From: Silver Screen

REVIEW: ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ is vivacious, funny and explores a new angle for its eponymous character

 REVIEW: ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ is vivacious, funny and explores a new angle for its eponymous character

This article contains spoilers for “Thor: Love and Thunder.”

The most recent Marvel Cinematic Universe addition, “Thor: Love and Thunder” is vivid, action-packed and takes the MCU in a new direction. Like many Marvel creations, it is full of fight scenes, new super powers and comedic relief. But this time, love is the central theme.

In the film, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) teams up with King Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), Korg (Taika Waititi) and his ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who gains the power to wield Mjölnir, to stop Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale) from killing all gods. On their quest to defeat Gorr, the team meets other gods, runs into the Guardians of the Galaxy and engage in many comedic moments while the movie maintains a high-stakes plot. 

Throughout the decade that Hemsworth has been portraying the lead role across three previous “Thor” movies, his character has had trouble finding himself as the MCU creators have struggled with the character’s direction. However, this film solidifies Thor’s motives, refocuses the series on love and has an amazing soundtrack to boot. 

Waititi, the film’s talented writer, actor and director, is responsible for many such welcome changes. His directorial skill has shaped the two most recent “Thor” films into hilarious, energetic masterpieces. 

One nagging problem present in the first two “Thor” films is one-dimensional villains who are unrelatable and fail to leave lasting impacts. Bale reverses this trend by playing a powerful villain who is simultaneously hateable and sympathetic, lending the film a complexity missing from its predecessors. His haunting portrayal of Gorr allows the audience to understand his pain, motives and sacrifice while simultaneously rooting for his demise. 

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The absence of Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is sorely missed in this film, and as less and less of the original cast continues to play large roles in the “Thor” films, it makes the audience wonder what future films might have in store. 

Although the film provides many exciting new additions to the “Thor” series, it remains steadily rooted in its origins. The movie does a wonderful job at keeping Jane Foster’s character development similar to her comic book arc. It also successfully creates a comedic, jealous relationship amongst Thor’s weapons. The film had people laughing, was emotional and even gave all three of Hemsworth’s real-life children roles. 

The film also excels in its color scheme. The film is chock-full of lively colors that engulf the characters and add to the movie’s light-hearted tone. These vivacious colors are thoughtfully contrasted when the film transitions to black and white as the protagonists enter The Shadow Realm, Gorr’s hiding place. The immediate drain of color is a beautiful touch that puts the audience on the edge of their seats, and the slow return of color as Thor’s power surges back into his body is executed with an equal amount of allure. 

While most Marvel films have good CGI, the visual effects and makeup departments in this film deserve a standing ovation themselves. From the constant CGI fight scenes to the drastic changes in Portman's physical appearance on a scene-by-scene basis, the crew of this film deserves recognition just as much as the actors.

Overall, “Thor: Love and Thunder” is a great addition to the MCU, adds a new perspective to the “Thor” series and should make any summer watch list this July.

“Thor: Love and Thunder” was released in theaters on July 8.

gdinardo@theeagleonline.com


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