Love and Thunder’ is a big disappointment


Chris Hemsworth’s God of Thunder shows off his bare behind and lets his ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) wield his mighty hammer, in Thor: Love and Thunder. Given Marvel’s lack of gender, however, these risque touches don’t change the core nature of director Taika Waititi’s second-round Marvel PG-13, which follows in the goofy footsteps of its prequel. Thor: Ragnarok, but with lower rewards. An exuberant action-comedy with bright Day-Glo colors and the anthemic rock of Guns N’ Roses, Waititi’s latest MCU effort goes the extra mile to bring together hard-hitting humor and romantic pathos. Still, the strain shows, resulting in a wild ride that overdoses on one title element at the expense of another.

[Spoilers follow.]

There’s plenty of outlandish CGI action and ridiculous humor in Thor: Love and Thunder (July 8), the story of which – according to the conclusion of Avengers: Endgame– picks up with Thor (Hemsworth) in the company of the Guardians of the Galaxy, galloping around the universe protecting the innocent from the nefarious villains. Thor no longer has the father-like body he boasted of following Thanos’ genocidal crisis, but while his physique is in great shape, his soul is a wreck. As he proves during a siege on an alien world that ends with him single-handedly saving the day with his usual arrogant-ignorant bravado – this time in a vest that looks like proper attire for a hair-metal gig from the 80s – he can skillfully go through the heroic moves. Deep down, however, it is empty inside. What he needs to fill that inner hole becomes clear through a typically ridiculous speech from Star Lord (Chris Pratt), then a visit to New Asgard, where his battle against evil shadow monsters ties him to Valkyrie. (Tessa Thompson) as well as a surprising ally: Jane, who is now blonde, buff and brandishing her Mjolnir hammer like The Mighty Thor.

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Jane, it turns out, is dying of stage IV cancer and became a real “space viking” just by searching for the shattered remains of Mjolnir, who reformed in his presence and granted him the power of Thor (as well as armor and a red cape). Thor ends up in a near love triangle with his old weapon Mjolnir and his new jealous, Stormbreaker. Still, the Hammer’s decision to turn Jane into a superhero is mostly good news for Thor, as after encountering the majestically enhanced Jane, he is immediately attacked by Gorr the Butcher God (Christian Bale), a wraith-like wraith with a towering blade called the Necrosword. Thor: Love and ThunderThe prologue of explains that, after being ridiculed by his god following the death of his beloved daughter, Gorr was chosen by the Necrosword to own it and use it to kill all the gods for their selfishness. ruthless. Thor is the newest of Gorr’s targets, not only because of his godlike status but also because, as we’ll learn later, his Stormbreaker ax is the key to unlocking a magical realm that Gorr aims to reach.

The pale, rotten-toothed, vampiric Gorr of Bale is by far the most captivating facet of Thor: Love and Thunder, giving off a frightening disturbance born of irreparable loss. The film comes to life every time he appears, whether he threatens a group of children he kidnaps from New Asgard – a kidnapping that motivates Thor, Jane and Valkyrie to embark on their quest – or does convincing his opponents that they are all victims. cruelly indifferent divinities. The Oscar-winning actor conveys Gorr’s grief and anguished fury, which Waititi and Jennifer Kaytin Robinson’s screenplay parallels the grief Thor feels over Jane’s fatal condition – an illness that seems destined to separate them forever, just as they revive their lives. love.

Thor: Love and Thunder is engaging whenever it focuses on the tormented love of its protagonists, since it renders them almost three-dimensional. For the majority of these debates, however, the thunderous cacophony and arrogant comedy take precedence, to the detriment of the material. Whereas Thor: Ragnarok had fun recasting its mythical Avenger as a sweet, arrogant lightbulb (think a long-haired He-Man with the personality of a golden retriever), this movie pushes in that direction to an unrelenting degree. It’s a clownish cartoon, which can’t go a single minute without mindlessly destroying property, talking about its compatriots, or making a nonsensical comment. Hemsworth still deftly balances Thor’s clueless narcissism and his formidable battlefield flair, but it’s all kicked off at such a frantically insistent pace that the wanted laughs die on the vine.

Portman and Thompson are also swallowed up by Thor: Love and Thunderit is the incessant clamor. They barely get an authentic moment amid gags involving Thor’s giant screaming goats and a spectacular trip to the council of the gods, where Thor tries to enlist the help of Zeus (Russell Crowe, hammering him with a exaggerated accent) and – following the aforementioned nudity – fights the Greek legend for his sparkling crush. The jokes fly so incessantly that they have no time to breathe and exhaustion quickly sets in. MCU fans will likely rejoice at the handful of cameos from the past. Thor participants, but even these play the role of obligatory aspects of the endless world-building that is the main guideline of the franchise. They do little to surprise or propel the plot towards its inevitable clash between Gorr and his Asgardian adversaries.

Waititi indulges in a storybook fable framing device and doubles down on the heavy metalstyling visuals Thor: Ragnarok, though two of his slam-bang sets are shot in murky darkness that neutralizes the slow-motion, italicized grandeur he strives for. For much of its two-hour battery life, Thor: Love and Thunder is a more-is-less case study, piling up fantasies with uninhibited enthusiasm and, therefore, burying the most moving human story it is meant to tell. Waititi tries so hard to make everything cool that he forgets to stop long enough to spark amazement, excitement or amusement. Whether it’s Thor’s tender interactions with Jane or the film’s nods to same-sex relationships – courtesy of Valkyrie and Thor’s rocky sidekick Korg (Waititi), who explains his race procreation by hand from one man to another –Thor: Love and Thunder works like it’s a mad dash to the finish line, in the process overtaking the very things where it’s best.

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