Warning: spoilers ahead. While director Taika Waititi fails to capture the magic of Thor Ragnarok, Thor Love and Thunder is still a very good movie. What is better than one Thor? Two Thors and we get that with the return of Jane Foster to the franchise, but the real star of the movie and villain was Christian Bale’s performance as Gorr the God Butcher.
We last see Thor in Endgame boarding the ship with the Guardians of the Galaxy in search of two things; Quill was looking for Gamora and Thor was trying to find himself. I kind of wish the Guardians were in the movie longer than the 5 minutes they had of screen time, because I always felt they were one of the better ensemble casts in the Marvel Universe. Thor is still trying to figure himself out and I’m not sure I’m a fan of Thor as the quirky, happy go lucky kind of God. Thor in Ragnarok and Infinity Wars was the best Thor we’ve seen.
Gorr the God Butcher
Is there any character Christian Bale cannot play? His portrayal of Gorr was phenomenal. Honestly he became my favorite villain in the Marvel Universe. The movie opens with him carrying his daughter, who is Chris Hemsworth daughter in real life, through a desert and praying to his god for food and water, but ultimately his daughter dies and Gorr hears a voice calling to him. He finds himself in this desert oasis where the god he worships is sitting there galivanting about drinking and eating food without a care in the world. He ultimately kills his god and then starts on his quest to rid the universe of all the gods.
Bale was amazing in every scene he was in. The way he delivered his lines to his facial expressions; he was the best part of Thor Love and Thunder. I won’t spoil the entire movie, but his story comes full circle and while me never see Gorr again in a Marvel movie he will surely be the top villain until someone outperforms Christian Bale.
Jane Foster – Dr. Thor
Always been a fan of Natalie Portman and always loved her as Jane Foster. In Love and Thunder she returns, but battling stage 4 cancer. While trying to find ways to cure her cancer she is ultimately called by Mjolnir. She travels to New Asgard, which has become a popular tourist destination thanks to King Valkyrie, and finds Mjolnir in a glass case in pieces. Mjolnir begins to spark and lift and we get our first glimpse of Lady Thor when Gorr comes to New Asgard and she joins Thor to battle the shadow monsters created by Gorr.
While Mjolnir gives her Thor strength it is ultimately draining her of her life. She must choose to be Thor once more or live another day. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Jane Foster, but you never know.
Zeuss, played by Russel Crowe, is another scene stealer. We’ve seen Crowe in all these serious roles before and the way he played Zeuss was nothing like he’s ever done before. I think that is what made it so refreshing. Stick around for the end credits to see what Zeuss has in store for humanity after Thor steals his lightning bolt during a meeting of the gods.
Thor is vulnerable and when Jane returns his feelings get even more confused. It’s clear he still loves her and while they try to rekindle their love, sometimes the lightning comes crashing down at the wrong time. I felt Taika Waititi made this Thor a little silly. He was talking to Stormbreaker like it was a jealous lover with the return of Mjolnir. I didn’t think was really necessary nor was the happy go lucky, quirky Thor. When it came to battle, that is when the real Thor shows up. In Thor Love and Thunder, it was missing the ying to Thor’s yang which was ultimately Loki.
It wasn’t until Thor learned of Jane’s condition did the silly Thor cease to exist. The corny one liners with her up until then really didn’t hit their intended mark. In the end Thor found love and a new sidekick.
In a scene with Valkyrie, Korg describes how his people are made. Two male Kronans hold hands for a month and then a baby Kronan is formed. I have no idea why this part of the movie and why at the end Korg and his Kronan make a baby Kronan were in the movie. It felt like it was just put in there to be in there. It really had no importance to the story of Thor Love and Thunder. I felt those scenes should have made the cutting room floor. They didn’t fit with the movie in my mind.
While Love and Thunder fails to reach the bar set by Thor Ragnarok, it’s still a fun movie to watch. Hopefully the next iteration of Thor brings his character’s persona to who he was in Ragnarok and maybe a variant of Loki would help as well.