Thor: Love and Thunder

2022, Action/Adventure, 2h 5m

422 Reviews 10,000+ Verified Ratings

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critics consensus

In some ways, Thor: Love and Thunder feels like Ragnarok redux -- but overall, it offers enough fast-paced fun to make this a worthy addition to the MCU. Read critic reviews

audience says

Even though Thor: Love and Thunder's constant silliness makes it hard to invest in the more serious sides of the story, there's still plenty here to enjoy. Read audience reviews

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Movie Info

"Thor: Love and Thunder" finds Thor (Chris Hemsworth) on a journey unlike anything he's ever faced -- a quest for inner peace. But his retirement is interrupted by a galactic killer known as Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale), who seeks the extinction of the gods. To combat the threat, Thor enlists the help of King Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Korg (Taika Waititi) and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who -- to Thor's surprise -- inexplicably wields his magical hammer, Mjolnir, as the Mighty Thor. Together, they embark upon a harrowing cosmic adventure to uncover the mystery of the God Butcher's vengeance and stop him before it's too late.

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Critic Reviews for Thor: Love and Thunder

Audience Reviews for Thor: Love and Thunder

  • Jul 15, 2022
    It was fun to watch. Consistent with other MCU offerings. If you liked the other Thor movies, you will probably like this. Portman has some outstanding moments. Crowe was a delightful surprise.
    Morris N Super Reviewer
  • Jul 11, 2022
    Thor: Love and Thunder reminds me a lot of Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2, admittedly a film I've come more around on since my initial viewing in 2017. When Ragnarok was released later that same year, it was an irreverent blast, a breath of fresh air for a franchise that didn't really know what to do with its hero, and under director Taika Waititi's sensibility, the character had new, witty life. A similar response occurred with the original Guardians of the Galaxy as the world fell in love with the offbeat characters and storytelling and style from writer/director James Gunn. Before 2014, we didn't know what to expect with a Guardians movie. When the sequel was released, we had a template of expectations, and the follow-up didn't feel quite so fresh, quite so lively, and falling back on repeating too many of the same moments or jokes because it's what was expected. It felt a bit burdened with the creative shackles of upholding these expectations. The same feeling of same-ness permeates Love and Thunder, and to be fair that's also because the success of Ragnarok raised our expectations for a Waititi MCU movie. Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is trying to find his way after the events of 2019's Endgame. He's gotten in shape, spent some time palling around with the Guardians of the Galaxy (returning in 2023!), and reconnected with the love of his life, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman). She's been chosen by Thor's old broken hammer to be its new wielder, granting her superhero status. Except in her human status, she's dying from stage four cancer. Just as Jane comes back into his life, Thor might have to come to terms with losing her all over again. This movie just doesn't feel like it has the same natural prankish energy of Ragnarok, though part of this again might be myself acclimating to Waititi as a filmmaker and storyteller. Prior to Ragnarok I had only known him for the delightful vampire mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows, and since Ragnarok Waititi has become his own industry, winning a screenwriting Oscar, lending his name and acting to hit TV shows, including a version of What We Do in the Shadows, and even Disney wants his mark on Star Wars. In short, the man is everywhere. In 2022, we now have a much better idea of what to expect from a typical Waititi project. Love and Thunder is recognizable to the man's omnipresent brand, and still a fun movie with some solid gags, but it also feels a bit sloppy and repetitive. I kept thinking about all the powerful dramatic potential in the different storylines that are barely explored because the driving plot is a universe-hopping caper to save a bunch of kidnapped children (yes, the children represent something, the next generation, renewal, legacy, but let's carry on). Tackle the pathos of Jane Foster, who in her normal human state has her body betraying her. She feels weak and incapable of the greatness she feels burdened to still accomplish with her declining time. With the power of Thor, she becomes a superhero, and with super swole arms. However, this power trip also has its own ironic downside. Every time she powers up, the magic hammer is actually draining more of her life force, meaning she's actually speeding up her terminal illness. Here is a character given a dire situation and an escape and yet that escape only worsens the illness. There's such powerful drama there to explore as she comes to terms with how to spend her final moments, among them reconnecting with her super ex-boyfriend. This could have sufficed as the entire movie and told from her perspective. Then there's Gorr the God Butcher, gloriously played by Christian Bale like he's in a James Wan horror movie. Here is another example where the villain doesn't just have a sympathetic back-story but where they are correct in their aims, though maybe not in their methods (think Killmonger arguing Wakanda should do more). Gorr is tired of the gods crushing the little guy with their general entitlement, indifference, and selfishness. These fancy deities aren't worthy of worship. The power structure needs upending. It's easy to get behind Gorr's plight and see connections to our own imbalanced world. This too could have sufficed as the entire movie and told from his perspective. Now, things could have gotten even more interesting and complicated for Jane, because she's not officially a god unless she's yielding Thor's hammer and joins those rarefied ranks. It would pose another question of whether wielding this power would be worth her remaining time, especially with a heat-seeking missile coming for her on a righteous quest of vengeance that is slowly eating him alive. Both are dying but can they fulfill their goals? If these storylines had been given careful development and the necessary time to breathe, Love and Thunder could have been one of the most interesting movies in the ever-expanding MCU cannon. Instead, it's galloping to work so hard to stick to the Waititi brand expectations, to reignite our feelings of Ragnarok, and so these promising elements ultimately get shortchanged by hit-or-miss comedy bits. I liked several of them even despite myself. The set piece where Thor and Jane and friends travel to Omnipotence City has such imaginative heights. Russell Crowe is having a grand time as a hilarious Greek caricature of Zeus that is more concerned about the upcoming company orgy and brushing feta crumbles from his beard. I loved the almost Lego Movie-esque zany sight gags of the cohabitation of gods from different religions (Korg's god sits on an iron throne of scissors, its own visual joke). It's such a fascinating concept that I wish we could have spent even more time here. Let's see the Egyptian gods mingling with the Sumerian gods while pranking some weird alien deity. The set piece serves two narrative purposes: gathering a powerful magic weapon, and learning the gods are sitting out the battle with Gorr for their own short-sighted self-preservation. It's mostly a pit stop. Again, there was more pathos that could have been explored here as people meet gods, but this is my cross to bear. The general banter is amusing and has more hits than misses even if the hit percentage is lower. I laughed every time the magic axe would silently pop onscreen in jealous judgement. I even enjoyed the screaming goats even though from their first moment they are the exact same joke. Regardless, whenever Thor and company would travel to a new place and I heard that familiar goat scream, it would make me giggle despite my reservations. I also had my qualms with the concept of Eternity, a magical place located at the center of the universe but destined to grant a wish to whomever gets there first. It's too transparent as a plot device and its very existence this far into the MCU creates too many nagging questions. In the history of the universe, no other creature successfully reached this wish-granting locale? And if this existed at least to Thor's understanding, then why didn't the characters think about this as an option to thwart Thanos and his universe-halving finger snap? I know the answer, because it wasn't written into a movie until now, but this is the drawback of throwing ultimate power plot devices without more careful context. Eternity could have been a secret just to the inner circle of the famous gods, unknown to all but a few, but even that strains some credulity. If Zeus is such a carousing hedonist of legendary status, I'm sure he would have either blabber-mouthed its existence or sought it ought for his own gain. I genuinely liked the set piece at Eternity, a small planet that sucks all color from existence, making the imagery even more striking like the inky panels of a comic. The same question happens when Thor shares his power late in the movie. Couldn't the Avengers have used this too? I fully acknowledge that my criticisms are butting against the movie Waititi wanted to tell. I'm pushing for its inherent dramatic potential while it wants to be a more comic and romantic adventure about the power of love. I think by the end it gets there, and the dramatic confrontations have some emotional weight to them, especially about the idea of what we leave behind for others after we're gone. Although, even this is mitigated by the general stakes-lowering reality that death never seems so permanent in the world of comics and monetarily useful IP. It's a joke how many times Loki has been brought back from the dead and Thor doesn't even know that his trickster brother has been brought back from the dead again (again again). We've now established time travel and an emphasis on the multiverse of alternate universes, which means at a moment's notice, any meaningful death or sacrifice has the possibility of being undone. This is also the reality of a moneymaking machine that has dominated the movies and pop-culture landscape for 14 years. No death is ever going to be for real in this environment so why should I put so much emphasis on the dramatic potential of what losing a loved one, or your sense of self, can have? I can sit back and enjoy the lesser, but still enjoyable, Waititi quirk on display for two hours of silly. Hemsworth (Spiderhead) is so sharply skilled at comedy that I feign to remember his previous existence as a dramatic actor. He's still on the same sublime, charismatic yet blithely self-effacing vibe he was with Ragnarok. Portman (Annihilation) comes back after close to a decade for a clear reason to leave her mark on what had been an otherwise forgettable character and giving her a renewed sense of power and direction and agency. Bale (Ford v. Ferrari), as mentioned, is fantastic. I appreciate that his character isn't physically huge and bulky. He looks quite the opposite, like he's wasting away, like somebody slathered an ashy coat of paint from living-skeleton Bale after The Machinist (yes, also the obvious Voldermort comparison). He is relishing every teeth-stained syllable as a nightmare creature living from the shadows. The prologue with his character is heartbreaking and yet understated (and truth be told, having young children in my household, it hit me more personally), and I turned to my fiancé and said, "I'm supposed to not like this guy?" I wish the opening credits were then a montage of Gorr seeking and slaying wicked gods. Bale is playing his role like he's definitely not in a Waititi movie about goofy screaming goats; he's playing Gorr like a tragic hero of myth. This is why I would have been happy had the whole movie been told from his perspective. The new characters from Ragnarok suffer the most and become sidelined as "Others Along on the Quest." For Korg, this is fine, but for Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie, I mourn her absence. Also, both characters are definitively queer now, though Korg might be more a question, making Love and Thunder the gayest movie in the MCU, and just after Pride Month, so take that for what you will, folks. As a fun matinee, Love and Thunder will amuse and brighten, even if its comedy highs don't quite hit as high this time under the burden of franchise expectations. Love and Thunder is a movie that will be best known for Portman and Bale, both of whom elevate the scattershot material with their dedication and professionalism. It might even be known for Crowe's hammy scene-stealing, or the super-powered cadre of cute kiddos, or even the screaming goats. It's a movie more of moments and ideas, too many underdeveloped or lacking the gravitas they deserve, especially concerning Jane and Gorr. I feel like a grump bemoaning that the big superhero movie should have more time spent on a woman contemplating her own existential demise as well as man's relationship and fealty to our gods. Still, it's Waititi doing his signature brand of quirk with $200 million of house money from Disney. Thor: Love and Thunder is a lesson in diminished returns but when you have Ragnarok as your starting point, it's at least guaranteed to still be worth your two hours once and deliver some chuckles and smiles. Nate's Grade: B-
    Nate Z Super Reviewer
  • Jul 11, 2022
    It is watchable and has enjoyable moments to be sure but lacks the narrative consistency of Waititi's last Thor movie (as silly as Ragnarok was, it at least had clear character growth and a fresh new take) and it often feels like they are grasping to find a reason for this fourth Thor entry to exist.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jul 09, 2022
    Being a huge fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, I must say that the first two instalments of the Thor franchise haven't been anywhere near my favourites. When Taiki Waititi was brought in to direct Thor: Ragnarok, he injected some much-needed life. Since then, Thor has been a much more enjoyable character to follow and I now look forward to seeing him every time. Hearing that Waititi would once again be back for the fourth film excited me a great deal, but I also knew it would be a very hard task to top the third film. Thor: Ragnarok is one of my favourite Marvel films, and while there are more than a few moments in Thor: Love and Thunder that harken back to what made Ragnarok great, it's not quite on the same level for me. Still, Thor: Love and Thunder is a genuine blast at the movies and here's why I recommend checking it out. Picking up after the events of Avengers: Endgame, while still being a sequel to the Thor films, the premise here is that Gorr (Christian Bale) who now wields a sword known as the "Necrosword", has a mission to murder every God in existence. After having killed many already, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is next in line. With the addition of a very well-done story that brings back Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), this film has a lot going for it. The villain storyline and Jane's storyline are both serious elements of the film, but otherwise, this is just a straight-up comedy, through and through. I liked the tonal shifts throughout the film because Taiki Waititi knows how to tread that line, even though a few moments tread a little too closely. If you were a fan of the silliness in Thor: Ragnarok, you'd probably love watching this film, but I will say that Thor: Love and Thunder dials it up to a hundred here. From giant screaming goats to a love triangle between his axe (Stormbreaker) and his "ex-hammer" (Mjolnir), I was laughing throughout. This will absolutely be a deterrent for some viewers though. Marvel is known to have a lot of comedy sprinkled throughout their films, but this one probably takes the cake for the amount of humour. The humour landed for me about 90% of the time though, so I had an absolute blast. Christian Bale is a fantastic addition here and is completely committed to this role, even though I wish he had a little more screen time. Where his storyline goes by the end may also leave viewers dissatisfied, but I kind of love how it concluded and I can't wait to see where those last few story beats lead. On top of that, I will say that Natalie Portman brings her A-Game here. I wasn't a huge fan of her in the first two Thor films, but her reason for being in this film was easily the best aspect of the movie for me. Again, like Gorr, I just wish a little more time was dedicated to her storyline. This is a film that clocks in at under two hours, but I believe an added 20 minutes or so could've fleshed everything out just a little more. In the end, this is the most fun I've had with a Marvel film in a while. Taiki Waititi's kinetic energy is on full display here, more than I've ever seen before (What We Do in the Shadows included) and Chris Hemsworth commands the screen with his portrayal of Thor, as always. The jokes fly a mile a minute, but I enjoyed that about this film, even though I was worried it would ruin my enjoyment. I do feel that it suffers a little from having multiple storylines and not quite enough time to explore them all, but I was ultimately satisfied with how everything played out. For being such a big story, I will also say that the scale of this one felt a little smaller than the rest of the Thor films. It almost felt episodic at times. Overall, Thor: Love and Thunder is absolutely a must-see if you enjoyed the silliness of Thor: Ragnarok, but some may be turned off. I personally give it a big recommendation because I had a lot of fun.
    KJ P Super Reviewer

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