taika Waititi’s mind is a fascinating place to be in. Only he can take you through Thor’s dad bod-God bod-sad bod journey. Only he can pit the two Aussies, Russell Crowe in a white mini skirt against a shirtless Hemsworth and only he can make you giggle with his satirical take on Thor. As a filmmaker, he cleverly uses humour to address the harshest reality of life and death. A character battling stage 4 cancer here believes in miracles and their transportive nature, as another confronts the almighty. This one’s a popcorn entertainer with a hint of emotion.

Waititi’s attempt to expand the eccentric and comedic side of Thor, also seen in Ragnarok is refreshing. Although he pushes the envelope a bit too far this time around. His genre fluid romcom is helluva fun but also underwhelming in scale and action for a Marvel film. The snazzy stunts and sharp humour keep you entertained, but you miss the larger than life, menacing superhero appeal of the Asgardian Avenger. Everything feels over-simplistic and cut short in order to rush the narrative. Scenes look consistently choppy. Lack of build-up also fails to evoke the emotional investment expected in a story like this.

Chris Hemsworth as Thor, the God of thunder is perhaps the last of Marvel’s phase 1 superheroes, who continues to reign in phase 4 and Waititi’s hilarious mind can take a bow for that. However, Phase 4 seems a bit lost at this point with directors trying to steer the franchises in different directions. ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’ was out and out horror and ‘Love and Thunder’ is a generic romcom. While Natalie Portman shines in her lead role and gets a tailor-made feminist line to mouth, “Don’t call me ‘lady Thor, the name is mighty Thor’”, it’s Christian Bale you feel the most for. His villain ‘Gorr’ is too conflicted and muddy to seem a formidable nemesis. The thinly sketched character didn’t require someone as talented as Bale. And even with no real competition in play, two screaming goats steal Thor’s thunder I kid you not.

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