Somewhere in the multiverse, a version of this movie is one of the best MCU films ever made. But, sadly, the final product of THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER is not that. Instead, it’s a buffet of interesting half-baked ideas from Taika Waititi that don’t all mix. Some are delicious, like Korg’s (Taika Waititi) hilarious stories about Thor’s conquests and screaming goats. While others don’t taste good, like the brief cameo from the Guardians of the Galaxy team and the tonal changes from happy to sad, which Waititi balanced more effectively in JOJO RABBIT. So while I’m delighted that audiences were served another THOR film, after LOVE AND THUNDER, I’m ready to move on to another MCU main course.
All food analogies aside, LOVE AND THUNDER felt like a good PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN sequel. It all has a “been there, done that” vibe. And despite my harshness, it’s still miles better than DOCTOR STRANGE 2, which set the MCU back at least five years in good storytelling.
Overall though, I’ll remember two things about LOVE AND THUNDER.
- I laughed a lot… in the 1st act. It was so much fun watching Thor reunite with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), catching up with Korg telling stories, and of course, Matt Damon.
- I cared about Jane! In all the other THOR movies, Natalie Portman as Jane had the least to do. That changes dramatically in LOVE AND THUNDER. She’s the heart of this film, and it’s a bittersweet story arc that allows LOVE AND THUNDER to be better than it should be.
What I wish I didn’t remember from this film:
- Omnipotence City – A side quest that takes away from Jane and Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) love. Although it’s a delight seeing Zeus (Russell Crowe), there is way too much time spent here.
- Kids – if you are going to have kids fight in a movie, you will likely teeter into SPY KIDS territory. At times, the kids against the big bad, Gorr (Christian Bale), doesn’t work. And Gorr should be scary. Yet, he’s not because we know in the MCU that these kids aren’t going to die.
Taika Waititi continues to be one of the best creators in entertainment today. HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE, OUR FLAG MEANS DEATH, and JOJO RABBIT are on my short list of favorites. However, I’m saddened to report that I won’t be returning to this “Paradise City” anytime soon. And that makes me sad, like “the cold November Rain.”
It’s available in theatres.