Thor: Love And Thunder (2022)

Quick Synopsis: Gorr The God Butcher wants to butcher gods (hence this name). Thor is not happy about this. Also, Jane Foster has cancer and a hammer.

There’s been quite a few mixed reviews about this. On one hand I get it, but on the other I don’t. I feel part of that might be due to expectations. People expect certain things from Marvel films now, they expect cameos, they expect surprises, they expect every film to be the best one ever. This is not among the best films ever, but it is a lot of fun. As the film goes on you’ll have an idea of where it’s going, but you won’t know exactly. It’s got surprises, but not really any you can spoil. There’s no singular jaw dropping moment that the film anchors around. But in a way that saves it, what would No Way Home be without the appearance of Maguire and Garfield (Tobey and Andrew, not Harry and The Cat)? Because this doesn’t have a moment like that, it will hold up better in repeat viewings. It can’t really be spoiled in a sentence like some of the others can be.

It’s just generally a better story than they’ve done in a while. Not as many twists and turns, just a straight forward story with understandable character motivations and actions. Gorr The God Butcher is an understandable villain, but not completely sympathetic. It does try to make him one though, even trying to redeem him at the end, which is a weird step to take. It only works because he hasn’t really been shown as a villain. We see him kill the god at the start, but that guy was kind of a dick to begin with. We then get told “he’s killed this one, and this one”, it would be a lot better if we actually saw him kill an innocent god. As it is, his on-screen death count is one so he doesn’t seem to be that much of a threat. He definitely should have killed someone the audience knows. The fact that only one character we know dies in this film really hurts it. It had a chance to do something brave and game-changing but refuses.

That’s been a problem with a lot of MCU films lately though, we’re still waiting for something to happen, for that cataclysmic event that will change everything. The post-credits scene hints at something, which if it happens could define the next few films. But that’s all dependent on whether it’s followed up with, and quickly. Or whether it will be like the Adam Warlock reveal at end of Guardians 2 which has been five years in real-time and even longer in-universe due to the blip. Could be at least 10 years in that universe where that story has not developed at all.

One thing this does much better than any MCU film in years: it works as a stand-alone film. It does reference the others, but it does a good enough job of explaining other things that I think you could possibly go into this as your first Marvel film and not feel too lost.

There’s been some criticism of the humour in this. I don’t mind it. The characters make jokes, but they don’t do them in battle, they do them in casual conversation so the tonal whiplash isn’t too great. There are some very funny moments in this, and some sad ones. Overall I’d say it’s more funny than sad, but when it does have emotional moments, it hits hard.

In terms of performances, there are some strange choices made by some of the gods, the first one in particular is too reminiscent of Jim Howick for it not to be distracting. India Hemsworth has a lot of potential, showcasing her obvious talent in the small amount of screen time she’s given. Not quite at McKenna Grace levels of quality, but definitely has potential if utilised correctly. This is definitely the best Natalie Portman has been in the MCU. Although I’m not sure if part of that is because of performance, or due to the writing. I think it is the writing, this does a better job of displaying the Thor/Jane dynamic in a quick montage than the first two films did in their entirety. Christian Bale is good, but there are a few moments where he’s a bit too cartooney. Mostly works, but sometimes it does take away the fear factor which you should have of someone who is committing deicide.

In summary; if you’re a fan of Marvel films, you’ll enjoy this, probably. But this isn’t going to change your mind about the franchise as a whole. Much like……almost every Marvel film of the last few years to be honest.

Musings On Marvel: Day Eight (Thor: The Dark World)

Director: Alan Taylor (Terminator: Genisys)

Budget: $170million

Box Office: $644millions

  • This is the third movie to feature Thor, and the eighth in this universe, do we still need to open with narration?
  • “before there was light there was darkness” narrated over a black screen. First year film students everywhere go “woah, that’s so deep” and use it in their next shitty films about how hard it was to grow up on the mean streets of Henley On Thames.
  • Dr. Who is that?
  • “through the power of the Aether”, is that anything like the disembodied voices in the ether as featured in our award winning short film Three Words?
  • I appreciate that was the cheapest of cheap plugs, but meh.
  • This movie really wants to be Lord Of The Rings.
  • Second movie in a row where “turning your insides into fire” counts a superpower”
  • “and the aether was no more” oh great, this film’s over then? Woohoo.
  • “bury it deep, so deep that nobody can ever find it”. That’s what she said.
  • Odin is annoyed that wherever Loki goes there’s war and death, yet the introduction to both of these films have included Odin fighting wars on different planets.
  • “next time we start with the big one”, but he didn’t run up until halfway through the fight.
  • “human lives are fleeting, they’re worth nothing” wait, but weren’t you bitching at Loki for not treating humans well. In fact, the entire reason you’re imprisoning him is for attempting to rule the earth. So if humans are worth nothing, then why are you punishing him so harshly? I’m beginning to think that maybe Loki is right, and you’re kind of a dick to him.
  • If I had a choice between a badass warrior woman, and Natalie Portman, I’d go with the warrior.
  • Hey it’s Chris O’Dowd.
  • You know he’s probably seen the news about the Avengers thing in New York so he knows abut the existence of Gods and aliens etc. None of that “he went away” cryptic bullshit.
  • “Maybe you should stop saying Sea Bass”, why? It’s still better than some of her dialogue.
  • Now you’re thinking with Portals.
  • Did the pointy eared evil dude just say “Rush al dente a fanta”?
  • “the Universe hasn’t seen this marvel” well I hope it’s better than this Marvel.
  • How much time do you think he wastes watching people as they shower?
  • “they are mortal” so are you. That was the entire point of your argument with Loki earlier, that you’re not gods, you are mortal too. Damnit Odin get yo shit together.
  • “humans do not belong here any more than a goat belongs at the banquet table” That’s racist.
  • “Protector of the nine realms”. Well aren’t you doing a great job with that?
  • How on earth does the infection know what will harm her? More importantly, why does it care? Even if she comes to harm it can just go to someone else. A parasite doesn’t care if the hosts dies if there’s hundreds of other hosts nearby.
  • Wait, did she accidentally fall into something that was supposed to be well hidden and never to be found again?
  • “the Bifrost was destroyed” you still could have called, or at least visited instead of eating Shawarma
  • Couldn’t this and the opening narration be condensed into one section? Do we really need two history lessons in this movie?
  • “every five thousand years the worlds align perfectly, during this time the borders become blurred, it’s possible you found one of these points”. No it’s not, as it’s been talked about as a future event even after she “fell”.
  • “don’t let him hear you say that” how on earth did she hear that from all the way over there? He was doing his low-volume sexy voice too.
  • So they don’t check these people for explosives? Have they not seen The Dark Knight?
  • Everybody swings axes yet nobody gets decapitated.
  • “I need you to do everything I ask, no questions”, yet when I tell women that I get called a pervert and to get off the bus.
  • That ship is invisible right up until the point where somebody touches it? Well that’s pointless.
  • Why are all these ships now visible? Is it just so we can see them get shot down?
  • Why didn’t he raise this shield in the first place?
  • That ship actually dropped it’s trajectory just so it could crash into the forcefield. Whoever is piloting it doesn’t deserve to live.
  • Ship crashes through a shitload of columns, building remains standing. Magic!
  • So the colour of all weapons in the first phase was blue, this seems to be red.
  • It’s amazing the amount of aliens who look just like humans but with prosthetics.
  • Was there something cut out there? Her being captured etc didn’t really work visually.
  • “where is the aether?” I thought you could sense it.
  • Even if it was invisible the ships can still be attacked, we saw this earlier.
  • “we are all but defenceless” you could probably try giving Hulk, Iron Man etc a call. Have you even tried that?
  • Didn’t they already see this in the news earlier?
  • Thor is told not to go somewhere and fight someone by Odin who orders the Bifrost closed. Thor does it anyway. Isn’t this exactly what led to him being banished in the first movie?
  • Loki gets slapped by Jane and his response is “I like her”. Well, whatever turns you on.
  • Movie just rubs it in our face that the rest of the avengers aren’t in this movie.
  • Loki is definitely the best part of these movies.
  • Turns out to fix anything you just need to hit it hard. Reminds me, I must get my cats fixed.
  • Why was that guy laughing at being attacked and buried under strange men?
  • “I wish I could trust you”, movie gets closer to Brokeback Mountain than it probably intends to.
  • Ian would be a lot better if played by guy who played Rory in Doctor Who. He’s practically the same character anyway.
  • A woman is levitated and put into a christ-like pose in mid-air. Holy Harry Potter Batman.
  • Pfft, like they’d really kill Loki.
  • A giant spaceship with a glowing red light appears and destroys a small part of Greenwich University. Still less destructive than the Conservative party.
  • “your universe and your family will be extinguished” You couldn’t say “exterminated” could you? Just for the giggles.
  • “I thought you’d hit harder”. Me too. Supposed to be an all-powerful being yet all he can do is knock someone over slightly.
  • Thor is sexually harassed by a woman on the tube. This is apparently funny. Plus, no trains go straight from Charring Cross to Greenwich,
  • Wait, so Loki killed Odin? So the film killed Anthony Hopkins off-screen? Isn’t that illegal? And I know what people will say when I say this “oh, but you have to wait until the next movie”. Bullshit, if you include the MCU as all containing one narrative as the studio wants you to, then there’s been four (hah, Thor) movies since this one, and none of them have mentioned it. There’s another four (hah, Thor) movies until the next Thor one. So that’s eight movies you have to wait to find something out. Now if you include only the Thor ones, then that’s from 2013 to 2017, which is a four year wait for one plot point. I mean, yeah it’s a kind of ok plot twist, but it makes no sense once you think about it for more than thirty seconds.