Is Thor: Love and Thunder a good movie, or ruined by too much Taika Waititi?
It has a bit too much Taika (especially a bit of product placement), but it has a good story about Thor in a bit of a personal crisis, then rebuilding himself thanks to a surprising reunion and a good villain who has a point

And you gotta admit, this IS a power couple.


The story is based on the Mighty Thor run from 2014, where a cancer-stricken Jane Foster gets new life when she is reunited with the pieces of Mjolnir (which was shattered in Ragnarok). She is wondering if the hammer can stop her cancer. It can, but there is a price. That’s slowly discussed in the movie, and it’s too bad the movie didn’t show the hammer’s power merge with her. It does sneak in a reason why it did happen, but she seemed to master the hammer too quickly..

The movie does show why Thor and Jane broke up. It happened just like any other couple, and it’s good to know it hit him hard. It also shows he’s not that good an addition to the Guardians of the Galaxy, especially when they try to protect a sacred temple.

The main villain is Gorr, played by Christian Bale with plenty of darkness and a dash of silliness. The movie actually starts with how a callous god refused to save Gorr and his daughter. This made Gorr the God Butcher, with help from a dark sword called the Necrosword. Although it’s also killing Gorr slowly, he’s determined to kill all gods including New Asgard. His plan includes kidnapping several kids from there, and seeing him do a puppet show is hard to unsee.
What he wants is to get to Eternity, and maybe get his revenge. It turns out what he really wants is more personal, and gives his character more depth than the usual Big Bad.

Thor and his crew (including Valkyrie and Jane/Mighty Thor) head to Omnipotent City where all the great gods live including Zeus, played with bizarre gusto by Russell Crowe. They’re trying to get his thunderbolt, and he’s being stubborn about it. It leads to a surprising nude scene, an interesting tattoo (that may not be true) and a very good fight amongst the gods. Let’s just say Zeus doesn’t get out of this unscathed.
This part of the movie may not appeal to everyone, and could have upset some of the critics. It’s very strange, set in an oversized version of the Bellagio. Zeus even has an entourage that may remind some of Howard Stark in the 40s. Even though he’s Greek, he speaks in an odd Italian accent. It’s an odd section of the movie, but once this is done then the story kicks in.

The scenes between Thor and Jane are the best because they make a real effort reconnecting, looking on what they should have done. It also shows he really cares about her, more emotion than in the first two Thor movies. He knows her cure is worse than the disease, and prefers he take care of Gorr.
However, Jane also understands how to be a hero. She is willing to sacrifice herself to save the kids and her man. Natalie Portman is great as Mighty Thor, and maybe there should have been a movie just about her. Despite her final fate, maybe that’s not out of the question.
She also comes up with a good catch phrase that should sweep through Comic-Con and Hot Topic stores.
It’s also odd how Thor is concerned his old hammer is with someone else, while trying to assure his current hammer he’s not breaking up with it. Really, it’s an extension of his feelings for Jane, and it makes sense.

Waititi’s rock guy Korg is again a great comic relief, and surprisingly durable. Even when he falls apart, he can recover to be a valuable ally to Valkyrie. How he does that has to be seen. He also explains how his kind reproduces.

It looks like the MCU is supporting styles specific to the major characters. The Thor movies (which will continue) seem to be more free-wheeling than Spider-Man, Black Panther, Avengers and the like. While Love and Thunder was entertaining, hopefully it’ll dial down the wackiness a bit next time. The serious tone towards the end makes up for it, though, and shows a serious Thor script is a good idea.
Still, it doesn’t apply to how they try to recreate recent Asgardian lore (aka recent movies) on stage. It may be odd, but better than how Game of Thrones tries the same thing.

Now that Marvel has taken care of the summer, it faces a bigger challenge:  how to continue Black Panther without Chadwick Boseman. It should start giving some details this summer.

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