Review: ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ Is a Sloppy Flick, But a Good Time

“I need to figure out exactly who I am,” says the god of thunder. So does this film.


Courtesy of Marvel Studios

The movie poster for “Thor”: a colorful poster for a colorful film

Jack Branson, Staff Writer

“I need to figure out exactly who I am” is both a quote from the titular character of “Thor: Love and Thunder,” and a statement about the film itself.

In it, director Taika Watiti tries to tackle tough concepts like self-discovery and the effects of terminal illness, while also trying to recreate the goofy humor that made the previous Thor entry so great. These two missions clash, making the film feel disjointed.

The story follows our favorite Asgardian protagonist as he attempts to bury his famous hammer and settle into retirement. But he is rudely interrupted by Christian Bale’s Gorr the God Butcher, who kidnaps a group of Asgardian children.

To find and defeat Gorr, Thor enlists the help of Korg, King Valkyrie, and fan favorite comic character Jane Foster. Jane begins to wield the hammer, and the four embark on a fun adventure through the cosmos, to search for Gorr and save the children.

By itself, the film’s plot is solid. The problem is the subplot surrounding Jane – which is a shame, because actress Natalie Portman really shines in this film. 

Jane is a cancer survivor, and her use of Thor’s power is slowly killing her. This is a brilliant idea, but it doesn’t work with the rest of the film’s wacky antics. 

After the critical and box office success of Thor: Ragnarok, humor seemed to be a mainstay for Thor films. It is in this latest installment, too – for better or worse. Watiti tries to one-up his jokes from previous films, with little to no success.

The jokes range from pretty hilarious to completely falling flat, the latter being more common. Many rely on making Thor look like an idiot – or on Jane’s cancer, which is an interesting decision to say the least. Anyway, nothing can top the goofiness in Thor: Ragnarok.

Even so, the actors’ performances in this movie are pretty phenomenal. Chris Hemsworth is charming as always, Tessa Thompson returns with that badass attitude that made her so great in Ragnarok, and Portman gives a heartfelt portrayal of her character.

But nothing can steal the spotlight from Christian Bale’s terrifying approach to Gorr. He puts everything into the role, which really leaves the audience fearful of the character. 

The film, at the very least, was enjoyable. It’s great if you turn your brain off and just have fun with it.

Maybe this is what Watiti meant to achieve? Part of what makes his films great is that he seems to just do what he wants. If he doesn’t worry about what others think about the movie, and just has fun with it, that’s admirable in a way. 

Overall, if you want to have a good time, this one’s for you.

My Final Verdict: