‘Thor: Love and Thunder,’ and cast knocks it out of the park. 4 out of 5 stars!


Andrew McManus, contributing columnist



We went from Graceland to back to the Marvel Universe. If you’re a fan of the Marvel films, you’ll see this regardless of this review. If not keep reading. This is the 1st superhero film on the cinematic universe that is the 4th entry. Normally we see a trilogy of films, but Thor has made it to number 4. Things weren’t always looking so good for the character. Thor’s second film “Thor: The Dark World” was panned by critics and at the time there were rumblings there wouldn’t even be a third entry into the world. However, Taiki Waititi came into direct Thor: Ragnarök (3rd film) and he absolutely crushed it. Waitiki injected humor to a character in Thor that wasn’t normally the comic relief of any groups. Chris Hemsworth showed his ability to use dead-pan humor and a slight knack for incompetence and bewilderment to make it work. As any sequel goes, there is worry that this won’t live up to the last one. Thor: Ragnarok to me was one of the best Marvel movies to ever come out. I was hesitant this would live up to the hype and excitement held over from 2017.

Onto the film.

We open with Gorr (Bale) in a desert of sorts. The movie doesn’t just into action immediately it is somber and the score of the film adds to this. There is sadness in Gorr’s (Bale) eyes as we see he is losing his daughter named Love. Gorr (Bale) is devoted to the Olympian God Dionysus. He prays and begs for relief and to save his daughter. This is in vain. Eventually Gorr (Bale) meets Dionysus and the God laughs at him, scolds him, talks down to him. This angers Gorr who kills the God and now swears to kill ALL GODS. The ‘big bad” has been created from sorrow and the stage is set.

We then meet our hero in Thor (Hemsworth) and a montage starts. This is a nice way for the audience who have not seen the other films to get caught up. The fan favorite Korg (Waititi) tells a group the stories of the great Thor. This part of the film was a blast to see because Thor (Hemsworth) is still teamed up with the Guardians of the Galaxy. It shows him getting in shape

(He was depressed and let himself go in previous films) and we see the whole group fighting various enemies together. The soundtrack is fantastic, and you’ll be excited and tuned in for the adventure. We then see the dilemma Thor faces. He doesn’t know his purpose anymore. We learn Thor (Hemsworth) is going to go off and “find himself.” We then cut to his former lover Jane Foster (Portman) and the story goes from light-hearted and fun to somber. She is battling cancer and we learn it is at Stage 4. Foster (Portman) is a sight for sore eyes. The character hasn’t been in any of the Marvel films since Thor: The Dark World. She then remembers that Mjolnir (Thor’s old hammer) could save her. Although it is destroyed and in pieces at New Asgard. You know where this is going….

Ok. I won’t give anymore of the plot away. I will say the cast is outstanding. Thor (Hemsworth) adds more emotion AND more humor this time around and he has a touch of resentment and jealous with plays out in a few funny scenarios. The supporting cast and ESPECIALLY Jane Foster (Portman) knock it out of the park. It’s evident from her reappearance that Natalie Portman was sorely missed. And let’s talk about the villain. Christian Bale…. can he put out a bad performance? This might be one of the best villains Marvel has given us. I felt for the character and always felt incredibly uncomfortable watching him on screen. Well done!

However, this film isn’t perfect. I love the character of Thor. Love and Thunder…sign me up, but at times it went TOO heavy with the humor. Also, as I mentioned about the montage catching the audience up, I felt that there was also a heavy amount of explanation that wasn’t needed. The script dumbed it down to make sure everyone was keeping up. Jane has cancer. Jane has stage 4 cancer. Thor is sad. Rinse and repeat. I get why they wanted to explain the points, but it didn’t need to be said directly to our faces. Let the audience infer on some things. Watch the characters and decipher how they are feeling. This doesn’t change the fact that we have a fun, adventure. The action scenes throughout are exciting and I hope to see this on an IMAX screen ASAP. If you’re a fan of the series or superhero films in general, you’ll be seeing this whether I give this 1 star or 5. If you aren’t a fan or have only heard of Thor from Norse mythology, I can tell you will still have fun and leave the theater with a smile on your face. We have some heavy hitters at the theaters, so go in and do not forget the popcorn! I hope they make a 5th film with Thor and welcome back Natalie Portman!!!! 4 stars out of 5

https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2022/07/web1_web1_McManus-6-2.jpg

Andrew McManus, contributing columnist