Thor: Love and Thunder

Thor: Love and Thunder is the latest entry in Marvel’s Phase Four. Each phase contains one “Thor” title, though he has been a central figure in eight films. 

If you’re having trouble keeping up, here are the movies in Phase Four, spanning the last two years. At the end of this review are listed the first three phases from Marvel.* Seeing them all is a commitment probably best left for superfans. I have seen most of these, but do not consider myself a diehard. There are plotlines and characters (like Doctor Strange) I don’t like.

 

  • WandaVision (2021)
  • Falcon and the Winter Soldier (2021)
  • Loki (2021)
  • Black Widow (2021)
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)
  • What If...? (2021)
  • Eternals (2021)
  • Hawkeye (2021)
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
  • Moon Knight (2022) 
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)
  • Ms. Marvel (2022)
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) 

 

So, do you need to see all of the Thor movies to appreciate Thor: Love and Thunder? Probably not, but there will be elements a fan will pick up on that you won’t. The plot lines are far less ambitious than other Marvel films, but maybe they need a breather. Some of the titles have become really complicated and very dark.

 

Chris Hemsworth is Executive Producer and star of this latest creation. Natalie Portman is the female lead, a selection that was both controversial and disappointing to fans of the franchise. At 5 foot 3, she is a full foot shorter than Hemsworth, who is incredibly ripped. She spent ten months in a gym preparing for the role, and it only slightly bulked up her diminutive body, previously better suited for her role as a ballerina in Black Swan. Apparently, she got over a grudge against Marvel that caused her to state she would never be in another Marvel film. Really? Not even as The Mighty Thor? There are other actresses, possibly even lesser-known stars, who could have played this role more convincingly.

 

The real star of this film is Christian Bale, as Gorr the God Butcher. Intense in any role he takes on, he is the wielder of the shadow-monster summoning Necrosword, seeking vengeance for the death of his young daughter and on a mission to kill all gods in the universe.

 

That brings us to Zeus, played by an old, fat Russell Crowe who at six feet tall looks short next to Hemsworth. Greek Gods are a departure from the Marvel Universe, but he’s in the post-credit trailer, so I guess he’ll be back.

 

Gorr kidnaps all the children from New Asgard, a Norwegian tourist attraction and fishing village, just as Jane Foster shows up as Lady Thor. But don’t call her that, she prefers The Mighty Thor. She’s dying of cancer, is Thor’s old love interest, and is somehow able to pick up Mj√∂lnir, Thor’s powerful hammer. But each time she does it weakens her as a mortal.

 

Enter Thor’s backup weapon, StormBreaker, a battle ax that is jealous of his relationship with the hammer.

 

The Guardians of the Galaxy make a short appearance. That puts two of today’s leading “Chris’s” on cameral together. We’re only missing Chris Evans (Captain America) and Chris Pine (Captain Kirk.)

 

This should rightfully be characterized as a comedy. There are a ton of sight gags and one-liners. The scriptwriters threw everything at the wall, and it all stuck. Of course there are monsters and battles galore, with lots of flying through space in a Viking ship led by two giant and very vocal goats. Yeah, silly.

 

But ultimately this is a love story. Gods have feelings too, no matter how they try to suppress them. But Portman and Hemsworth? Again, not sure this works.

 

Perhaps save this one for home viewing. It should be there soon. We were the only two people in the theater.

 

 

Thor: Love and Thunder runs 1 hour, 58 minutes and is rated PG-13.

 

Phase One:

  • Iron Man (2008)
  • The Incredible Hulk (2008)
  • Iron Man 2 (2010)
  • Thor (2011)
  • Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
  • The Avengers (2012)

Phase Two:

  • Iron Man 3 (2013)
  • Thor: The Dark World (2013)
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
  • Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
  • Ant-Man (2015)

Phase Three:

  • Captain America: Civil War (2016)
  • Doctor Strange (2016)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (2017)
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
  • Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
  • Black Panther (2017)
  • Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018)
  • Captain Marvel (2019)
  • Avengers: Endgame (2019)
  • Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

 

*(For this list I explored the “TotalFilm” section of the GamesRadar website.)

 

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