Thor’s character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has always been a hit or miss for me. Sure, sometimes he’s funny and badass, and other times he’s just another clueless jacked-up superhero with a little too much comedic material for my taste. Last time we actually saw him? All beefed up for one overly done fat joke in Endgame (although oddly enough lore accurate to mythology, all he needs now is the red hair!). And so Taika Waititi returns to direct another space Viking God film with the mighty title of Thor: Love and Thunder.
The story: it’s bland. It’s simple enough for sure but it just borrows pieces from the Gorr the Butcher storyline and doesn’t really do much else with it. There’s not any massive reveals or deaths which I’m happy about as they have become a bit too reliant on that. However, when the film prompts us with character deaths, it doesn’t follow through and goes “Psych” and everything’s back to normal (boring). It’s more of a quest that doesn’t go to plan, with a sacrifice and redemption arc; pretty standard stuff. Gathering of Gods with a weird interpretation of Zeus, Asgardian children fighting shadow monsters, the bad guy doing something good before he dies: it’s pretty straight forward.
Christian Bale as Gorr was always going to be terrifying. He may look like another Voldemort rip-off (even though he still has a nose), but Gorr the God Butcher is definitely one of the better villains I’ve seen in the MCU. His link to the necro sword and his motivation does somewhat stray away from its comic counterpart, but regardless of that he’s a villain I wish we got to see more of.
Thor and Jane (or Mighty Thor) are the main romance in this film (how typical), whilst all the other characters are used as queer bait because God forbid a Marvel film shows anything more than a kiss (or two rock men holding hands). Thor himself had his moments but didn’t feel like he learnt or did anything new. Valkyrie has never felt more useless since, well, her introduction in Ragnarok – but even then at least she gave us some pretty cool fight scenes. And then Korg was basically the unnecessary humour of the movie (unpopular opinion I know).
I have to be brutally honest when I say the CGI was pretty clunky. I know Marvel has had a bad rep recently because of their CGI, but this was just not great at all. They did impress in certain scenes, especially the Black and White scene, but everything else was kind of hard to look at sometimes without physically cringing. For a 2-hour runtime, everything is pretty much dragged out and you kind of get sick of hearing ‘Sweet Child of Mine’ being played constantly (we get it, Taika, you like Guns ‘n’ Roses). This is one of those Marvel films where you don’t need to expect the unexpected or a flurry of cameos, but instead just some mindless fun and action that you can relax to.
Whilst its main story is pretty simple and some scenes are either dragged on or not done enough (4 hours was the original cut – you know what to do Marvel), it does provide you with an enjoyable viewing experience to kill the weekend boredom for the general public. For me? I knew what I was going into and even though it wasn’t the best I still enjoyed it.
Want more mini reviews? Check out my last MancMuse Mini on The Black Phone: a Scott Derrickson horror that delves into child abduction, mask wearing maniacs and child spirits (creepy enough right?). Or wanting more Marvel reviews? Take a look of my review for Multiverse of Madness!