“Thor: Love and Thunder” review: camp, fun, and with lots of heart

I remember seeing this meme a few weeks ago of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) interpretation of the Thor franchise being compared to two Ryan Gosling movies. Thor and Thor: The Dark World were compared to Drive, where Gosling portrayed a somber stunt driver. Meanwhile, Thor: Ragnarok and Thor: Love and Thunder resembled Gosling as Ken in the upcoming neon-filled Barbie biopic.

I can’t find the exact meme but here’s what Gosling looks like in both movies:

In Thor: Love and Thunder, the titular god goes on a journey of self-discovery after the catastrophic events of Avengers: Endgame. His efforts, however, are interrupted by a galactic killer known as Gorr the God Butcher, who seeks the extinction of these higher beings. To combat the threat, Thor enlists the help of King Valkyrie, Korg, and his ex-girlfriend Jane Foster, who — to his surprise — inexplicably wields his magical hammer, Mjolnir, as the Mighty Thor.

Together they venture out on a harrowing cosmic adventure to uncover the mystery of the God Butcher’s vengeance and stop him before it’s too late.

If you enjoyed the camp, irreverent, and fun feel that director Taika Waititi brought to “Ragnarok,” you’re going to enjoy “Love and Thunder.” What sets this latest offering apart from “Ragnarok” is heart, plenty of it, provided by both Thor and Foster.

Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Marvel Studios’ THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER. Photo by Jasin Boland. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Thor has always been my favorite character in the MCU because of his swagger and confidence. Over the course of the MCU, we saw him grow from being an arrogant and impulsive prince banished from Asgard by his father Odin, to a soulful individual haunted by the belief that anyone he loves will meet certain death.

In “Endgame,” Thor gains weight and goes through post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. The change in his physical appearance became a cultural talking point, with one camp saying that it was played for laughs, while the other pointed out Thor’s relatability and the depiction of mental health issues. Whatever the case, I cried when he said “I’m still worthy” after Mjolnir returns to him. In “Love and Thunder,” we get to see Thor grow more as a person (god?).

(L-R): Natalie Portman as Mighty Thor and Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Marvel Studios’ THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER. Photo by Jasin Boland. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Foster returns to the franchise as the Mighty Thor, wielding the powers of Mjolnir. The reason behind this is explained in the movie and this, along with the ending, is probably what Marvel meant when they used “love” in the subtitle.

Strangely enough, this also applies to the villain, Gorr the God Butcher, played by Christian Bale. I love villains and their origin stories and I appreciate how Gorr has a believable story that would make you sympathize with him. The last time I felt that for an MCU villain was in Black Panther. Erik Killmonger was just so good and his line “bury me in the ocean, with my ancestors that jumped from the ships, because they knew death was better than bondage” was *chef’s kiss*.

Christian Bale as Gorr in Marvel Studios’ THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

The fourth Thor movie is called “Love and Thunder” and there is plenty of thunder, too. It’s bright, funky, and has lots of action-packed scenes. I love the use of rock music, especially Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine.”

As I said, Thor has always been my favorite Avenger and it became even more clear with the tongue-in-cheek approach of “Ragnarok.” I’m so happy that they kept it in “Love and Thunder.”

Thor: Love and Thunder will premiere in the Philippines on July 6, 2022.

 

This story is in partnership with Disney. For more information, visit the website or follow Thor’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages.

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