‘Thor: Love And Thunder’ Review – One Of The Worst Movies Of The Year


Please let me set the scale for blockbuster, mass entertainers of the year 2022 before talking about “Thor: Love And Thunder.” At the “best movies of the year” end of the scale lies “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” “RRR,” “The Batman,” “Top Gun: Maverick,” and “The Bad Guys.” At the “worst movies of the year” end of the scale lies “Death on the Nile,” “Radhe Shyam,” and “Jurassic World: Dominion.” The things that exist in the middle are “KGF – Chapter 2” and “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” The fourth (but unfortunately, not the final) outing of Thor (Chris Hemsworth) lies near “Jurassic World: Dominion.” Well, if we are all being honest here, it somehow supersedes the latter, i.e., it’s worse than “Jurassic World: Dominion.” Because “Dominion” is boring, yes. “Love and Thunder” is annoying.

“Thor: Love and Thunder” is directed by Taika Waititi and written by Waititi and Jennifer Kaytin Robinson. It takes place after the events of “Avengers: Endgame,” where Thor handed over the reins of Asgard to Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) and set out on an adventure with the Guardians of the Galaxy. The movie opens with Gorr (Christian Bale) and his daughter (played by India Rose Hemsworth) struggling to survive in the desert. Gorr’s daughter dies while he keeps pleading to his god, Rapu (Jonny Brugh). Disillusioned by the faux might of gods, Gorr beheads Rapu with a Necrosword and promises to kill all gods. Several distress signals later, Thor returns to New Asgard to protect it. But he fails as Gorr kidnaps all the kids and runs away. So, he puts together a team, which includes Jane (Natalie Portman), Valkyrie, and Korg (Waititi), to conduct a rescue mission and stop Gorr.

Like in “Thor: Ragnarok,” “Love and Thunder” establishes a bunch of interesting arcs and a really good parallel. Gorr is on a path of revenge because he wants all the gods in the universe to pay for the death of his daughter. But the more he uses the Necrosword, the closer he comes to dying. Jane Foster is battling cancer, and although she thinks that becoming the Mighty Thor is helping her, it’s actually not. So, there’s a parallel about doing something with one’s mortality. Valkyrie sees the kidnapping of the Asgardian children as her failure. Hence, she wants to correct that and bring them back to their parents. Then there’s Thor. He is looking to find love. When he comes across Jane, he tries to rekindle his relationship with her. This search for love kinda sorta permeates through all the characters’ respective and mutual journeys as the movie wants to say “choose love.” And Waititi does nothing with all this stuff.

It seems like Waititi’s modus operandi is that he likes to set things up, forget about it all, and then give them the most haphazard conclusions imaginable. Because he is either busy with or being forced to do one badly written joke after another and one badly choreographed action sequence after another. Almost everything that Gorr does or thinks happens off-screen, and the parts that we get to see are so cartoonish that it is unwatchable. Jane’s struggles are so sanitized that there’s no impact. It’s as if Waititi and Marvel are okay with exposed private parts, and adult jokes, and golden blood splattering all over the screen, but they draw the line at an emotional portrayal of fighting cancer. And the handling of “love” is laughable because the so-called chemistry between Thor and Jane feels like a poorly-written high-school romantic comedy. So basically, there is nothing to ground all the spectacle in, and you are left watching scene after scene of plastic sentimentality.

Talking about spectacle, visually speaking, what the hell is going on? It feels wrong to refer to the action scenes as action scenes because they are not. They are moving images put on screen without an iota of passion or intent. Good action is governed by emotion. There is a sense of weight (emotional or literal) in every move. There’s a style to it that matches the vibe of the scene it’s happening in. There is bloody visual coherence to let the audience feel while they are seeing what’s going on. “Thor: Love and Thunder,” thinks that it doesn’t need all that. Waititi thinks that he and his (overburdened, probably underpaid, and definitely not unionized) VFX team can put any kind of goop on the frames and get a pass. Not from me. The only thing that’s worse than the unappealing action scenes is the dull and flat framing of the dialogue scenes, which is put together via some of the most boring editing choices in blockbuster history.

Finally, the acting. Look, Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, and Christian Bale (there are many others, but let’s focus on the main cast) are amazing actors. The verdict is still out on Taika Waititi, the actor. Apart from him, all the actors are fantastic. But there’s something about Waititi’s direction and the whole Marvel industrial belt that sucks the life out of them. It seems they are sleepwalking through these roles, and not in a good way. Hemsworth’s tone as Thor is a result of the character’s general mishandling after the first movie. However, there’s no attempt to fix him here. Portman and Thompson aren’t doing anything exceptional or anything basic. They are just there. Then there’s Christian Bale. Without beating too much around the bush, his performance is on par with Jared Leto’s Joker. It isn’t menacing. It isn’t scary. It isn’t creepy. It is undercooked. Everything about Bale’s performance as Gorr is so surface-level that it’s depressing. I don’t want to look at this ever again.

In conclusion, and at the cost of sounding repetitive, “Thor: Love and Thunder” is one of the worst movies of the year. From the first frame to the last, it’s unengaging, insipid, and tedious. It proves yet again that Marvel Studios should have halted or slowed down production after “Avengers: Endgame” and focused on making genuinely good stuff. Instead, all we have are products that range from bad to trash, like “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” “Black Widow,” “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” “What If…?”, “Hawkeye,” “Moon Knight” and now this. And some watchable ones like “WandaVision,” “Loki,” “Eternals,” “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse,” and “Ms. Marvel.” I don’t want to point out the learning lesson here. The internet insists that Kevin Feige is a god. So, I guess he’s smart enough to understand it.

See More: ‘Thor: Love And Thunder’ Ending, Mid-Credits And Post-Credits, Explained – Who Does Zeus Recruit To Kill Thor?

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Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit Chatterjee
Pramit loves to write about movies, television shows, short films, and basically anything that emerges from the world of entertainment. He occasionally talks to people, and judges them on the basis of their love for Edgar Wright, Ryan Gosling, Keanu Reeves, and the best television series ever made, Dark.

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