Each Thor film, individually, is a little weird and out there. It fits in awkwardly in the MCU, and they are embracing that more and more. He is someone very strong and can handle a lot of issues other heroes might end up solving, so they need to find places for him to be.
Thor: Love and Thunder, was looking to be yet another very weird movie again. A very specific soundtrack and look given the trailer and posters. This is a film that wants to rock. This is a film that is going to have fun. And this is a film that is going to try and close out some earlier stories from the film series, while also introducing more characters, albeit controversially, from the comics.
You know, Lady Thor. In the comics, Lady Thor was also Jane Foster, and it was a shocking reveal at some point. Even when this was happening, people assumed it was maybe done to eventually get Natalie Portman to play her in a future film. Lady Thor comics were met with anger by some comic fans. Was it sexism? Or was it their actual argument about the Thor name? Who knows, probably the former though.
Either way, I know I was excited to see her. Let’s have a relationship dynamic where the power levels are less one sided, for sure.
And she wears that helmet so fucking good.
But a lot of calls start coming in from a lot of different areas. Messages of gods that various communities worship being slain by a shadow warrior wielding an ancient, god-killing blade. Looks like some strange entity named Gorr (Christian Bale) is off god-butchering, which is scary for a few reasons, especially for Thor. But who cares about fear? Thor cares about love.
And love that has got away. Like Dr. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who is back on Earth, dying from a cancer without Thor knowing any of it. But Foster has a plan. If modern medicine is going to fail her, then maybe some Viking Space Magic will get the job done? If she can fix and wield Mjolnir, she can have great health and strength, fixing her condition.
But being a Thor comes with responsibilities, not just power. And with great responsibilities and great power, comes great chances of got butchers coming your way.
Oh shit, Gorr butchered the god of color it looks like.
I love Thor films, I really. He was my favorite marvel superhero (after Spider-Man, of course) growing up. Hemsworth is a wonderful Thor, and he can just do it for 30 more films, honestly. But Love and Thunder needs to be compared to Ragnarok, which most would say is the best Thor film. It for sure should be compared. And I think it would be hard to argue that it is better than Ragnarok.
When just comparing the two, Ragnarok is funnier, and has some really great story attached to it, and a lot of surprises along the way. Love and Thunder is sadder overall. I think I cried twice. But at the same time it also tried to be a big comedy, but the jokes didn’t land as well. It also tried to be scary. It wanted the best of every genre here, without doing a great job of really balancing these genres, and the tone was strange throughout the film.
Bale was a wonderfully creepy villain. His speeches, his story, we get it. The black and white planet was probably one of my favorite Marvel sequences. But he was extremely underutilized. We see him kill one god early on, as he gets his power, and then never again. We only hear about his exploits. I expected to see more god-butchering, if they wanted to give him that title.
The Foster story is fantastic, beginning to end. Portman actually looks like she is enjoying the movie she is in. She has a distinct personality change when she has the power. I loved the ending. It made me have some feels.
But, so much of the film just also feels rushed and not living up to its full thortential. Some scenes make me confused on how they really made it into an official MCU film in terms of overall quality. Some jokes are just completely rammed into the ground.
I still liked it, I still had fun, and I still cried. I am still excited for its franchise future. I liked the second Thor film, so of course I like this one as well. I can appreciate them trying a lot of different things. I am just still a little disappointed it didn’t give me enough.