Thor: Love and Thunder review. ‘Too much of a good thing can be a problem’
He came, he Thor, he conquered
After the wild, colour-rich, humour-packed Ragnarok, Taika Waititi once again took the reins as director, writes Lukáš Vaněček, and this time is a screenwriter as well. It worked well for the third instalment of Thor’s adventures, and everyone celebrated the success, so why not do the same with the sequel, just on a bigger scale? And that’s where the problem lies with Thor: Love and Thunder.
In the beginning of the story, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is on a journey to find inner peace. Unfortunately, the God of Thunder’s retirement is interrupted by a galactic killer known as Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale). Together with his ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who gain powers as Mighty Thor, they embark upon an adventure to stop Gorr before it’s too late.
It feels like Waititi is testing how much he can get away with at Marvel and what’s beyond the limit. His unique and quirky vision and that he’s trying to inject as much madness and humour into the project as possible is appreciated, but too much of a good thing can be a problem. The vast majority of the gags feel forced, sometimes even cringeworthy, and primarily aimed at a younger audience. And for me (as well as for the rest), this no longer works. Besides, excessive humour completely undermines the serious themes in the story.
Another problem is brevity and simplicity. For some reason, Marvel Cinematic Universe films are getting shorter and shorter. This, of course, results in insufficient time to explain all causes and consequences or to deepen character relationships. The characters have become flat walking caricatures full of one-liners, serving merely as plot devices. Even the once-great chemistry between Thor and Jane Foster no longer hits the mark. In a movie where love is a prominent motif, this means something is seriously amiss.
Thor’s arch-enemy portrayed by Christian Bale promised a welcome change from B-list villains, but his brief screen time, lack of depth, and tedious fighting style put him in the grey area of averageness. Disappointment is the best way how to describe Thor’s fourth outing. After hearing mediocre reviews, I went to the cinema with low expectations. And it still managed to fall short. From a series rejuvenated with a fresh approach, it turned into a product that plays it too safe and fails to introduce anything new. Perhaps, except for pushing the boundaries of absurdity. The story is barren, the CGI is subpar, the soundtrack is forgettable, and the action is dull, unmemorable, and often confusing. Blockbusters should not be made like this, plain and simple.