Chris Hemsworth returns as Thor while his ‘Love’ Natalie Portman debuts as Mighty Thor, but it’s Christian Bale who steals the ‘Thunder’. Thor returns for his fourth solo adventure with Thor: Love and Thunder, helmed by Taika Waititi. The film follows the events of Avengers: Endgame — with Thor recovering from Loki’s (Tom Hiddleston) death, disbanding of the Avengers and finding purpose in life as he travels through the galaxy with the Guardians of the Galaxy. However, the God of Thunder’s run with the Guardians ends when he realises that a God butcher, formally known as Gorr the Butcher, is out taking down Gods from different worlds.
He soon learns that Asgard is Gorr’s next target and Thor heads to protect them. However, he is surprised that a new Thor is in town — Mighty Thor (Natalie Portman) who is protecting everyone while he was away with the Guardians. The lady Thor (oops, sorry, she hates being called that) aka Dr. Jane Foster wields the Mjolnir, leaving him surprised. Soon, Mighty Thor, Thor and Valkyrie unite to fight the Gorr. The film follows their journey to him and their battle with him.
While Thor: Love and Thunder explores new territories with God and Goddess of Thunder and Gorr in tow, the film doesn’t live up to the expectations. The film is based completely on convenience. The subplots change as per the character’s convenience with several storylines explored with just passing mentions.
Thor: Love and Thunder is also fast-paced in the first half. While it acts positive in the start, getting the audience hooked from the word go, the pace becomes a problem when it doesn’t allow you to invest in the stories unfolding. Thor and Jane’s reunion also falls flat due to the pace. On the contrary, the second half becomes a little drag when Thor and Jane’s love story becomes the focus.
On the acting front, Taika has channeled Thor’s funny side with the film yet again, much like Thor: Ragnarok, it comes across silly in certain points of the first half. Chris follows Taika’s vision to the point but there is nothing new he is offering in the new Thor. On the other hand, Natalie breaks free from being just Thor’s girlfriend to take the lead. She shines in several parts of the film, especially when she is trying comedy and action. We need more of her in MCU. Tessa Thompson continues her impressive run as Valkyrie.
However, the best part of the movie is undoubtedly Christian Bale. The actor, always, makes Gorr his own. Christian transforms into an intense and sinister Gorr with absolute ease. It is clear that Marvel Studios are giving their baddies the deserving limelight. Unfortunately, this limelight is costing the superheroes.
Much like Doctor Strange — where Benedict Cumberbatch felt like a supporting actor — Thor: Love and Thunder also puts Chris Hemsworth on the backfoot while Christian Bale is in the spotlight. If the film is Thor: Love and Thunder, ideally I’d want a little more from Thor — and this time we had two! After Thor: Ragnarok, expectations are set lightening high with Thor: Love and Thunder. However, the film has more lightning but less thunder.
Bottom line: Thor: Love and Thunder brings back elements of the first three phases while introducing and including elements from the newer world of MCU. But in this blend, Thor loses out.