Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) – what the hell happened?

So I wrote a review then sat on it, and then scrapped it. I guess I needed some time for the dust to settle, or my rage to subside, one or the other. Honestly, to go from the heady heights of Thor: Ragnarok (2017) to the abject laziness that is Love and Thunder, to be honest, hurts more than anything else. I guess I’d love to be able to ask director Taika Waititi, what the hell happened? Where did it go wrong? Did Disney interfere?

I heard a hell of a lot of Christian Bale’s performance as Gorr the God Butcher got cut out, as the studio were worried it was too intense. I say studio, ultimately Taika is, or was, meant to be responsible, but did he have final say and final cut? I imagine with Marvel and Disney it’s unlikely.

I suppose one of the main things that bothered me was this movie felt like a lazy and cynical version of Ragnarok. They doubled down on the surrealism and the jokes but forgot about character. Specifically, they (Taika, Disney, whoever) stopped taking the world and the characters seriously. And by seriously I don’t mean the tone of the film is serious, I just mean that you treat your characters and the rules of the world that they’re in with respect (and then you can make jokes within that, if you want to). This is what they did in Ragnarok, and indeed with Thor in Infinity War and Endgame.

But here he was a weak punchline at best.

To a lesser extent, the same could be said for Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster and Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie. Whether there were script problems from the off or decent character scenes just got cut, I cannot say. But those two characters were completely wasted (to add: it really bugged me how they did Jane dirty in this movie). And with Thor, he had no real arc, and no clear motivation or goal. He began the movie somewhat listless and without direction, and you could argue by the end not much had changed.

Granted, yes, at the very end (spoiler) he ends up, almost by accident, with someone dependent on him, but this wasn’t hugely developed through the course of the film. Pretty much like all aspects of this movie — nothing was given time to develop in an organic way.

I guess I should stop writing now. I have a lot more to say but honestly, what’s the point? If the filmmakers couldn’t be bothered to put together a decent movie and treat Thor (and the surrounding characters) seriously, then I cannot be bothered to discuss the film further. Unfortunately, this ranks as one of the worst movies Marvel have put out. Yes, even below Thor: The Dark World (2013), which at least had Loki to spice things up, and isn’t actually a bad film if you go and rewatch it.

I give Love and Thunder 3/5 stars (and a low 3 at that).

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