Seeing your family and friends die, especially if you have a sibling with a habit of biting in the dust, can depress anyone – even the strongest of Asgardians. In Thor’s case, he decided to seek inner peace with the Guardians of the Galaxy, who to their great dismay must mostly find themselves in Thor’s philosophers between cosmic battles. However, as a new threat approaches, the God of Thunder is forced to seek out new allies, where the reunion with his ex, Jane Foster, becomes more than a surprise, as it turns out that she has taken on the role and responsibility as The Mighty Thor .
Taika Waititi possesses an intoxicating storytelling ability as he was given the freedom to go crazy in the comic book world, where his touch colored the iconic god with rock and roll and a much lighter tone. The style worked very well in Thor: Ragnarok, which I consider to be the most entertaining Thor film. Unfortunately, it works less well in Love and Thunder, which quickly gets entangled in some too many story threads and the humor does not click as much as in Ragnarok. Love and Thunder gets messy and plotless because of its romcom nature, which is a shame considering all the fun cameos and wild rides the film actually delivers. Those who expect something at least as cosmic and chaotic as Ragnarok will definitely have fun here too, but for me it was hard to smile when most of them feel so well presented.
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Seeing Christian Bale take over the world of comics is also a bit bizarre, though he has already been familiar with the genre since his days in The Dark Knight. Here he plays a god killer named Gorr, who is established very effectively in the opening of the film and is one of the most memorable villains in the Marvel world. His fears, however, are solely due to the tone the film tries to establish, where at one point he may look really threatening, but at another time, he feels more like a fairy-tale character found in the wrong film. However, the mixture is fine, precisely because it is Bale who dares to pill a little. The character works best in his black-and-white shadow dimension, which emits distorted Little Prince vibes, and Bale’s humanity also manages to shine through the demonic eyes. However, I think the villain hunt is a little too lacking in ideas when all is said and done.
The film’s biggest problem, apart from the messy storytelling, is the chemistry between the main characters. Natalie Portman and Chris Hemsworth are far from bad actors – on the contrary, the stars have a lot to play in their characters – but no matter how hard the film tries to deepen their relationship, the truth is that these two never worked well together. The first two Thor films struggled to understand their relationship, which emotionally was like watching paint dry. Precisely for this reason, the gnaw, the heat, the pin and all the ornaments of love fall a little flat. Thor finds more of himself here than the fat Lebowski-like man he played in Endgame, and Portman’s cancer heroine gives the film a little more of a dilemma, but together both sides feel too steep. The same can be said about Tessa Thompson’s glossy interlude, and the third act fails to weave the howling funny, choppy seriousness together.
Love and Thunder still manages to entertain with its infectious energy and unmistakable humor, but in the end, Thor’s fourth chapter is mostly part of a series of risky sequels to a film franchise that really would have benefited from a longer break. It’s not as cruel as The Eternals, but neither is it as surprising as the Multiverse of Madness. The common denominator for the latest Marvel productions is that it all still feels somewhat directionless and undone. Maybe you shouldn’t see every movie as a big puzzle piece in a super-important Marvel collage, and every movie should be able to stand on its own, but despite Waititi’s unique comedy, Love and Thunder was not the sharpness of best Marvel movies.
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