Thor: Love And Thunder SPOILER FREE Review. All Lightning, No Thunder

by Eve Andrews

With its endearing humour, epic rock n’roll soundtrack, and squeaky clean action sequences, fans had every reason to be excited when the trailer dropped for Thor: Love And Thunder. However, now that it’s here, underwhelmed fans across the board have been left scratching their heads, wondering what happened to the epic movie they saw brewing in those first few teasers.

Directed by Taika Waititi, the hype was riding high for the next instalment of Thor after Taika’s first entry into the Odinson’s story, Thor: Ragnarok, dropped back in 2017. However, it didn’t feel nearly as fresh this time as it did the first time around. Thor: Love And Thunder is the textbook example of the ongoing gripe that I, as a fellow audience member, have always had with the MCU. There’s nothing terrible about it, per se, but there’s certainly nothing exceptional about it either. It has the same look, feel and style as a million other Marvel movies before it. Unlike the comics, which have a knack for distinguishing themselves in terms of style, story and overall appeal, Love And Thunder gave me some serious déjà vu. Again. In short, it all feels a bit cookie-cutter.

Reprising his title role as the God of Thunder, Chris Hemsworth was pretty damn good and clearly did what he could with the script he was given. However, Thor: Love And Thunder has cemented a grating level of inconsistency into the MCU’s incarnation of Thor, with the Hollywood blockbusters rebranding his character according to their whims and whatever happens to suit the plot at the time. In this case, that meant Thor shedding a fair amount of IQ points in comparison to his prior appearances. Sure, he was never the sharpest tool in the shed, but the sheer level of dullness he displayed really threw me for a loop here! Given the clunky pacing and hokey humour, whether this was for plot convenience or comic relief wasn’t entirely clear.

In terms of Thor’s previous appearances in the MCU, I also would have liked to have seen those previous journeys bear a bit more weight on the present. After Thor hit rock bottom in Guardians Of The Galaxy, one of the things I was looking forward to most in this movie was the gruelling process of climbing back up. I expected this to be an ongoing point of conflict for Thor throughout the film, both inwardly and outwardly. Bouncing back is tough, after all. It takes work. However, this is instead taken care of with the magic of the montage and a few seconds worth of narrated exposition and BOOM! Before the end of the opening sequence, Thor is back in his God-Bod and ready to roll. Guardians Of The Galaxy? Never happened.

Another thing that had incredible potential here was Christian Bale’s spine-chilling portrayal of Thor’s latest nemesis, Gorr the God Butcher. A really cool concept complemented by a great performance, Gorr came so close to hitting the mark but unfortunately fell short due to lack of build-up and any actual development. It’s a shame as he had the groundwork to be pretty damn terrifying but was ultimately dominated by an undertone of whiney tantrum vibes due to his flimsy motivation.

All in all, Love And Thunder was graced with a pretty great cast, with those already mentioned, plus the likes of Natalie Portman returning as Jane Foster and Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie. But what they were given to work with was clunky at best, instead relying on spectacle to carry the entertainment through. Once again, it was a Marvel film caught somewhere between a wacky comic book fun-fest and a superior-serious tear-jerker. It seemed so unsure of which direction it wanted to take that it ended up falling into an awkward no-man’s-land of neither-nor.

So do I recommend giving Thor: Love And Thunder a watch? Honestly? Yeah. I’d still say give it a go and decide for yourself. It’s very pretty to look at, has moments of humour and makes a good, easy watch for a lazy Sunday afternoon. Just don’t expect anything too transcendent. As I say, it’s not terrible – it’s fine. Just fine. But if you’re looking for some Thor content that packs a bit more punch, I’d instead refer you to the Thor: Goddess Of Thunder comic book – it’s essentially a very similar story to Love And Thunder but told with a hell of a lot more substance. It’s a shame as I, among many other fans, were looking forward to seeing said substance on the silver screen. But hey, you can’t have everything, I guess.

Have you seen Thor: Love And Thunder? Did you love it, or did it leave you disappointed? Let us know your take in the comment section below!

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