We’ve been talking a lot on the Film Threat YouTube channel about the state of Marvel recently, and I have to say, if you can divorce yourself from the present Disney and Marvel hate, you’ll find that Thor: Love and Thunder is one of the best films to come out of Marvel Studios since the pandemic. First, I’m personally glad there is no mention of the multiverse. This is a straightforward Thor tale.
Waititi continues the silly tone he brought to the series in Thor: Ragnarök. What the filmmaker does so well is balance the silliness of gods against the seriousness of Gorr’s vendetta against them. As in Spider-Man, “with great power comes great responsibility!” But amongst the gods, with great power comes great luxuries. What’s excellent about this story is with the Necrosword, Gorr presents a credible and deadly threat to the immortals. It’s the only genuine threat against Thor next to Thanos and the Infinity Gauntlet.
Back to silliness present in Thor: Love and Thunder. Hemsworth has Thor down perfectly. He understands how to balance the light tone for the character with flawless comedic timing while still selling the weightier aspects. He is a god going through an existential crisis, making him both vulnerable and omnipotent at the same time. What’s the point of spending eternity as a powerful god if there’s not more to life? This brings us to Jane Foster, Thor’s one true love.
“…an adept satire poking fun at the powerful and those in power.”
As the Mighty Thor, Jane laments the dissolution of her relationship with Thor (which plays out in a soap opera-like montage). However, with Jane looking death in the face, becoming the Mighty Thor ignites within her a life of heroism that she only dreamed of. Plus, being Thor gives her a chance at something meaningful in her final days.
Under the helm of Waititi, the film is an adept satire poking fun at the powerful and those in power. Believe it or not, there is great depth to his comedy if you look for it, though I would wager some of it was unintentional. It’s all just one laugh after the other (between all the killing and fighting) from a pair of interstellar goats and a rivalry for Thor’s affections between Mjolnir and Stormbreaker.
Thor: Love and Thunder works primarily because of everyone involved, especially Waititi, Hemsworth, Portman, and Bale. Bale seems to be having some evil fun while not needing to carry a film as Heath Ledger did against him in The Dark Knight. The CG can get a little childish at times, but the film delivers everything I want in a sit-back-and-relax superhero adventure, which quite frankly is something we need.
"…delivers everything I want in a sit-back-and-relax superhero adventure..."