I skipped the last Doctor Strange film, mainly because I’m not the biggest Strange fan. He’s always seemed like a side character rather than a main character.
My issue was also the fact I hate going to the theater, so like most movies these days, it was one I’d happily wait to see when it comes on demand.
And with how quickly movies do get a VOD release, the wait wouldn’t have to be long.
I ended up really loving Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. I thought since this is Disney and these movies are on rails at this point, with very little directorial voice or style, Sam Raimi would be muted a bit. But no, he’s all over this.
It might be the closest we’ll ever get to one of these cinematic universe films being R rated.
I bring this up because much like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Thor: Love and Thunder also has a creative visionary director at the helm Taika Waititi. A director whose films have a very distinct feel and type of sense of humor.
How much you enjoy that style and sense of humor will dictate just how much you will end up liking Love and Thunder, as he is all over this. Even more so than Raimi was with Multiverse of Madness.
Taika Waititi goes a bit overboard at times in this new version of Thor, not really knowing when to cool it with the funny quips and maybe linger a bit more on the more serious stuff. And there’s some heavy stuff in this movie, dealing with the loss of a child, getting stage 4 cancer…
But each time it finds itself wanting to brush past the serious stuff to bring you more dumb lines from Korg, the rock monster.
The thing is, Taika Waititi knows how to balance these things well. We’ve seen him do it before. He did it perfectly with Jojo Rabbit, which won him a goddamn Oscar.
This however seemed less like Jojo Rabbit and way more like Our Flag Means Death, the hilarious gay pirate series on HBOMax.
And yes, Thor: Love and Thunder is also very gay.
Or at least gay enough that it could be cut out for the Chinese market.
If I had to list my favorite of the Marvel movies, Thor: Ragnarok is way up there. Love and Thunder is a bit of a step down, and for very obvious reasons that I will now get into. Spoilers ahead!
One thing while watching this movie, I kept having this feeling like stuff was missing. Back in the day, I’d watch anime movies. Some of these anime movies were actually based off a series, but what they’d do is cut the show down into this 90 minute easily digestible “film”.
And they always suck. Maybe because it’s hard to make something that’s 13 or so episodes into an hour and thirty-minute movie make any goddamn sense.
Love and Thunder, maybe not as bad as that, still has that feel. Like this was a much larger movie that got cut down by a few hours.
A few minutes I can understand, but we are talking hours of content.
There’s a thing in editing called a suicide cut, where you put all your footage into the film, so you know what to cut out. They call it a suicide cut because it makes you want to kill yourself after you watch it.
This isn’t that. You shouldn’t be able to tell when stuff gets cut out of a film. But here it was obvious. Characters show up for a scene, never to be seen again. Our villain barely has any screen time and is mostly forgotten about. Characters have whole plotlines that feel quickly brushed over and rushed through.
The whole film has a very weird tone to it as well. And not your usual offbeat Taika Waititi tone either.
That might have to do with a few other things. At first, I thought maybe the tone was off because Korg our rock monster is the one telling this story. The film is told through his perspective since he is the one narrating it.
And that makes sense, why characters would feel off, the tone would seem sillier since Korg is basically a comic relief character in a film when you don’t need yet another comic relief character.
But then the children started showing up and something else hit me. Was this movie geared towards kids? I know superhero movies are made for kids to enjoy, but I wouldn’t say they are geared towards them. And by the end I think I got my answer.
Also, another issue, the film doesn’t do a great job of telling us what exactly our villain is. So, because of that, I had to look him up a bit.
Christian Bale plays Gorr, the last of a devote follower of some god we know nothing about. He’s just watched as his daughter die of thirst, after pleading with his god to save her.
In his grief, he hears a voice calling out to him in the desert, which leads him to an oasis where his god is just hanging out, celebrating because they defeated the Godkiller and his necrosword. In the comics, from what I’ve read this is connected to Venom, as this sword is a symbiote, and if I had to guess the creatures it releases are also in the symbiote family. The film doesn’t mention any of this by the way, as it is never explained.
Gorr takes up the sword and murders his god, the only god we actually see him killing. From what I’ve read about the stuff that got cut from the film was a lot of Gorr actually doing shit, stuff we don’t get in the final cut of the movie.
After he kills his god, we get glimpses of gods he’s killed in passing, but never actually see him doing anything.
The next time we see him, he pops up on earth looking for Thor. After that we really don’t see him again until the end of the movie. He really doesn’t seem to pose much of a threat. We’re told he does, but we never really get to see it ourselves. Plus, when he went up against Thor, he kind of got his ass kicked.
The goal for our heroes isn’t even to defeat him but rescue a bunch of kidnapped children.
But let’s take a step back and start with another kind of disappointing cameo, the Guardians of the Galaxy.
I was hoping, since they are featured prominently in the trailers, that they’d be in this more. After Endgame I was promised Thor joining the crew and them kicking ass together.
What we got was one scene of them and then they fuck off to go on some separate adventure while Thor leaves to rescue Sif a character we haven’t seen since she showed up on Agents of Shield so many years back.
In the comics, she’s Thor’s love interest, but they don’t do anything with that since she has one scene in this movie and is forgotten about. Again.
Speaking of love interest, Natalie Portman is back as Jane Foster. Who was fucking terrible in the first two Thor movies.
She is better here thankfully, but her plotline is one that got the most shafted as it is rushed through. She has stage 4 cancer, something her mom must have died from as well since we get this tiny flashback of her dealing with the loss of her mother.
Modern medicine isn’t helping, so she goes to New Asgard where Thor’s broken hammer Mjolnir is left on display.
One thing I did really enjoy was this love triangle between Stormbreaker, Thor’s new hammer and Mjolnir his ex.
That stuff was genuinely hilarious, as Stormbreaker would get jealous each time Thor was alone with Mjolnir.
It’s silly, but that’s the stuff that really worked with me. And that brings me to the movie’s theme. What is the theme here?
At first it seemed to be about lost love, but then it switches to family, the theme is a bit all over the place honestly. It should be consistent throughout.
Once Jane gets a hold of Mjolnir, she becomes lady Thor with CGI muscles.
Her hope is that attaining the hammer will save her from dying of cancer, but it only seems to make her sicker.
Gorr shows up, fights Thor and loses, but makes sure to kidnap the kids of New Asgard. I guess his goal is to get Thor to follow him to the Shadow Realm, a place without color or light.
Thor bands together with Korg, Valkyrie and Jane, heading off to visit a city of GODS. Thor is a bit of a fanboy when it comes to Zeus and he wants to ask him for his help or at least ask him to lend them his lightning bolt.
But Zeus is kind of an asshole and refuses to help, which leads to Thor killing him, or so we think.
Armed with Zeus’ lightning bolt, they head off to the Shadow Realm, flown there by two giant goats that won’t stop yelling. There’s a really funny scene of them just crashing into the planet.
When they get to the planet to rescue the kids, they learn this was a trap, setup by Gorr to obtain Stormbreaker, as it is the key that will unlock a realm that will grant him any wish.
Thor and the rest think Gorr wants to use this place to wish all the gods dead.
Thor loses Stormbreaker but manages to get everyone out of there and back to New Asgard. Jane on the other hand is at her limit. Thor warns her if she uses Mjolnir again, it will kill her.
With Korg only being a face and Valkyrie also out of commission, Thor goes it alone to stop Gorr and save the kids.
In the comics, Thor is able to save Jane by giving her his power, he doesn’t do that here, instead he gives it to the kids, so they too have the power of the gods.
So, if he can do that, why didn’t he do it for Jane?
Anyway, the kids use his power to fight off the shadow monsters while Thor takes on Gorr with Zeus’ lightning bolt.
The lightning bolt might look kind of dumb, but it’s actually pretty cool. But it still isn’t enough to defeat Gorr.
Thankfully, Jane shows up to save the day.
They manage to break Gorr’s necrosword, but fail to stop him from opening a portal into the realm that will grant him any wish.
Both Jane and Gorr are on their last legs, about to die, but she is able to get through to Gorr before he makes his wish, instead wishing to bring his daughter back to life.
As Jane dies Gorr’s daughter is reborn as some cosmic being that I guess just looks like his daughter? Thor now has a daughter to raise, giving his meaningless life something yadda yadda yadda.
They do tease for yet another Thor film, but if this is, where the character is at now, I really don’t care to see more.
I didn’t stick around for the second end credit, so I don’t know what that teased, but I’d be happy if it just ends there. We really don’t need more of Thor.
The film was good, don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy it. I just felt like I was missing out on a much better version of the movie.
I thought maybe it was a ploy for Disney+ to pull a Zack Snyder and release the 4-hour cut exclusively through their streaming service. But after reading a few articles where Taika Waititi says, no this is the only cut of the film there will ever exist, I guess my theory was dead wrong.
If a film ever needed a petition like The Snyder Cut, it would be this film. So much was removed, it’s insane to me that no one will ever get to see what is most likely a better version.
And for that, I have to give Thor: Love and Thunder a RENT rating.
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