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‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ does little to electrify audiences

‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ does little to electrify audiences

‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ does little to electrify audiences
July 14
13:00 2022

With 28 Marvel movies spanning over a decade of filmmaking, “Thor: Love and Thunder” is the ultimate indicator of the company’s growing monotony in their newer projects.

“Thor: Love and Thunder” finds the titular character in his fourth feature film, and it’s the second film directed by the notoriously quirky Taika Waititi. Waititi’s total rebranding of the “Thor” series with “Thor: Ragnorak” had many fans hopeful that his second installment would build on the fan-favorite, colorful portrayal. Unfortunately, “Thor: Love and Thunder” falls short of the stardom its predecessor promised.

The film introduces its strongest element first, Gorr, Christian Bale’s new character. The intensely sad scene shows off the Oscar-winning actor’s skillset early on. Gorr’s character is by far the highest point of the film and manages to be emotionally stimulating and downright terrifying.

In a way, Gorr is antagonistic not just to Thor, but to the entire movie. Bale’s polished acting and expert delivery feel out of place in a film overcrowded with one-liners and non sequiturs.

Beyond Gorr, the returning cast gives an as-expected performance with little room to show off any character progression. At just under two hours, the movie feels compressed and could easily have been improved with 10 or 15 more minutes of screen time. Most of the exposition or character development is explicitly stated rather than shown. This includes several abrupt narrations from Waititi’s own character, Korg.

These monologues are sudden and voiced by the director himself.  It seems Waititi felt it was necessary to explain the movie rather than showing elements through cinematography. It’s a lazy decision that feels like an afterthought.

The movie certainly has high points. The aforementioned opening scene with Gorr is an amazing cold open. The final scene is an overcharge of bittersweetness that illustrates the best of what Waititi has to offer. The fight scenes are surprisingly carried by Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster, whose donning of the “Mighty Thor” mantle steals the spotlight in every action-packed sequence.

While the star-studded cast certainly pulls their weight, the behind-the-scenes crew gave a very mixed performance. Not a single note of the film’s score is memorable. It’s a far cry from captivating motifs from previous films such as “The Avengers” or the use of 80s classics in “Thor: Ragnorak.”

It’s evident where the film’s special effects budget was spent. There are moments where some CGI pieces are downright laughable, whereas other set pieces are seamless.

Poor CGI can be mostly excused, and yet the worst of it was in the key opening scene. It utterly distracts the audience from Bale’s introduction with an oversized CGI giant that looks like a Snapchat filter.

The movie’s limited runtime and rushed exposition cause the abundance of jokes throughout the film to become overwhelming and awkward. Thankfully, there are many jokes that stand out from the usual Marvel-certified sarcasm that will have the whole theater laughing together. These come as a respite to other punchlines that deserve little more than a brief exhale.

Even diehard fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe may leave the theater feeling underwhelmed. “Love and Thunder” turns its back on the previous Thor releases to ignore any build-up to a larger Marvel story. The film is entirely self-absorbed, a decision that is unique to Marvel movies. It’s ultimately a poor one due to the film’s limited cast and flat delivery.

“Thor: Love and Thunder” is definitely not the worst installment of the Thor series, and certainly not the MCU. It still stands strong as an enjoyable, mediocre film — even if it does struggle to balance levity with emotion.

Image source IMDb

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Ayden Runnels

Ayden Runnels

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