The latest episode of Marvel’s longest-running cinematic soap opera is upon us and the film has more holes than a Ukrainian swimming pool.
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It hasn’t been a good year for Disney in 2022. Their stock is down about 35% from where it was at the beginning of the year. The company went to war with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over the Parental Rights in Education bill, which prohibits the teaching of sexuality and transgenderism to children between kindergarten and third grade. They didn’t win, and as a result, the Florida Legislature passed legislation ending Disney’s tax and governing exemptions afforded to the company-owned Reedy Creek Improvement District, upon which the Walt Disney World Resort sits.
Last month, Disney’s “Lightyear” bombed at the box office after negative press regarding the film’s same-sex kiss in the movie, and star Chris Evans’ comments saying that those who had a problem with the scene were “idiots who are going to die off like the dinosaurs.” After 4 weeks at the box office, the film has yet to recoup its $200 million dollar production budget in what looks to be a loss of well over $150 million dollars when the film is pulled from theaters.
Disney is in desperate need of a smash hit to mask all the issues within the corporation and they are hoping that Thor: Love and Thunder is the film that will break their streak of bad luck. It has been almost five years since Thor has had a solo movie and director Taika Waititi is back as the writer and director after receiving positive media buzz following “Thor Ragnarok”.
This time around, actress Natalie Portman is one of the names and faces who returns to the franchise for the first time since 2013’s “Thor: The Dark World.” Despite this being a Thor solo movie, Odinson isn’t the only person under the Thor mantle this time around.
“Thor: Love & Thunder” begins after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has gotten back into shape after getting fat in the events of the last movie.
He has teamed up with The Guardians of the Galaxy as they travel from planet to planet saving their inhabitants. After receiving a distress signal from Sif (Jaimie Alexander), Thor is made aware of Gorr (Christian Bale), an ancient being that wields the Necrosword, a weapon with the power to kill gods like Thor.
As Thor is looking for a way to stop Gorr, on Earth, Dr. Jane Foster (Portman) Thor’s ex-girlfriend, is dealing with the effects of Stage 4 Cancer. Unbeknownst to Thor, Jane has taken his old hammer Mjolnir, and has become “The Mighty Thor.”
However, every time she uses the hammer to strengthen herself, her body is unable to fight off the cancer meaning that every time she uses it, the worse her health gets. Thor must team up with Jane and King Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) to stop Gorr, who plans on wiping out every god in the universe.
One could argue that the first act of this movie is the best act of the film despite it being a complete tonal mess. Love & Thunder feels like a Thor film when audiences are introduced to characters we haven’t seen in a few years and are caught up to what they have been up to.
We see Thor with Chris Pratt and the Guardians who make a cameo for the movie. Thor and Guardians provide a lot of lighthearted entertainment which is done in contrast to the other two storylines.
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We see the origins of Gorr the God Butcher who is a warrior who has been betrayed by a god that he worshipped and loses his daughter in the process. Meanwhile on Earth, Jane Foster is accepting her fate as a cancer-stricken woman whose gift of temporary god power comes at a price.
The final act of the movie has an impressive black and white constant that works with the tone of the conclusion of the movie. There is also a short cameo with Hemsworth with his real-life daughter in the final scene of the movie which is touching if you know that is his daughter before watching the scene but borders on cringe if you are a casual viewer. The praise for this film ends after the first 25 minutes as it is all downhill from there.
The central theme of this film is not only nihilist in its worldview but has strong themes that are Anti-God and anti-hero in its sentiment. While the storyline justifies a villain that has a hatred of gods, the film goes a step further to tear down the idea of heroes and faith.
Russell Crowe in the film plays Zeus, a figure that is an inspiration to Thor and he is played as a complete joke. Crowe’s cartoonish portrayal of Zeus is meant to further drive home the message that your heroes are not good people and that the “gods” are awful people in their own right. There is a recurring theme in modern movies that leads to films tearing down established heroes in an attempt to rewrite the concept of heroism and this film is no different.
The dialogue throughout the film reinforces the Anti-God sentiment to where you feel there is a deeper message than the plot requires. Speaking of the writing, Thor: Love and Thunder is all over the place where nothing makes any sense.
The opening act presents three different stories with three different tones and fails to mesh any of them together for a coherent story. The film attempts to be a rom-com between Thor and Jane (and sometimes his weapons) while Jane is dealing with the very serious reality of her cancer. The seriousness of Jane’s mortality is snuffed throughout the film by Taika Waititi’s need to inject comedy where it is not needed (a trope that is unbearable in films such as “Jojo Rabbit”).
Chris Hemsworth has described Taika Waititi’s style as a director as “an inner child running wild” saying that Love and Thunder is the film a 7-year-old would make. This is the most accurate description of this movie in the worst way. Even in a film that attempts to tackle the issue of terminal cancer, Taika Waititi deals with the subject in a comedy film in a manner that only makes sense if the person has the mental state of a child.
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Another issue here is the film’s desire to tear down its title character to be nothing more than a mantle. The debate has raged since the creation of Jane Foster’s Thor in the recent adaption of the Marvel Comics about whether Jane can be a “Thor” in spite of the fact that Thor is the name of Odinson, not a mantle. The filmmakers don’t agree as the movie refers to Jane as “The Mighty Thor” and at one point turns a series of characters into “Thor” relegating the character to a series of powers that can be claimed by anyone.
The film has a mountain of problems including its reliance on 80s rock music to trigger member berries, CGI that looks questionable for a movie budgeted at $250 million dollars, the recurring theme of Thor needing to “find himself” which has been done to death over the course of 11 years, and the most criminal aspect of this film is the fact that the titledcharacter of Thor has become the worst aspect of his own movie.
“Thor: Love and Thunder” is the worst MCU film not named Eternals. If you didn’t like Captain Marvel and Shang-Chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings, then you owe them an apology after sitting through the fourth Thor film.
- Solid Opening Act
- 3rd Act Cinematography
- Christian Bale's Performance
- Taika Waititi's Piss Poor Script
- Hollywood's Tear Down Of Established Heroes
- Nihilist & Woke Messaging Throughout