The newest Marvel movie is a frustrating blend of great action and bland storytelling
As the highly anticipated sequel to “Thor: Ragnarok”, “Thor: Love And Thunder” falls short of its predecessor in both the comedy and plot departments.
In previous movies, Thor led his people to Earth after experiencing the loss of his parents and home planet. Following those events, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) leaves the Guardians of the Galaxy and sets off with Korg (Taika Waititi) on their own. They soon learn that Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale) has been on a god-killing rampage, and is heading to Asgard next. Together with Thor’s ex-lover Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), the group set out to stop Gorr before he can kill anybody else.
Bale absolutely steals the show with his portrayal of Gorr the God Butcher. Bale’s performance is convincingly unnerving, and he feels truly different from the other villains that we’ve seen thus far. Not only is his dialogue delivery great, but his physical performance is on point as well. After being betrayed by his patron god and failing to prevent the death of his daughter, Gorr embarks on a mission to kill all gods. The believable motivations and powerful backstory mean that Bale’s scenes are highlights of the film.
The other actors are also giving it their all. Portman’s performance shines throughout the film as she convincingly plays a character going through an emotional struggle, and Hemsworth continues to blow the audience away with his masterful performance as the charismatic and charming Thor.
That being said, even the all-star cast can’t save the disastrous dialogue. Lines are often out of place or out of character, both of which take away from the immersion of a movie. Foster especially has some lines that completely take away from the way her character was developed in the previous Thor movies.
However, even worse than the occasionally awkward lines is the constant, cringe-worthy jokes. Somehow being both more numerous and of lower quality than the usual Marvel formula dictates, the constant joking is not only annoying but creates an inconsistent tone for the movie.
As a film that features a character slowly succumbing to a terminal illness as well as scenes of a child dying of thirst in a desert as her father is unable to do anything but watch, the film feels just a little too lighthearted. The film’s central theme of loss had the potential to turn this otherwise ordinary Marvel film into something more meaningful. Unfortunately, any deeper meaning of the film was lost to the constant quipping of the characters. The frequent switching between Gorr’s compelling, dark storyline with the lighthearted adventures of Thor and his friends results in a severe case of tonal whiplash.
There’s no doubt that the action carries this movie. The choreography of the fight scenes is generally good, and the visual effects are impressive as always. The fight scenes in this movie are some of the most visually impressive that Marvel has delivered, and are quite fun to watch. Thanks to the abundance of fight scenes, the final third of the movie is definitely way more exciting to watch than the rest of the film.
Despite all the blunders made during production, “Thor: Love And Thunder” is not completely terrible– it's simply disappointing. The movie can still be fun to watch if you can turn your brain off and enjoy the action, but the dialogue squanders many deeper elements of the story and fails to live up to its full potential. For a film all about finding yourself, “Thor: Love And Thunder” is lost.
“Thor: Love And Thunder” was released on July 8 and is now playing in theaters, including Regal Majestic Stadium 20 & IMAX, AMC Wheaton Mall 9 and AMC Montgomery 16.
Alexander Liu. Hi, I'm Alex (he/him) and I'll be a staff writer for SCO this year. I'm passionate about public policy and international relations. In my free time, I enjoy drawing and watching terrible rom-coms. More »