“Thor: Love and Thunder” amps up the wit and cool: A High Five Review

by Matthew Escosia
SEA Wave - Thor Love and Thunder
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In this High Five review, we talk about “Thor: Love and Thunder”, the latest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe directed by Taika Waititi.

Thor: Love and Thunder” follows Thor as he undergoes a spiritual retreat with the Guardians of the Galaxy. When a new threat starts to murder gods like him, he must reunite with old alliances to defeat the powerful evil.

Thor: Love and Thunder”, the fourth stand-alone film about the titular God of Thunder in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, leaves no jokes behind as it finally amps up the promise of “Thor: Ragnarok’s” comedy and eccentricities to a nudge higher.

Going playful with Thor

SEA Wave - Thor Love and Thunder

Photo from Marvel Studios

This brand of tone, while not the most ideal, is a detour for the titular Marvel character played by Chris Hemsworth for more than a decade. In his first few outings, Thor was moody and struggling to find the balance between doing the right thing and resorting to vengeance. At times, he is clumsy and would pitch in jokes as a loner God in the human world, which seems to be what Taika Waititi wants to bank on more as director for Ragnarok and now, Love and Thunder.

Waititi has always seen Thor as a character he would play as an action figure—a Jelly-like being he can set up against different kinds of cartoonish humor. “Thor: Love and Thunder” establishes Thor as someone who’s always hesitant and shy that is inconsistent with how people know him. It’s the character’s fourth stand-alone film already, and yet the character development is going backwards.

Hemsworth’s fourth outing

SEA Wave - Thor Love and Thunder

Photo from Marvel Studios

But it is no question that Chris Hemsworth is successful in bringing the different dimensions of Thor without feeling forced.

He has always been one of the greats in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, up there with the likes of Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, Chris Evans as Steve Rogers, and Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury. And by allowing to completely own the role in a handful worth of movies, it’s going to be difficult seeing him pass the baton to another.

The return of Natalie Portman

SEA Wave - Thor Love and Thunder Jane Foster

Photo from Marvel Studios

Thor: Love and Thunder” repeatedly winks on the idea of Thor giving his stature to another hammer-wielding superhero. Natalie Portman’s return as Jane Foster is a welcome addition. She’s never the most interesting part in the first two Thor movies, but I’m glad she’s getting a great redemption arc to fill in the gaps.

Unlike Thor, Jane Foster (or The Mighty Thor when she transforms into the powerful hero) showed a sense of vulnerability and maturity that became the emotional core of the film. I wish her character’s upgrade came sooner because of the many potential—and Portman makes a fun dynamic with Hemsworth in more serious scenes.

What Thor really needs

Without going into too much spoilers, the best part of “Thor: Love and Thunder” is its final minutes, where Thor finally allows himself to be free.

Past Marvel movies have been unkind to this character. After grueling deaths of loved ones to having his hometown destroyed by a relative, the best resolution for this character moving forward is a chance for him to really focus on himself.

Love and Thunder briefly explores this, since too much comedy gets on the way. Thor is always distracted, occupied by battle, with little introspection to work on. At least Iron Man and Captain America’s final appearances in Avengers: Endgame satisfy an arc that they’ve been longing across the franchise.

We really don’t know where Thor is heading after Love and Thunder. We’ll have to wait until the next film comes, I guess? Next!

 We give Thor: Love and Thunder 3 waves out of 5!

Thor: Love and Thunder is now showing in cinemas from Walt Disney Studios.

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