The last complete Thor movie was the baroque Thor: Ragnarök 2017, in which the God of Thunder faced conflicts with his brothers, the imminent destruction of his planet, an alcoholic partner, a huge dog, his friend Hulk having a panic attack and the death of his father.
It was Taika Waititi cinema at its most intense, with slow-motion walks, goofy headgear with horns, swords and laser cannons, capes and undead soldiers, a short-haired Thor, a typically unbalanced Jeff Goldblum character, a prophecy, alien spaceships and lots of Led Zeppelin.
If you thought it was a crazy film, its sequel tells you “move aside, here I come”.
Thor: Love and Thunder (“Thor: Love and Thunder”) — a rare fourth movie for a Marvel character — has giant, screaming goats, a hideous Zeus, children in cages, space dolphins, teddy bears with laser eyes, a parody of a Old Spice commercial, Natalie Portman headbutting a villain, blue aliens, and plenty of Guns N’ Roses.
Waititi is back as co-writer, director, and the voice of the stone being Korg, with Chris Hemsworth as our space Viking, a man who really needs more credit for turning Thor over the years from brooding to hilarious. His ability to dramatically deliver superhero lines and then goof off is endlessly charming. Also back is Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Jaimie Alexander as Sif.
Also read: Review of ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness’, the new Marvel movie
One troublesome character who’s back is Jane Foster, Thor’s ex who he still misses eight years after they broke up and who didn’t appear in the third film. But now Foster, played by Portman, has her old magical hammer, Mjolnir, and has become a superhero: the Mighty Thor. She is trying to come up with her own catchphrase, like “Eat this hammer!”
Thor, of course, has come out ahead, not with his romantic feelings, but with his favorite weaponry. He now wields the Stormbreaker enchanted axe. He doesn’t have eyes for Mjolnir, does he? “Everything’s fine? I know it’s a little weird having my ex-weapon around,” he asks his ax in a delightfully wacky scene, basically mirroring a love triangle between a Norse god and two metal weapons.
The villain of this installment is splendid: Christian Bale plays Gorr the Butcher God, a pious man who prayed in vain to the deities, and who has now decided to kill them after suffering a personal disappointment. Bale is so creepy and so committed that you can feel the hate from him melting your popcorn. “The gods will use you, but they won’t help you,” he roars.
Another weird punch comes from Russell Crowe, who plays Zeus as a vainglorious tyrant in Roman garb (a reference to Gladiator?) and an atrocious Mediterranean accent. He is surrounded by lackeys, some called Zeusettes, and frustrates Thor, even stripping him of his clothes, much to the delight of many in the audience. “You know what they say: never meet your heroes,” says the Viking.
The swing from death and suffering to idiocy is impressive. Jennifer Kaytin Robinson co-wrote a script with Waititi that appears to have been put together after little mice ripped open a sack of words. You go from a hospital room on Earth with a terminal patient, to Thor dressed as a hot dog, and to a low-gravity outpost in space where the film turns completely black and white. There is very little logic and the connections between scenes are tenuous, giving the impression that nothing was clearly constructed.
The epitome of madness is reached in Omnipotence City, where the gods of the universe gather. There is an Aztec god, several Maori gods, a Mayan god, and a god of Chinese steamed buns called Bao. It’s a joke that sounds like something out of a Mel Brooks movie, but the way the Marvel Cinematic Universe is moving forward, it’s no surprise that there’s a 47th installment titled “Bao: Steam and Gravy.”
The movie is full of cameos — many of which critics aren’t allowed to reveal — but you can look for Hemsworth’s real-life wife (Spanish model and actress Elsa Pataky) and one of their children, plenty of Guardians. of the Galaxy and a famous comedian playing the role of Cate Blanchett in “Ragnarok”.
What can be made of this glorious intergalactic disaster? There is no better answer than one of the superhero’s phrases: “A classic Thor adventure Hooray!”.
Thor: Love and Thunder, a Walt Disney Studios release opening the weekend of July 8, is rated PG-13 (warning parents that it may be inappropriate for children under 13) by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). according to its acronym in English) for “intense science fiction violence, action scenes, dialogue, partial nudity and certain suggestive material”. Duration: 119 minutes. Three stars out of four.