In comparison to how quickly I usually get to the cinema to see an MCU film, this one actually took me an age to see. On the one hand, I’d heard it was terrible from multiple sources, so I put it off. On the other hand, my wife got covid (yep, it still exists), and I just couldn’t see it without her. Like many couples, seeing MCU movies together is our ‘thing’. Anyway, I got round to it eventually, and it actually wasn’t as bad as people led me to believe…
Love and Thunder takes place shortly after the events of Avengers: Endgame by the looks of it. We get a whistle stop tour of how Thor (Chris Hemsworth) re-gained his famous physique, but there’s a bunch of other things going on. His former flame Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) is battling stage four cancer; she is revealed to have recovered Mjolnir and is now ‘The Mighty Thor’. Not only that, but Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale) is on a rampage, destroying all of the universe’s Gods in his wake. The ex-lovers team up with Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) to stop him, attempting to recruit other Gods for help on their way.
Well. You were all being very dramatic when you gave this one star, weren’t you? Yes, there’s a lot going on and therefore a lot to cover, but there’s no way on God’s green Earth that this is a one star film.
As someone who went in with very low expectations (thanks to the majority of reviews), I have to say I kind of enjoyed Love and Thunder on the whole. So it’s not perfect, and it’s not Ragnarok (which I never really understood the hype for anyway, so whatever), but there are some fun things going on here and purely from an entertainment standpoint, it’s pretty good. If you go in with expectations lower than Infinity War but higher than Thor: The Dark World, that would probably set you up in good stead.
Whilst there’s not much wiggle room for boredom to seep in due to constant action and story progression, there are things about the plot that should have been elaborated on more. At times, it did feel like director Taika Waititi really just wanted to keep the movie at minus 2 hours, and some of the background and context was really rushed as a result of that. I could have also done with less of the Thor/Jane fluff, to be honest; we already know that they’re soulmates, we don’t need all the rousing speeches. However, so much of the film was humorous (though, admittedly, some jokes did fall flat), and it did wrap up a few loose ends at the very least.
In a movie that’s full of stars (namely Tessa Thompson and Natalie Portman), who fully embody Valkyrie and Jane to the nth degree respectively), there’s one actor in particular who made the entire thing worth the watch: Christian Bale. His performance as the overtly creepy Gorr is actually quite phenomenal – he really brought his multi-Oscar nominated chops to this role. It may even be the best performance by an MCU villain thus far… which is saying something since there have been quite a few decent showings from MCU baddies over the years.
Again, the one star reviews really are just a tad dramatic. When it comes down to it, it all just feels like everyone was salty because it wasn’t quite as good as Ragnarok and the Guardians of the Galaxy weren’t in it as much as everyone hoped they would be. Honestly, I was pleased by the majority of the film, flaws and plot holes included. Maybe I’m just too easy to please.
…one last thing. HE’S HERE, HE’S THERE, HE’S EVERY FUCKING WHERE, ROY KENT! ROY KENT! …just me? Told you I was easily pleased.
Thor: Love and Thunder is currently screening in the majority of UK cinemas.
TQR Category Ratings:
Costume & Set Design:
Overall Enjoyability Rating: ½