Director: Taika Waititi
Story By: Taika Waititi & Jennifer Kaytin Robinson
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Taika Waititi, Kieron L. Dyer, & Russell Crowe
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There were people who clapped when the film was over, but I am not sure if it was “clap-worthy”…it did finish strong, though.
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Theme & Story: B
Overall “Paper” Score: B
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General Public: Wait for Streaming / Don’t Rush
Experience Seekers (via Visuals & Score): Interesting Enough
Thor Action/Adventure Fans: Interesting Enough
Overall “Viewing Experience” Score: Interesting Enough / Don’t Rush
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1. A scorned, grieving father on a quest to hold Gods accountable has to face Thor and the Asgardians. This is Thor: Love and Thunder.
Thematically, the strongest direction of messaging I found the film to relay was “We can’t and won’t fill the voids of love we may have, nor pains we may feel, with acts of vengeance, isolation, or busyness.” Unfortunately, the followthrough of the messaging could’ve been tighter.
Act One opened up strong with the vengeance aspect of the theme for me, making it very clear who the villain is, and why his motivations even exists. This was only for the first 5-8 minutes or so. Once it takes off bringing Thor into the picture, it honestly felt like a rushed, gimmicky parody that seemed to force the aspect of isolation and busyness in the theme in addition to laying the foundation for an actual “love story”. Outside of the thematic imbalance, Act One was colorful and semi-entertaining.
Act Two was a much better meshing of what I envision Waititi’s vision to be for this film. Once the villain intersects with Thor, the story started to have that more balanced humor and heroism vibe of the previous Thor films, to me. The vengeance aspect of the theme continued to be carried out well for me in Act Two via this intersection while also bringing in a conflict that was a direct connection to the villain’s purpose in the beginning. The “love story” aspect felt better in Act Two as well due to it feeling like this secondary conflict and tension to the now focus on the villain. There were still moments that felt a little gimmicky and extra, but not as much or random as Act One.
Act Three was the strength of the film for me. Again, the vengeance aspect of the theme continued to anchor the story; and the “love story” and images of “love” in general continued to be this engaging secondary thread. It also seemed that the film finally found its footing with the humor and heroism. I was able to watch and enjoy everything without having moments of my face squirming with confusion and cringe. For me, it was the Act where it took itself seriously. 🥴
2. The goats were SO random and HILARIOUS! 😂😂
3. My goodness, Chris and that body… 😩😍
4. Shout out to the cinematography in Act Three at the Shadow Realm with the black and white, and hints of color! 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾🙌🏾
5. Luckily, this film moves quite well with a runtime of 119 minutes and almost 2/3rds of it being a rather odd and forced experience and take on the Thor franchise to me.
The best part of the pacing for me was the villain and overall conflict. However, I would say that Thor’s purpose with the theme could’ve been slowed down and unpacked in a more serious way to meet the followthrough and pacing of the “love story” that picks up and takes off in Acts Two and Three. 🤷🏾♂️
6. Tessa Thompson in this role is just so perfect! She understood/understands her assignment, and executes it well. 👍🏾👍🏾
7. Outside of everything else, one thing I won’t take away from this film is the fight scenes. There were always great to watch. 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👍🏾
8. That contrasting imagery and symbolism with Christian Bale’s character in the opening scene vs the ending scene in Act Three 👍🏾👍🏾
9. YES NATALIE! 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
10. Hands down, Christian Bale’s character delivered! He delivered on his purpose, he delivered in terms of thematic followthrough, he was possibly the strongest character by far.
I honestly was quite annoyed with the portrayal Thor by Chris Hemsworth in Act One. It was as if they exaggerated his character a bit too much. Furthermore, it seemed like there wasn’t any intentionality around Thor’s connection to “love.” It was forcefully hinted here and there in Act One, then took off in Acts Two and Three but without any depth to it. Thor was somewhat treated like comedic relief with some fight scenes here and there vs this hero with personality and feelings.
Behind Christian Bale, Natalie Portman had an interesting storyline and pretty solid character delivery. Now thematically, Jane was no where on the grid, and was pretty much a love interest with a twist to aid the love story that picks up in Acts Two and Three…BUT, I did enjoy her. 🤷🏾♂️
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Overall #ThorLoveAndThunder gives Guardians of the Galaxy – meets the Shadow man – meets Coming 2 America – meets Shrek 2 – meets All Might – meets The Batman
This was a slow growth of enjoyment for me, and I have to say it again (as I did with the last Disney-Marvel release)… you can REEEAAAALLLY tell the Disney touch on Marvel, and it’s not always good. I don’t think I particularly liked this film, but I also didn’t dislike it. There were definitely some engaging and entertaining moments, the fight scenes delivered, and it was “fun” overall… but it just felt too outlandish and silly at times vs how it normally feels in the Thor universe (to me), and I didn’t like that.
Furthermore, and maybe it was just me, but it felt like Thor was treated like a prop vs a lead.
SN: Make sure you stay for the 2 post credit scenes if you happen to check it out.