What is Witty Watching?

Thor: Love and Thunder- Movie Review
July 8, 2022
Synopsis: Thor enlists the help of Valkyrie, Korg and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster to fight Gorr the God Butcher, who intends to make the gods extinct.

Director: Taika Waititi

Stars: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale

The lyrics to Proud Mary are

‘Big wheel keep on turning

Proud Mary keep on burnin’

I hear those lyrics and I can’t help but think of Marvel movies. They keep coming out. The Marvel cinematic universe (MCU) is a juggernaut that has no signs of slowing down and quite frankly why should it? The films are widely successful and there is built in audience with these films, who, like clockwork, stop what they are doing and head to the theatres when they are released.

Marvel movies have come under criticism. Famous directors have challenged whether or not they are cinema, and the purpose of this article isn’t to debate that. I would say that if you are in the movie business, they are something to study and to learn from.

The emotional investment for Avengers End Game was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. Billions of dollar in revenue because Maevel had developed an audience that cared. Very rarely do you see that level of an emotional commitment in pop culture. Off the top of my head I think to things like major finales of shows like Breaking Bad and The Game of Thrones.

Three years after the phenomenon that was Avengers Endgame these movies are still being released and are all extremely profitable. The latest instalment is Thor: Love and Thunder. Chris Hemsworth returns for his fourth standalone movie about the Asgardian God of Thunder. There is no doubt that this series has made Hemsworth a household name, but this wasn’t a fluke.

I think comedic acting is very challenging and he has excelled at it. He delivers his lines effortlessly and has taken this character to new heights.

In this latest installment, director Taika Waititi returns to the directors’ chair in the MCU. (He also directed Thor: Ragnarok). Many directors have directed the various Marvel films but one of the great things about Waititi is his comedic timing. He has done a great job of humanizing the Thor character and silently taking the baton from Iron Man as the funny one in the Avengers.

In this film, Thor is still dealing with the aftermath of ‘The blip’ and Avengers: Endgame and he answers an SOS from a friend to discover someone is in the universe with the singular goal of killing off the Gods. That would be Gorr, The God butcher, played by Christian Bale.

Gorr is the most intense villain we have seen in the MCU since Thanos. Bale, who is no stranger to superhero films, bring a lot of pathos to the role. I’ve always believes a hero needs a true villain to thrive and Bale excels in that category.

Christian Bale isn’t the only Academy Award winner in the cast as Natalie Portman makes her return to the MCU. Portman returns as Jane Foster, Thor’s ex girlfriend, who has some secrets of her own.

I will credit Disney and Marvel for listening ‘to the room’ and developing more strong female characters and embracing ethnicity more. We are seeing it across their programming and representation is never a bad thing.

Recency bias will often set in and people will talk about ‘This is the best….ever’. This isn’t the best Marvel move ever but its very entertaining. We also see it’s a family affair as Hemsworth, Bale, Portman and Waititi all have their children in the film.

Of course, Marvel has gifted us not one but two post credit scenes as the baton MUST BE PASSED.

The film is entertaining as one would expect. It feeds our Marvel diet and should tide us over for the next few months until the next film arrives.

Grade: B-


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