Thor: Love and Thunder

thor and foster
thor and foster
5
The GOAT!

Title: Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)
Director: Taika Waititi
Writers: Taika Waititi, Jennifer Kaytin Robinson
Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Christian Bale, Tessa Thompson, Jaimie Alexander, Taika Waititi, Russell Crowe, Natalie Portman


BAAM!!! The God of Thunder is back! Oh yes, there will be lightning! There will be love, loss and sacrifice! There will be giant screaming goats!

The saga of the Space Viking continues as Thor is forced out of retirement and rejoins the fray. In some kind of divine midlife crisis, The God of Thunder is trying to find his purpose, while being forced to face a new evil threatening the very existence of the gods themselves.

Thor: Love and Thunder is the fourth Thor movie, continuing the story from Thor: Ragnarok and Avengers: Endgame. We find Thor ( Chris Hemsworth) has retired to a faraway planet to meditate and get away. He’s had a lot to process: Battling his big sis Hela, losing both his father and brother, kicking off Ragnarok to save the Asgardians, leading to the destruction of Asgard. Ouchies! Underlying all this is the pain of the breakup with his former love, Dr. Jane Foster.

Thor’s quiet time ends abruptly as The Guardians of The Galaxy call on him to help them turn the tide in the war raging on the planet (that Thor has conveniently been ignoring up to this point). Chaos ensues!  The day is won, but there’s collateral damage. The locals are not very happy, but “reward” Thor with two giant screaming goats. They’re hilarious! Thor takes off after receiving a distress call showing the Asgardian Sif (Jaimie Alexander) in trouble.

In the five years since Thor: Ragnarok came out, the team working on this sequel has not been slacking. Although the filming and subsequent release, of Thor: Love and Thunder were set back by the pandemic, Taika Waititi has described this as a positive thing in interviews, giving him more time to work on the script. You can see the effects of this in the movie, as the story, buildup and storytelling seem more concise and well written than in the previous ones.  

Thor finds Sif badly wounded, besides the slain body of a gargantuan god-beast. She tells him this is the doing of Gorr The God Butcher (Christian Bale) who seeks the extinction of all gods. Trying to save Sif’s life Thor travels to New Asgard, now situated in Tønsberg, Norway. Gorr is already there, attacking the town, summoning forth shadowy creatures to do his nefarious bidding. Mid battle Thor is suddenly reunited with his former flame Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who’s taken up the mantle as The Mighty Thor, empowered by the newly reformed Mjolnir. Together they must deal with Gorr’s horrific powers, as well as their complex feelings for each other. To make matters worse, we find out Jane has stage four cancer and has been trying to use the magic hammer to cure herself. But is it working?

thor foster
Did I mention The God of Thunder is back? Wait, make that a double! There are two of them now?

A movie with two Thors, reviewed by me (Thor)?!? This must be what a Thorgasm feels like!

Of all the heroes and characters from the Marvel universe, Thor has long been my least favorite one. Firstly, as my name is Thor, I feel it hits a little too close to home. Secondly, I spent a lot of my time growing up studying the old Norse myths. I know and love them. When the first Thor movie came out, I was greatly annoyed, pointing out everything Marvel got wrong compared to the mythology.  Through watching the other Thor movies, I have since learned to let that go and begrudgingly appreciate what Marvel is trying to do.

This movie changes that, this is something different. My usual myth-based annoyance is canceled out by my love of what Taika Waititi has managed to do with the story, characters, and overriding theme of the movie. He’s pushing everything further than he did in Thor: Ragnarok, describing the process in interviews as “a movie run by a focus group of six-year-olds.” The movie is visually stunning, filled with color, beautiful vistas, and stark contrasts. The aesthetic is taken right out of the 80’s rock scene, complete with an awesome soundtrack consisting largely of Guns N’ Roses.

Potential mild spoilers ahead! As the two Thors fend off the shadow creatures, Gorr kidnaps all the kids of New Asgard and whisks them away to a shadowy dimension, to lure the gods to him. Thor and Jane team up with Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) and Korg (Taika Waititi) and set off to recruit more gods to help fight Gorr, who is searching for a way to end all the gods in one fell swoop.

thor gorr
And you shall know him by the trail of dead gods. Christian Bale as Gorr the God Butcher.

As Marvel supervillains go, Gorr is strangely compelling, expertly portrayed by Christian Bale. His tragic back story makes you understand, if not sympathize with, his goal of ending all the gods. Just wait till you see Russell Crowe portraying one of them, it’s glorious! We’ve been seeing an emerging theme of tearing down one’s idols in the superhero genre in recent years. Just like the superheroes in Amazon’s The Boys, a lot of the gods in the Marvel universe are massive assholes.

The main theme of this movie is love and the fear of loss, the fear of losing the one you love and the things that are important to you. It is a story of romance and love, as well as making difficult choices and sacrifices. The Thor we meet in this movie is more reflective and emotionally mature than in the previous ones.

Before watching Thor: Love and Thunder, I was sure I was going to have several things to critique in my review, but I find sorely little I didn’t like about the movie. This is a movie that is exactly what it set out to be, a glorious superhero action movie, a love story, and a tribute to the style and aesthetic of 80’s rock music.

thor goat
Goat quote: “Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaauuuuuuuuuuuruuuurgh!!!!!!!!”

If you’re a fan of the MCU films you will probably like Thor: Love and Thunder, especially if you already like the previous Thor movies. Taika Waititi has managed to make something really special out of this one, with his quirky humor and wild imagination. Go watch it and make up your own opinion. I, for one, was very pleasantly surprised, in spite of not being a big Thor fan. There’s quite a lot of background and history connected with previous movies, so it does help if you’ve watched them. Or if you’re just a fan of giant screaming goats.

In conclusion: Of all the Thor movies, this one is the GOAT! (See what I did there?)

Remember to watch the post-credits scenes!

thor and foster
Thor: Love and Thunder
5
The GOAT!

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