Continuing from where we last saw Thor after Avengers: Endgame, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has lost his way. Having fought so many battles, losing those close to him and most importantly, having had his heart broken multiple times, Thor’s reason for life seems non-existent. He continues to travel with The Guardians of the Galaxy; however, the time spent with them ends when Thor receives a distress call asking for help.
Thor begins a whole next journey seeking the ultimate battle with a new villain named Gorr, the God Butcher (Christian Bale). Gorr desires to kill and destroy all gods, making them extinct. Thankfully, Thor won’t have to fight alone. His sidekick, Korg (Taika Waititi), and close friend Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) join him. Thor is stumped and highly excited when his ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) also joins him, reentering his life with a huge difference since the last time the two saw each other.
Thor: Love and Thunder delivers familiar beats and pace thanks to many returning aspects such as characters and, more importantly, the director, Taika Waititi. Here, the gags and random jokes are in full force with crazy and over-the-top action sequences backed by an awesome classic rock n’ roll soundtrack. While the film delivers familiar beats, it also aims to be different, focusing on a deeper plot and is slightly less of a wild rollercoaster ride than fans may hope for when compared to Thor: Ragnarok.
Chris Hemsworth as Thor is once again brilliant, and it remains evident that the actor enjoys playing ‘The Strongest Avenger’, this time tackling a new villain and a story unlike anything fans have seen yet. The presence of returning characters is also a delight, including Jane Foster, who joins Thor on his new adventure. Granted, as we’ve seen in previous films, the chemistry between Thor and Jane is once again slightly fickle on-screen and the two actors never fully deliver a convincing and real romance. However, the story aspect is certainly touching and more engaging.
Visually, Thor: Love and Thunder, as many would expect, is jam-packed with many effects to the point the film feels heavy on the green screen. Granted, there are still plenty of fun and impressive moments, including locations, planets and even costume design. I enjoyed the general look and presence of the new villain Gorr who brought a welcome dark, lurking presence to the screen, even though his motives and reasoning felt somewhat familiar to other films in the Marvel franchise. Considering the film is just over two hours, movie lovers will have such an investment in the story along with multiple chuckles that the runtime flies by quickly.
Overall, seeing The Strongest Avenger return to the big screen is another blast. It’s great to see this film take a darker and deeper turn with its story while bringing all the randomness and gags of Thor: Ragnarok back to the screen again. Chris Hemsworth is a delight, and it remains evident that the actor is having a good time. Visually, this film is pleasing in many areas, including its effects and costume designs. The returning and additional new characters, including Gorr the God Butcher, are highly entertaining. The runtime flies by like Thor’s hammer, and in the end, while the film takes a minor step back, it still delivers another worthy instalment to this epic Marvel franchise.
6th July 2022
Written by Peter Walkden
Peter Walkden at the Queensland Red Carpet preview screening at Reading Cinemas Newmarket
Photographer Credit: Jared Vethaak @vethaakmedia