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Thor: Love and Thunder

I’m very late to this one, but I have finally seen and written down words about Thor picture #4, THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER, directed by the suddenly controversial Taika Waititi. I see most of the Marvel movies right away, but various other happenings conspired to make me wait until three weeks later on this one, and honestly it was kind of nice to miss most of the conversation and see it after the storm had passed. I’m curious to see if this review will still generates anything close to a new release level of discussion, or if the interest in such topics dissipates with exposure to oxygen. I honestly don’t know the answer.

It was also good to see later because I was aware that the response had been much more widely negative than for most MCU movies, and especially than the in-my-experience-universally-popular THOR: RAGNAROK from the same director and general attitude. Before that I had taken for granted that it would be one of the better Marvel movies. I concede that it’s the opposite. But maybe the lowered expectations contributed to me still being entertained and not hating it.

Chris Hemsworth (A PERFECT GETAWAY) returns as Thor, the initially pretty serious, now mostly comedic Asgardian Thunder God turned Avenger. His alien rock monster pal Korg (voice of Waititi) gives us the “previously on Marvel” rundown in the form of a children’s story: Thor has now gotten back into (ridiculously perfect) shape, has kind of a hair metal look and still runs with the Guardians of the Galaxy, which is getting boring because he’s way more powerful than necessary for most of the situations they deal with. They decide to part ways, and he returns to New Asgard – remember, his planet/dimension/whatever was destroyed and now the refugees live in a Norwegian coastal village ruled by Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson, MAKE IT HAPPEN)? That last one really left things in a weird place, I’m starting to realize.

Here’s the thing though. Thor’s old earth girlfriend Dr. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman, JANE GOT A GUN) has stage four cancer, and none of the treatments are working, so she had this idea to come to New Asgard to look at the remains of Thor’s magic hammer Mjolnir (remember, his secret evil sister Hela [Cate Blanchett, HANNA] broke it with one hand?) and then it re-formed and flew into Jane’s hand and now she has amor and power like Thor and calls herself The Mighty Thor. Long story. That happened mostly off screen. So when Thor shows up at night and starts fighting off a monster attack, Jane is there dressed like him, and it’s awkward.

The monsters come courtesy of the villain of the piece, a being called Gorr, street name The God Butcher. He’s played by Christian Bale (SHAFT) and he’s the best part of the movie, maybe because he’s the only part that’s not treated as a joke. In the opening he’s a grey and tattooed humanoid of unknown species, protecting his daughter in a desolate desert wasteland. Shortly after she tragically succumbs to the elements he stumbles across a beautiful oasis, where a bunch of gods including his own, Rapu (Jonny Brugh, WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS), are sitting in VIP smokin and drinkin and kickin it. When he realizes that Rapu knew what his followers were going through and just didn’t give a shit it inspires Gorr to steal the mythical (and cool looking) Necrosword and murder him with it. So he Gorr good reason to be pissed, plus the sword does a Lord of the Rings type number on his soul, so he decides to dedicate the rest of time to going around slaying all the gods he can find. Including, say, a thunder god super hero guy, maybe.

(That mythological villain origin prologue is likely the best part of the movie, just like the one in THE MUMMY.)

As scary as Gorr is, he loses the fight in New Asgard. The bad news is he kidnaps a bunch of children and puts them in a cage in the Shadow Realm (floating in space, basically). The late Heimdall’s son (Kieron L. Dyer, JINGLE JANGLE: A CHRISTMAS JOURNEY), who is really into Guns ’n Roses and renamed himself Axl, is able to contact Thor telepathically, depicted through a goofy superimposed floating head that has been savagely made fun of on Twitter, but seems to me intended to have a goofy SHRUNKEN HEADS sort of look that they honestly should’ve gone further with. Oh well. Long story short, Thor and pals go to Omnipotence City to try to get help from Zeus (Russell Crowe, THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS) but he turns out to be an absolute douche, and then Gorr steals Thor’s magic ax Stormbreaker and (obviously) uses it to summon the Bifrost and find Eternity, a giant cosmic being made out of the stars who (as I’m sure we’re all aware) can grant one wish which they assume will to be to kill all of the gods.

I don’t mind the random narrative bobbing and weaving. It fits the personality of this colorful cartoon world of mashed up mythologies. And I don’t mind all the jokes. Waititi’s recognition of Hemsworth’s humor from seeing him in GHOSTBUSTERS is part of why RAGNAROK helped the Thor series finally (briefly) find its footing. The problem I have is that this is a comedy that would work better with some grounding to it. There are movies that are really funny but you take the story and characters seriously, but this one takes the approach that those don’t matter because they’re only there to set up the jokes.

For example, there’s a scene where Thor finds his friend Sif (Jaimie Alexander, REST STOP) gravely wounded. She tells him it’s okay that she’s dying because she’ll be able to go to Valhalla, and he tells her that actually you only go to Valhalla if you die during the actual battle, but maybe her chopped off arm will get to go there. It’s a funny line, but it requires us to accept that this great Asgardian warrior who fought beside him since childhood (so, about 1500 years), appeared in his first two movies and crossed over to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Loki, doesn’t know the basic rules of her own belief system. Because the joke is more important. A bad choice, in my opinion.

I first realized something was off about the movie in Jane’s first scene, where she’s getting chemo, a kid sitting next to her is reading her book, and she gets to show off that she wrote it. It’s a cute idea, but it just seems so not-at-all thought out, with this pile up of unlikely things you have to swallow. This kid, the only other patient here, is unusual enough to read books about astrophysics, and didn’t kinow he was in the same hospital as the author? It’s really a coincidence? And as I’m trying to get past that she’s for some reason trying to explain a concept to him that he hasn’t gotten to in the book yet, and I have to accept that she would just tear a page out of the book to re-create the scene from INTERSTELLAR. And in retrospect it occurs to me that this was not reminding us of a concept that we would need to understand for the story, like when Ant-Man explains time travel in AVENGERS: ENDGAME. It’s just trying to be funny, and maybe it would be in some other context where I wasn’t distracted by everything being so awkward. I mean, it’s funny to think of Jane Foster being really into EVENT HORIZON. I can dig that.

While we’re trying to recover from the oddness of all that, Jane tells Darcy (cameo by Kat Dennings, DEFENDOR) that she’s dealing with cancer in her own way, which turns out to be doing experiments in her lab to try to cure it? That’s very comic booky, sure, but it just seems so stupid in a story where she’s not gonna end up Hulking or Morbiusing herself. She’s just gonna fail to cure cancer. She really thought she could just put in enough elbow grease to hash this cure for cancer thing out?

I just think making this character deal with the real world part of the story in a way that’s as silly as any of the fantasy world stuff is a missed opportunity. Portman is a great dramatic actress, that’s kinda her thing. I try to avoid reviewing a movie for what it’s not, but I can’t help but imagine how much better this could be if it just spent a little time treating cancer as a real thing, something that has defeated the science she trusts in, before she resorts to the magic. Then she can be funny because of her unexpected new life of being a viking super hero.

I like the cute explanation of why Mjolnir called out to her and turned her into Mighty Thor. And it’s cool how it’s still in fragments but holds itself together and then can come apart and turn into shrapnel for combat purposes. The self-deprecating humor about her wanting to have a catch phrase but the stuff she comes up with is always bad isn’t very funny, but maybe it would be if there was a serious Jane we got to contrast it to. And maybe then it would feel a little more exciting to see her with super powers. I was excited that Portman got to come back as something more interesting than Thor’s Love Interest, but they didn’t exactly make her into one of the great super heroes either.

I’m pretty sure these guys were supposed to be way funnier than I found them to be. Oh well.

One reason the Marvel movies caught on is that they found a good balance of bringing comic book adventure to life and being able to laugh about it. I felt it started to become formulaic around the time of AVENGERS 2, that every big super hero moment seemed to be followed by a beat and then a quip making fun of it. But they’ve mostly made it work. THOR: RAGNAROK handled it well because Hemsworth charisma had always been the main thing driving the THOR movies. Allowing him to be funnier kind of unleashed that, and at the same time the colorful Jack Kirby inspired alien planets were an enormous improvement over the drab ice giants and shit that Thor had previously dealt with, whether or not they were being taken seriously.

But for me LOVE AND THUNDER has gone too far over the line into just not taking enough things seriously to work as a dramatic story. Everything Thor does is a joke or a riff or a set up for a punchline… until the climax. Then all the sudden he’s crying and telling Jane he loves her. I tell you, I’m a softy these days, it could’ve got me if they would’ve taken one or two things half way seriously at any point earlier in the movie. It’s not quite as bad as if Ricky Bobby had a dramatic crying scene at the end of TALLADEGA NIGHTS, but it’s not that far off from that either.

So as a result it doesn’t seem very earned when the movie ends with some sweetness, basically a setup for the next movie, even though it turns out to be the meaning of the subtitle. Unless they change course, the next one will be about Thor raising Gorr’s daughter, resurrected and super-powered. She’s actually played by Hemsworth’s daughter India Rose Hemsworth (uncredited, I believe). I didn’t notice this, but Hemsworth’s wife Elsa Pataky (INTERCEPTOR) also has a cameo in the movie as a wolf woman he has sex with on the back of a giant wolf. I hope Thor gets back together with the wolf woman so part 5 can be a family affair.

Yep, a simultaneous JCVD and Jack Burton homage. Strange times we’re living in.

But I’m afraid the legends were true, THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER is a haphazard mess, maybe a product of a Marvel overconfident that we’re charmed by certain things and if they catapult them at the screen it doesn’t matter precisely where they land. It does, at least, continue to express the personality of its director, though some have claimed that he was not entirely in charge of the post-production (some using this as a dig on Marvel, others on him, depending on which one they’re more mad at).

I don’t really get the Waititi backlash. For a while I thought I was a little less into him than everybody else, having not seen his early works, and only liking WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS enough to be amused by once and never think about again. There were a few years there were it kinda replaced SHAUN OF THE DEAD as the comedy I liked but just didn’t relate to the religious fervor for. Then a few of my friends started holding a personal grudge against him because he was allegedly coked out and/or obnoxious at a Fantastic Fest Q&A one time. Others started to find him annoying in interviews, while still others talk about JOJO RABBIT as if it’s so self-apparently disgraceful that we need not even discuss why it must be removed from the planet earth. I’ll just say, whether in good or bad faith, these people are interpreting that movie so drastically differently than I am that it’s frustrating. I think they take the movie as an attempt to humanize Nazis – if this kid grows up as a Nazi, then Nazis were kids once, so have some empathy for them. I think that’s backwards. I think it’s saying if this kid grows up indoctrinated with these fucked up beliefs that just seem like patriotism to him, what did you grow up with? How many of the beliefs you’ve inherited are you willing to question? How sure are you that you’re not part of the problem?

Dealing with the most sensitive of all subjects using humor is very risky and obviously not for everyone, and of course I can understand people not being comfortable with it. But also I’m not Jewish, so if I did have a problem with it I certainly wouldn’t tell this Jewish director how he should approach the subject.

Anyway, this should be less controversial: THE HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE is a funny and charming movie I would recommend to absolutely anybody. For that movie alone I can’t hate the dude. Furthermore, he’s the producer of one of my favorite shows on TV, Reservation Dogs. He co-wrote the pilot so he’s credited as co-creator, though it seems to be Sterlin Harjo who’s really the voice behind it. Still, it was Waititi who had a production deal with FX, asked Harjo if he wanted to make a show, and made it happen. That is an admirable use of the clout Waititi has built up. That’s what you’re supposed to do.

So I respect him, but LOVE AND THUNDER certainly shows he’s fallible. It seems like maybe RAGNAROK was the best big studio type movie he had in him and now he should focus on his own type of stuff, but I’m not gonna tell him what to do.


Maybe it’s time to check in with a state of the MCU in what I have just read is Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase Four: The Multiverse Saga Part 1 of 3. Unfortunately BLACK WIDOW didn’t live up to my hopes, but I guess at least it gave us the gift of Florence Pugh as Yelena Belova. SHANG-CHI AND THE LEGEND OF THE TEN RINGS was I think a very good Marvel movie, mostly standing on its own, introducing a version of the world more influenced by the cinema of Hong Kong and China. ETERNALS, unfortunately, did not impress me enough to even write a review. My main memory of it is that the side characters like the ones played by Angelina Jolie and Ma Dong-seok were interesting while the central characters were too bland to give a shit about. SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME is not the best of these as a stand-alone film, but is the most entertaining as a novelty concoction taking advantage of its place tying together a larger body of work (or bodies of work!). DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS is a little less successful at that sort of stuff, but certainly benefits from the injection of Sam Raimi’s style and personality (instead of just borrowing his characters).

You know what’s kinda funny, when I saw THE ETERNALS people were saying that it didn’t really have an effect on the larger MCU story. And I thought are you crazy? At the end of the movie the whole world has to deal with the fact that a giant space god is sleeping on the earth and humanity has a limited window to prove our earth or be destroyed! But then SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME, DR. STRANGE & THE MULTI-VERSE OF MADNESS and THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER have all come out and not one character has mentioned there being a giant space god and all that. Nobody gives a shit. I guess after Thanos you get pretty blase about this stuff.

I’m still on board enough that I’ve watched all the Disney+ shows, a feat I might not have pulled off if they were dumped all at once like Netflix shows, but luckily they release them episode by episode. WandaVision is kind of the most interesting, because it actually takes advantage of and comments on the television format, and would not work at all as a movie. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, on the other hand, might’ve been improved at movie length, finding something better than these mediocre TV level bad guys. But there’s some good buddy movie interaction and admittedly some stuff about Falcon’s life as a Black man (but also Avenger) in America that they might not find time for in a movie.

Loki was pretty imaginative and had its own visual style, but it was the first one where the season ended and it didn’t feel like a complete story, just an explanation of a concept and the beginning of an ongoing story that may or may not build to something more interesting. I don’t personally need a season 2 on that one, so of course it’s the only one we know for sure is getting one.

Hawkeye was way more my speed. I think that’s my favorite. It does feel like an extended movie, but it works. A good action comedy tone, some strong action sequences, and a very charismatic lead duo in Hailey Steinfeld and Jeremy Renner. Also it’s more characterization than Hawkeye ever got in the movies, and Pugh returning as Yelena is a total delight. I laugh just thinking about the way she says “Kate Bishop.”

Moon Knight started out interesting-weird and pretty cinematic, but I mostly shrugged at the end. I at least respect that they had the balls to make one that had no connection or reference to any other MCU stuff.

Ms. Marvel is my second favorite, not because of the overall super hero story but because Kamala Khan, her friends and family are just so funny and lovable, and also because it has some cool stylistic flourishes like animated graffiti murals and texts that we see light up as neon signs on a store window behind a character.

There’s one more movie in this “phase,” and it’s BLACK PANTHER: WAKANDA FOREVER. It’s such a mystery how it’s gonna work, since obviously it was a vehicle for this one character and then they had to make it into a movie without that character at all. But we do know that Ryan Coogler is a Real Fuckin Director and man, that trailer looks like a Real Fuckin Movie. Not because it’s the new chapter of the Marvel story or because of what will happen to this character or that, but as a movie on its own. I recently saw the trailer in a theater for the first time and I got goosebumps. Man, Coogler is so good. I don’t want him to be stuck making Marvel movies forever, but on the other hand, maybe that wouldn’t stop him from greatness. Time will tell.

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 11th, 2022 at 2:10 pm and is filed under Comic strips/Super heroes, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

45 Responses to “Thor: Love and Thunder”

  1. I greatly enjoyed it and don’t understand the backlash. If anything I remember RAGNAROK as the full-time comedy and thought this one had heavier themes and more serious moments mixed in with the wackiness.

    If there really is a backlash against JOJO RABBIT then I hadn’t heard about it and am disappointed but not completely surprised. Some people take the firm stance that humor must never ever be used as a tool for dealing with serious issues. If there are also people who feel that we must never acknowledge the possibility of any humanity or redemption in our opponents then that is very worrying.

    Back to LOVE AND THUNDER, if people were ridiculing the floating head without understanding that it was MEANT to be weird and funny then they have concrete for brains. I wonder if there’s a point at which we as a society need to stop validating the bad takes by sharing them.

    Anyway, I had a good time. And I will take as much Tessa Thompson as a movie can give me.

  2. Pretty dead on review. I felt like there were definitely times in this movie where the tone of the characters was the same as the over-the-top, campy stage actors doing the dramatic renditions. There just didn’t seem to be any weight or tension around anything.

  3. “Back to LOVE AND THUNDER, if people were ridiculing the floating head without understanding that it was MEANT to be weird and funny then they have concrete for brains. ”
    Okay, so tell me WHY it looking bad on purpose is supposed to be a good thing when this is supposed to be a relatively dramatic plot point about God Children being kidnapped by a God Serial Killer?

  4. “But for me LOVE AND THUNDER has gone too far over the line into just not taking enough things seriously to work as a dramatic story.” I totally agree with this. They were able to balance the humor and the drama in RAGNAROK, but this was too much. I knew right away, too. The whole beginning with him with the Guardians of the Galaxy and the stuff like he thinks he’s giving Starlord his ship, he doesn’t seem to realize or care that he destroyed the temple, that stuff. At least I was able to immediately update my expectations.

    A big thing for me, though, is the bait and switch they did on the promotion to make it out like it was a rom-com. Outside of movies, my other big interest is romance novels and everyone in the community was so excited to see a Marvel movie actually, maybe going to have a real romantic storyline. Waititi flat out said he was excited to make a rom-com. The betrayal of killing off Jane was hard. Even so, I’m not a Waititi hater. It’s just a trigger point to claim to be doing a “Rom-Com” and then give it a tragic ending. Even before that, I knew he wasn’t a guy I’d want to hang out with or anything – way too high strung, but I mostly enjoy his stuff.

  5. I liked it ok, but then again I had extremely low expectations for it after the events of the Russo movies kind of soured me on the MCU and the character. I thought it was a fun/cute comedy (if not always anywhere as funny as it thinks it is), and it’s got some pretty good visuals for a Marvel movie. It’s also pretty much aimed at kids (though with more references to orgies than I ever remember hearing on Spongebob), so I cut it some slack for that reason; if I had seen this aged ten, I think I would have been a lifelong fan.

    I can perfectly understand how someone wouldn’t like it (I’m not exactly crazy about it) but I really really don’t get the backlash. Then again I’m not invested at all at this point in any Marvel continuity, nor do I really hold the MCU to any high standards; Endgame treated Thor as comedy fatsuit depressed slob of a punchline- and its jokes were much worse than most here- but people never seemed to have a problem with that.

    About Waititi, the dude has made enough stuff I love that he’s got a lifetime pass as far as I’m concerned… but after my wife made me watch a *lot* of Thor Fhor promotional material, I gotta say that backlash I kinda understand. I’ve liked him in interviews before, but these days he just seems to be on full-on manic magical pixie mode all the time… It really looks like a performance. I like to imagine Disney PR execs behind the cameras on those promo spots, whipping him and screaming “Cuter! More whimsical!” in between takes.
    Still, to hate on his movies because of it is all kinds of wrong.

  6. Oh, and I loved the goats, which are based on actual norse mythology. Then again, my son found them absolutely hilarious, so maybe that had an impact on my enjoyment of them.

  7. I was an early adopter of the Waititi Backlash, having found him personally insufferable since at least the RAGNAROK special features, but I still expected to enjoy LOVE & THUNDER. Even when the internet hated it, I figured they were just doing their crabs-in-the-bucket thing: Someone we thought was one of us decided he was one of the cool kids and that means everything he’s ever done has always been shit, even the stuff we used to love. I take the internet’s opinions with about 17 metric tons of salt anyway. But I guess eventually I took everybody’s word for it because I never did get off my ass and see it. This probably has more to do with the preponderance of Marvel TV making the MCU seem like less of a leave-the-house-worthy event than it was pre-Disney+. I’m perfectly happy to check out the next episode from my couch.

    As for Phase 4, it’s been a mixed bag. More interesting than successful most of the time. SHANG CHI and TOO MANY SPIDER-MEN were best at capturing that Marvel magic. ETERNALS felt like an extremely overpriced pilot for a show that would probably find its bearings in the second season after some dead weight had been culled from the cast. DOC STRANGE: MULTIVERSE PHYSICIAN had its moments but was fairly underwhelming both as a Marvel and as a Raimi. The TV shows have all ranged from decent to very good. I think probably WANDAVISION and LOKI have the highest highs but I preferred FALCON and HAWKEYE overall. Buddy action is just more my thing than loopy existential sci-fi weirdness. MOON KNIGHT was easily the weakest but still not terrible most of the time. I haven’t seen MS MARVEL yet.

    As for BLACK PANTHER 2: NOT FEAT. BLACK PANTHER, I guess I gotta stay agnostic on this one. I still find myself in the highly suspicious position of thinking the first one is bottom-tier Marvel, down there with INCREDIBLE HULK and THOR 1. I don’t think the drama is all that enthralling, and its action and spectacle are the epitome of what everybody always say they hate about Marvel action and spectacle. And honestly, I liked CREED like everybody else but I don’t really see where Coogler’s Real Fuckin Director cred came from. Personally, I thought the trailer for BP2 looked like a DC movie: monotone, ponderous, dripping with as-yet-unearned gravitas. Considering the rivers of shit the production had to wade through to get to the screen, Coogler would have to be a Real Fuckin Genius to get anything cohesive out of it. At least they probably let him hire the A-list special effects team this time.

    So overall I feel like this is probably a transitional phase for the ol’ MCU. Or the beginning of the end. Probably one of those two.

  8. I don’t like pissing on Black Panther because I get it’s important for a lot of people, and more so after Boseman’s passing (also, the Russo bros did three marvel movies I like a lot less and seem even more universally beloved, so I’d rather hate on them!) But this is the rare instance I fully agree with Mr Majestyk. Sure, it’s got a great villain (the movie’s best element, along with green suit dude and geeky kid sister) but even that works against it, because he’s a much better and more interesting character than prince black panther, and, well, way more righteous.

    Based on a lot of Coogler’s Fruitvale Station, and especially Creed, I’d say he’s got some pretty good director cred, just not with big-budget fantasy spectacle. Like with Waititi, I’m mostly looking forward to whatever he does outside of the house of mouse.

  9. See, I’ve found the kid sister annoying since her first scene (She’s got a real “random adult guest star on a Disney Channel show about teens who are secretly rock stars” energy that I cannot abide), so I’ll be even more upset if that antivax wingnut becomes the face of the franchise.

    I hope the sequel is good, though. I liked Boseman. I like the rest of the supporting cast. I love Wakanda. I just didn’t like this one little movie they made out of those elements.

  10. I liked Boseman, and the warrior ladies, but they’re just cool-looking two-dimensional characters coasting on their actors’ (massive) raw charisma, nothing interesting going on with them as written; I didn’t find them engaging at all. At least the kid sister seemed to be having fun even when saddled with some really terrible lines.
    Didn’t know she was an asshat IRL, though. Oh well, at least she’s young and might learn.

    To bring it back to Thor, I’d say that’s one reason I find Natalie Portman’s character more interesting than Black Widow or Gamora. All three are great actresses and ooze charm (the secret sauce behind the MCU’s success, imo), but I’d struggle to describe the other two with words other than cool, aloof, competent, badass and other very closely related adjectives… whereas Portman’s character gets to be (some) of those things but is also geeky, awkward, enthusiastic, curious, internal, etc. Honestly, I think she’s… possibly Marvel’s only interesting female characters? And one thing that the script for Thor 4 handled well (despite the lame catchphrase running gag).

    So many bad running gags in this one. The hammer rivalry was kind of maybe funny once, did they really need to return to it every other scene?

  11. Curt – You’re probly right that RAGNAROK is more straight comedy (it’s been a while) but I guess for me the inclusion of the cancer subplot calls out for a less ridiculous treatment, especially when you get to the SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER death of Jane and we’re supposed to switch on a dime to taking it seriously. I’m glad you didn’t have that problem though.

    Majestyk – You called it “unearned gravitas,” but they seem to be mourning the unexpected death of a beloved character which we know is because of the death of an even more beloved actual person. That seems about as earned as you can get. But I think it would be a great trailer without that context too. It just looks beautiful, and not just by repeating imagery from the first movie. The white outfits, the underwater footage, the Aztec and Mayan inspired designs, the fire, the water. Also the use of the cover of “No Woman No Cry” with the “everything’s gonna be all right” lyric sort of dissolving into Kendrick Lamar’s “we gon’ be alright,” as a simultaneous jump from the past to the present, a reference to the first movie (since Kendrick did the soundtrack) and an affirmation to the audience about the heavy emotional context of the whole thing. I mean, come on. It’s great.

  12. Since Foster references Event Horizon and Interstellar, are Sam Neill and Matt Damon playing themselves?

  13. I actually really enjoyed it – more than expected after reading the reviews, so in that sense going to see it a few weeks after its release was an advantage. It was not as good as Ragnarok (i thought that Cate Blanchet was a more serious threat than Christian Bale), but still better (for me at least) than Black Widow or Eternals…
    My concern is that MCU Phase 4 seems all over the place between movies that are not that interconnected and TV shows that are opening a lot of new doors but not really building on each other. Hopefully Phase 5 will bring a bit more cohesion in this…

  14. I haven’t seen this one, and probably never will since I don’t have MouseVision, but I do want to say that Jack Kirby was a pretty spectacular visionary so I’m always hopeful his creations get the lavish cinematic treatment they deserve.

    But. On another note entirely, Mr. Majestyk, I’ve laid out your illo and am going to proceed to digital inks tomorrow or Monday. If you could send me an email so I can get it to you, that would be great! You can reach me at zomboartstuff@gmailDOTcom.

  15. John Pepper, MD (aka Dr. Pepper)

    August 12th, 2022 at 12:22 am

    I loved this review because: (a) by this point, I wouldn’t have expected a Love and Thunder review; and (b) bonus short form reviews of the Disney+ shows!

    I pretty much agree 100% on Thor Love and Thunder. I was entertained but disappointed. Structurally, it shares a curious feature with Ragnorok: sending Thor off to an Act 2 that doesn’t connect well plotwise to Acts 1 and 2. In Ragnorok, you tell me what Thor’s gladiator and fugitive exploits on Jeff Goldbloom’s battle world had to do with Hell’s occupation of Asgard. Not much. Likewise, here, Thor’s jaunt to Omnipotent City ended up not advancing the Gorr storyline of Acts 1 and 2 at all. But better execution in Ragnorok made that work, whereas Love and Thunder Act 2 felt hollowed out and trivial to me—like we gave up too much of the story to a half-baked skit. But the Gorr stuff worked and I did like the reveal of what “Love and Thunder” meant. I thought that was cool.

    As for the Disney+ shows, I’m pretty much exactly in agreement with Vern also except that: (a) I apparently liked Falcon & TWS better, and I think the racial politics in that were incredibly bold and honest, really, and that the John Walker character was a very interesting look at a failure in super-heroism; and (b) I didn’t care much for Loki at all—there are only so many scenes I can take of people hanging around the TVA offices talking about the same shit over and over again. I also liked Hawkeye probably the best of the bunch so far—Kate Bishop was great, I love Yelena, and Renner is a great actor who ties it together.

    Also, yes, that Wakanda Forever trailer is quite a piece of work in itself. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I’ve probably watched it 10 times.

  16. While reading this, I realized that I haven’t seen ANY of the MCU shows. Really looking forward for SHE HULK though.

  17. Mr. Majestyk- “At least they probably let him hire the A-list special effects team this time.” It’s really more about how Marvel treats the VFX houses.

    I’m a VFX Artist, and I’m Tired of Getting ‘Pixel-F–ked’ by Marvel

    What’s it like to work as a visual-effects artist for the MCU? “I’ve had co-workers sit next to me, break down, and start crying.”

    As for WAKANDA FOREVER, I’m on team “shoulda recast T’Challa”. Boseman’s family have said he’d be cool with it, it’s worked before on other projects, and the CHARACTER is really important to a lot of people. I’ve seen people online make the point that T’Challa was important as a black hero in a movie series that celebrates black people without wallowing in Black Trauma, and the prospect of watching a movie revolving so hard around his death is just depressing in that regard alone, not to mention the real world aspect of it which also may bring in feelings of discomfort as if this could maybe be considered exploitative? Boseman passed two years ago. Do all the feelings around that have to be dragged up again? Also if the movie sucks, good luck being critical of it without people accusing you of being disrespectful. Not that I expect it to suck, it’s just this isn’t where I had hoped it would go.
    Also, T’Challa fans are fearing that their options with regards to enjoying him as a character elsewhere are going to shrink as Marvel has a tendency of tweaking the comics to be more like the movies (when AGE OF ULTRON came out, they did a whole thing to make Wanda and Pietro not Magneto’s kids anymore, comics Tony Stark became noticeably snarkier post-movie, and they did a terrible “Civil War 2” storyline to coincide with the movie), and there’s word there’s a BP video game in the works that will be a completely different main character.

  18. Vern: I specified “as-yet-unearned gravitas,” by which I just mean that I am not prepared to feel the feels the trailer’s tone expects me to feel based on two minutes of disconnected footage. I hate trailers that come on too strong like that. They’re like those commercials where you don’t even know what’s being advertised but they’re hitting you with the soaring music and shots of kids playing little league in the amber waves of grain like you should be really moved by this investment bank or whatever. You can’t get at my heart that easy. I’m not that cheap a date. At least buy me a drink first.

    Also, two things I kinda hate are Bob Marley covers and Kendrick Lamar. And you know I don’t give a shit about outfits. So I think I’m just immune to whatever is being sold here. You see greatness, I see an overstuffed drag. Hopefully the movie leans more toward your interpretation.

  19. Oh, hey, Zombo, I just saw your message! That’s fuckin’ awesome, man! I can’t wait to see it. I’ll get at you presently.

  20. I think I liked THOR FOUR: THOR & THOR VS GORR more than most of the internet, even though I also agree with the criticisms. It is overly silly. Some of the silliness works great and is funny, and some of it starts to grate after a while. A little more grounded emotion would sell the dramatic elements better.

    That said, I enjoyed the awesome black-and-white sequence, the flashbacks to Thor and Jane’s relationship, Russell Crowe hamming it up, the very useful “previously on Thor” segment(s), Jane’s charmingly dorky superhero persona and cool hammer shrapnel, and Christian Bale, for my money our greatest living actor, going full Gyllenhaal. I began to form one manly tear when Thor told Jane “You made me worthy.” I would’ve liked more of that.

    Note how the movie totally proves Gorr’s point that the gods are useless and/or actively harmful and deserve to die. Thor wrecks that palace. Zeus is an asshole. I think Thor kills more gods in this than Gorr does. I would have preferred that tie more into Thor’s arc in the movie– learning that he and his fellow gods have failed their people, and working to be better. It would also be timely, as we live in a world where our elected officials don’t actually care about the people they represent.

    But again, it’s a fast-paced candy-colored roller coaster, so it’s an enjoyable watch in the moment, though not as good or surprising as RAGNAROK. Also I could do without the CGI helmets.

    Taika is constantly doing a bit. I think folks are starting to tire of the bit, but I think that only encourages him to lean more into the bit and troll harder. But his track record is solid; I, for one, loved JOJO RABBIT, really dug RAGNAROK, and thought WILDERPEOPLE was very good.

    As for the other MCU stuff: I think I liked BLACK WIDOW more than most, and SHANG-CHI a little less. SHANG-CHI might have the best first hour or so of any of these movies, but my enthusiasm waned heavily after that. I only just caught up with ETERNALS and found it fascinating, if not exactly good. It’s the best-looking Marvel movie in a long time, but a little too dry. Certainly different from the other MCU stuff, though, very ambitious, and did defy my expectations, but I respect it more than I like it. SPIDER-MAN was surprisingly good considering how much they shoved into it. I liked the parts of DOCTOR STRANGE that were about Doctor Strange or Sam Raimi, but the weight of the Marvel machine drags it down a bit. I was happy that THOR was so standalone.

    Of the Disney Plus shows, I’ve only seen WANDAVISION and MOON KNIGHT in their entirety. I’m two episodes into LOKI and I’m shocked how dull it’s been so far. I’m worried I’ll never catch up with these, like how I fell off of the Netflix series pretty early on. I am looking forward to SHE-HULK, because Tatiana Maslany is great.

    I had very little interest in BLACK PANTHER 2 (and was also underwhelmed by the first one), and I expected this one to be a mess considering the various tragedies, disasters, and mishaps during production, but that trailer was excellent. So if there’s good word of mouth I’ll probably show up for it.

  21. First, let me say that I think WILDERPEOPLE is great, so I don’t think Waititi is without talent. Second, let me say that I found RAGNAROK unbearable. For me it was exactly the definition of what everyone agrees is the problem with this one: the plot feels like two different movies that have no connection to each other, and if everything’s a joke, it’s hard to give a shit about the things that are supposed to be serious. But the internet hailed it as a brilliant triumph so what do I know? I even went back and tried to give it a second shot in the lead-up to this one and guess what, no, it’s just as fucking terrible as everyone says this one is. So I don’t know what to tell you, folks, other than that I won’t be seeing Love and Thunder.

  22. MCU GRUMP WARNING: My core “this is too fatuous for me to engage with it as a story, but not nearly funny enough for me to celebrate as a comedy” MCU experience was SPIDER-MAN HOMECOMING. It’s like that from the very first scene between Keaton and one of his co-workers, but by the time you get to the bit where he interrogates Donald Glover and his suit is giving him a weird chipmunk voice or whatever, I started to wonder how exactly it was appreciably different from BATMAN & ROBIN, except, you know by being exponentially blander and way less fun. The sequels were something of an improvement, but have too much of the HOMECOMING DNA in them for my liking.

  23. Stu – I agree that the character of T’Challa is important and that it’s hard to imagine Boseman wanting him retired for him. I would’ve preferred they recast, but I also understand why they wouldn’t do it. The obvious reason is the difficulty of finding an actor both capable of and willing to try to fill those shoes right away. But the more important one is that Coogler and most of the cast and crew had become close friends with Boseman and were knee deep in preparing the version of it he was going to star in. They turned the movie into their way of mourning him. If that’s what they wanted to do that takes precedent over comic book universe stuff.

    Majestyk – Okay, I do not relate, but I see more where you’re coming from. Still, I think even though you don’t like the first movie you understand that most of the world considers it hugely culturally important. Of course the first glimpse of the mysterious sequel is heavy and solemn and tries to live up to the context of the production and its release.

    Daniel – I don’t rewatch many of the Marvel movies, including RAGNAROK. I don’t deny the possibility that it’s exactly like this, but went over better since it was the first time. However, when I think about Thor’s adventure with Hulk on that alien planet it is clearly more fun and visually interesting than his naked hearing with Zeus in Omnipotence City.

  24. Vern, I will take your word for it since I’m not gonna see this one. But I remain baffled why the internet’s complete inconsistency in terms of this shit. Silly, I know — the public’s taste is and always will be ever-changing, different strokes, etc. Maybe I’m just grumpy that everyone didn’t see what I saw before, because now we have twice as many stupid Taika Waititi Thor movies as a result. And I admit this is selfish of me, but Thor is one of my favorite MCU characters, thanks in large part to Hemsworth (who is fucking aces in Avengers: Infinity War), and I would really love to see him in a good comedy-action movie, but in my opinion it hasn’t happened yet and it doesn’t look like it will any time soon. Bummer.

  25. I was fully so-so on this. It might work better on TV and I can kind of buy it as having a foot in the 80s-kids-fantasy camp. I think its biggest problem is just that Portman’s story-arc could have actually had real mileage dramatically. It is the kind of storytelling swing where it just feels to me like if it didn’t make you cry, or even just feel something, it probably did fail.

    It is kind of a shame- Thor’s only true out-and-out classic run in the comics will never be a good foundation for a movie, cos they used it up as gag firewood.

    I think an interesting thing about the MCU atm is they’ve forgot how much the small stuff matters. Thw biggest representation of that to me is the nanite helmet stuff, which this movie has a lot of. If you are an action movie director and suiting up isn’t an important beat to you, if the act of putting on a bad-ass helmet isn’t aiming to make my jaw drop, you’re in the wrong job. These fellas need to go watch Rambo, Predator (or Prey!), Evil Dead 2, anything!

  26. Universal★Rundle

    August 12th, 2022 at 1:30 pm

    Bill Reed called this THOR “standalone,” and that was my biggest sense of it walking out: It reminded me of following a comics series as a teenager, which you expected to alternate between one-shots and mini-arcs and event series, never really knowing what was coming next. This felt like a one-shot, which I wasn’t expecting – but which I was pretty fine with on those terms. Sometimes a minor one-and-done comic used to just hit the sweet spot; sometimes it fell flat, and you were on to the next thing. I guess it makes sense that most of the public expects every MCU movie to be an event now – but I think it’s a given that Marvel thinks more in terms of the one-shot/mini-arc/event mix from the comics (like people calling the ANT-MANS mid-tier “hang-out” movies, or SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME a “palate cleanser” after ENDGAME). I think the public is most jarred in situations like LOVE & THUNDER, when there’s an unmet expectation that it’ll be a bigger event, and when the editors sequencing these stories just turn out to be making an unsatisfying mixtape. We’ve been getting a _lot_ of iffy one-shots in a row lately, we thought a banger was coming, and instead it turned out to be self-contained and sweet, with a lot of self-congratulatory Korg mugging. Fine for another random issue off the rack, but not what people thought they were walking into. (Maybe because RAGNAROK really did feel like a surprise mini-event, helped by the Planet Hulk crossover? Because the Jane Foster/cancer source material was a pretty high-profile storyline, as far as the print comics go? Because people are craving blockbusters back in theatres, to feel like we’re returning to normal?)

  27. I didn’t mention that the SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER (SORT OF) inevitable mid-credits teaser is pretty much a replay of the Harry Styles thing on ETERNALS. This time I did recognize who he was but it’s another case where if you’re not into the particular part of pop culture he’s from then it doesn’t seem remotely exciting as a teaser.

  28. Theoretically the name of the character himself should be exciting but we’ve been burned before. If Renny fucking Harlin and the fucking Rock couldn’t make memorable movies out of him, I’m not gonna let Marvel get my hopes up.

  29. I think you might see him unexpectedly soon, as he’s the sometimes romantic partner of She-Hulk.


    I was 1000% certain that we’d see Sif’s arm flopping around Valhalla after Jane’s majestic arrival and Heimdall’s surprising return and heartfelt greeting, but either someone must’ve talked Waititi out of it or he’s learning not to undercut EVERY single dramatic beat with a stupid joke. I thought this one was slightly better than Ragnarok in that respect, for the most part (and especially once we got rid of those goddamn goats). But this one didn’t have my boy Bruce Banner or Cate Blanchett as Elvira, so I’m gonna have to call it a draw. As in, they’re tied for my third or fourth least favorite movies in the MCU to date.

  31. 2 things I liked about this one that I haven’t noticed others calling out: I dug Thor powering up the Asgardian kids at the end with his “Whosoever holds this hammer” speech and the fragments of Mjolnir – that was dope, and felt like it would be a great splash page toward the end of an actual comic book. And, I cheered when Natalie Portman at the end insisted on being called “DOCTOR Jane Foster”. A great moment for former grad students everywhere.

  32. I kind of thought it did a good-ish job of slowing down the jokes on the last third so it could land its emotional beats. Guess it was too little, too late for most people. The humor shifts to a more organic style that meshes better with what’s going on (like the scene with the kids Ben mentioned; loved the little girl blowing up monsters with her teddy bear). And the bit where there’s an overhead view of Thor sharing his power and it looks like a tree is great.
    I really liked the shadow world (or whatever) mostly black and white scenes, it’s a rare instance of a MCU movie deciding to go all out on awesome-looking visuals. And all the fights against Bale – who’s basically all rags and shadows – were also really cool. Shame they wasted Gorr’s big chance to be really scary on one of the crappiest scenes in the movie.
    Oh, and the bird aliens at the beginning – those made me laugh.

    Maybe the reason this one didn’t go down as well as Ragnarock is because Thor 3, besides having funnier jokes, is way more consistent? Sure, there were some clunkers in there, but there aren’t any laugh-free patches like pretty much all the scenes with the Guardians of the Galaxy at the beginning of 4.

    One thing I’ll say for this current batch of movies, is that I thought their scripts are even less well constructed than the MCU average.
    Shang Chi is legit good – I didn’t like the last act and HATED the Tony Leung plot resolution (major misstep) but I’ll attribute that on the movie suffering to set up upcoming MCU events; comes with the territory.
    Dr Strange was an complete mess which is a shame because I honestly think the first one has by far the best put together script out of all the Marvel movies.
    Eternals… I don’t really know, I was reading a book for most of its duration (the joys of streaming). From the few bits I paid attention to, no; it’s terrible.
    I don’t intend to watch Black Widow, so far nothing I’ve heard about it has made me want to (Florence Pugh notwithstanding).
    Far from Home I liked a lot, and its characters were pretty fun, but the plot is kind of a mess.
    Love and Thunder is a hard one because these Thor movies (like GoG) are more shaggy dog stories, but even liking it more than most here I wouldn’t really say that its script is well made.

    I tend to avoid series, and there’s no way I’m touching these Disney+ ones. I just don’t like the MCU enough, and I think Peacemaker has kind of spoiled me for any other live action superhero TV stuff.

  33. I thought this one was only okay, I think like most people. The part that bummed me out the most was the beginning and how disappointing and laugh-free the Guardians of the Galaxy stuff was.

  34. Dread- I forgot about the VERY cool B&W visuals on the shadow world. That was maybe my favorite part of the movie. A very bold choice and they stuck with it for way longer than I thought they would. I was legit impressed with that.

    But going back to Ragnarok-I didn’t think it was very funny. Like, at all. Korg wasn’t funny (and Waititi voicing the character didn’t help). Goldblum wasn’t funny (an Ass-gard joke? Talk about low-hanging fruit). Turning Thor into an even dumber Jack Burton in between films with zero explanation was not only not funny, I found it to be actively insulting and it made it that much harder to even try to get on the film’s wavelength. I do agree that Love and Thunder, once it settled the fuck down, was much more successful in modulating its tone and hitting the emotional beats and not undercutting the drama.

    I *still* don’t know what all the talking to the hammer stuff was supposed to be tho. He’s NEVER done that before, movies or comics. It was just dumb.

  35. I don’t feel like we can cast any kind of judgment on filmmakers and what sort of Marvel/Star Wars product they come out with. These last few years of films feel like you can almost see a tug of war playing out on the screen. The films look like they have been cut and pasted together like Mad Libs, some of them look (and indeed were) directed by more than one person. Entire scenes seem out of place and clearly like add ons to match some plot strand from some other property.
    I don’t think this movie tells me much of anything about Taika Waititi as a filmmaker, honestly.

  36. “I don’t think this movie tells me much of anything about Taika Waititi as a filmmaker, honestly.”
    I would normally give some measure of open-mindedness about that, if Waititi hasn’t actively revelled in the attention he’s gotten as the filmmaker of both this and RAGNAROK, positive and negative. He’s made a point to respond to detractors with some of the baitiest stuff you could say to troll fans (“I’ll ruin your mythos in a minute, baby”), talked about how he barely read any of the comics in prep for the first film and generally “didn’t care” about Asgard (or how Asgardians talked) and that’s why he decided to destroy it. He also had a weird thing about wanting to “prove” that CBMs could be fun…as if we haven’t had a ton of those and not near enough ones that strive for excellence and meaning a bit more. Kinda highlighted in the way he took Korg and Miek, two pretty tragic characters in the World War Hulk story they originated in, and turned one into a punchline dispenser (played by himself with increasing screen time) and the other into…Valkyrie’s secretary.

  37. *Planet Hulk I meant, though they’re important in World War Hulk too, Miek in particular.

  38. I’m on the crazy sauce apparently since I think this is easily the best Thor movie and probably one of my Top 5 MCU’ers. I’m not trying to act like Waititi is Kubrick or anything, but *SPOILERS* the fact that he hides the MCU’s most depressing and heartbreaking story underneath the MCU’s most juvenile plot and imagery – it’s kind of a 5D Chess masterstroke that apparently didn’t work for most people but really really affected me. I don’t like to call things “triggering” but I found the entire climax triggering as fuck and pretty much cried through the whole thing (in no small part because of Bale’s performance – he’s incredible here and I don’t get the complaint he’s underused). Most people summed the movie up as a collection of inappropriate shifts in tone and unearned pathos, I saw it as an emotional gutpunch hidden in a fart joke which is basically this movie in a nutshell but I really mean it as a complement. (Vern mentions it’s about as convincing as a crying scene in Talladega Nights, but the tonal shifts really reminded me of The Three Stooges reboot, where those serious scenes are so fucking good and come out of nowhere so you almost don’t really know how to react when they happen)

    Maybe I’m an idiot but I didn’t see the ending coming at all – I’m pretty sure the movie wants you to think Thor will meet the magical wish-granting God that Gorr is trying to meet, and Thor will wish for Jane’s cancer to be taken away, he’ll pass the hammer on to her, she’ll keep kicking ass, THE END. The first 3/4 of this movie is so relentlessly jokey and glib and weightless, that this seems like the ONLY way this movie will end. But then it pulls the rug out from under you and you realize you’ve basically been watching a Darren Aronofosky movie this whole time (specifically Mother!, Noah, and especially The Fountain) – now it’s suddenly about trauma and loss and uncaring Gods and the hoops they make us jump through. Raging against a cruel universe that doesn’t give a fuck about us. An inescapable death that we have no control over. I love how the movie begins feeling like Thor’s adolescent stream-of-consciousness daydream/power fantasy, and ends feeling like Thor having a nightmare about how powerless he really is at the end of the day.

    *NOTE* I remember in Punisher Warzone when he says “Sometimes I’d like to get my hands on God”, it seemed like a delightfully over-the-top hard-boiled toughguy line. Who would have thunk that would end up being the throughline for Phase 4! Loki is literally about finding and killing God. Eternals ends with them turning on their God and then aborting a baby God. Thor 4 has both the villain (and then the hero!) killing Gods when they reveal themselves to be giant assholes. (I never thought the basis for a whole MCU Phase would be the scene where Rutger Hauer meets and kills his maker in Blade Runner, but here we are.) Add to that the fact that Wandavision and Thor 4 are kinda nakedly about the 5 stages of grief, Alien 3-style (the bargaining, the denial, the acceptance, etc…..) Spider-Man NWH has probably the most “realistic” and upsetting death scene in a comic book movie yet. And we all know Black Panther 2 will obviously center heavily on death and grief as well. I’m not sure if this was the plan all along for this phase, or if they’re tapping into the general sense of malaise and hopelessness from the Trump years/pandemic, but man, I think we’re going to look back on how remarkably weird and introspective this Phase ended up being. (Still haven’t seen Dr. Strange 2 yet, but oddly the one Phase 4 movie that could have been a thoughtful rumination on life and death was Black Widow, which completely avoided the subject entirely)

  39. Thank you Neil, I love the way you describe it. I wish I got that out of it.

  40. The first 20 minutes of this thing are barely watchable. None of the characters seem to actually be interacting with each other, and the whole tone seems weirdly hostile to the Guardians characters, like Waititi resents having to deal with this burden he was given by other filmmakers who dared to take screen time away from his iconic creations, so he will dispense with them as shittily and dismissively as possible. Everything that irritates the shit out of me about Waititi’s public persona is on full display here. God forbid any of us thought it was a cool idea to have Thor and the Guardians bombing around the galaxy together for a bit, because what’s really important is that you stop what you’re doing and pay attention to Taika. Cinema’s neediest only child is here to inform you that, in fact, you are stupid and everything is stupid so fuck you for caring about anything that’s not Taika Doing A Bit. And that’s the vibe of the whole thing, mostly, but it does settle down a little eventually. Little guy tuckered himself out doing his one-man show on the living room carpet for bored relatives who ran out of compliments to give him, so he accidentally let the story speak for itself for entire minutes at a time. This might be the one instance where I’m glad they cast Christian Bale, modern film’s most joyless presence, a man who plays every moment like he needs to beat it into submission, because his and Taika’s contradictory extra-ness effectively cancel each other out.

    The part with the kids getting Thor-icized was good, though. For a second there, it felt like we were given permission to have an honest to god emotion without a hyperactive attention hog doing jazz hands all over it. A couple more moments like that and the movie could have worked. As is, it’s a feature-length MTV Movie Awards skit: not unentertaining but not a real movie either. Looking forward this twerp making his version of PINOCCHIO and peacing the fuck out soon. It goes without saying that I would rather shoot myself in the cock than watch whatever the fuck he’s planning to do to Star Wars.

  41. Majestyk – Yeah the beginning of this movie (minus Bale’s opening scene) absolutely plays up Marvel’s worst instincts – i.e. “action” that’s not that exciting and “funny” bits that aren’t that funny (and keep stretching themselves out to exhaustion). Plus yes, like you said nobody seems to be really interacting with each other – in fact I was kinda convinced Natalie Portman filmed all her early scenes in her garage and got composited in later with Thompson and Hemsworth. Every shot of them seems to be playing opposite a Blade III style back-of-head stand-in and it’s distracting as fuck.

    But I do think everything picks up around the Russell Crowe sequence – the jokes actually get funny, the action gets more Zack Snyder-y (i.e. better in my book), the actors actually seem to be on set with each other, and yeah it becomes less of a juvenile joke-fest and more like (as my wife described it) “a kid’s film made to help kids process death”. Not sure if it’s comparable, but the movie I kept thinking about later was Terminator 3 – where the gutpunch ending should be seen coming a mile away, but I really had no idea it was coming because someone felt this was the appropriate entry to have Arnold wear Elton John glasses and tell someone to “Talk to the Hand”.

    *SPOILERS* The aforementioned November Rain sequence with the kids is kind of incredible, not just because it’s a kick-ass sequence better executed than most needle-drops in most Marvel movies, but also because the end of November Rain will always be synonymous in my mind with “tragic death of a young beautiful lady” which happens about 5 minutes later.

  42. I vacillate on the kids getting Thor powers and doing battle. On the one hand, it’s great to give the most powerless of victims great power to stand up for themselves. On the other hand, child soldiers.

  43. If Thor can give kids Thor powers…howzabout Thor giving you know an actual army of ppl, like the worried parents of New Asgard Thor Powers and going to kick some ass, instead of a pit stop at Zeus’ place, set up merely to give the world a shot of Hemsworth’s butt?

    Valkyrie telling Jane it’s practically a Viking’s duty to die in battle and like 40 minutes later, craps out of helping Thor in the final showdown, because…she’s worried she may die??? (Plus Tessa Thompson…ugh!)

    Thor’s weird sexual fascination with his hammer and Stormbreaker getting jealous???? And this goes on, and on, and on……

    A couple of my cousins dropped by with their kids a week ago, and since they don’t have Disney+, settled down in my living room to watch this. I caught glimpses of it in between chats, hoping that viewing something again in the comfort of your living room may actually make a prior unbearable viewing experience in the theatre, a little more tolerable.

    Nope. In it’s one concession to consistency, THOR LOVE AND THUNDER is a tedious, unfunny piece of shit no matter where you see it.

    The one silver lining in all of this is the rumor Waititi won’t return for THOR 5.

  44. Anyone else think it’s within the realm of possibility that the whole Thor kids climax in this movie was ripped off from New York Ninja?

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