The Thor saga returns with a fourth installment (the second in a row directed by Waititi) which, beyond the visual display typical of a tank With a budget of 250 million dollars and some tragic issues, it almost always opts for a tone of light comedy of tangles and a self-parodic spirit.
Thor: Love and Thunder (Thor: Love and Thunder, United States/2022). Direction: Taika Waititi. Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale, Tessa Thompson, Russell Crowe, Jaimie Alexander, Chris Pratt, Karen Gillian, and Dave Bautista. Screenplay: Taika Waititi and Jennifer Kaytin Robinson. Cinematography: Barry Baz Idoine. Editing: Peter S. Elliot, Tim Roche, Matthew Schmidt, and Jennifer Vecchiarello. Music: Michael Giacchino and Nami Melumad. Distributor: Disney (Marvel Studios production). Duration: 125 minutes. Suitable for ages 13 and up.
After a much more solemn start and with “Shakespearean” airs with Thor (2011), by Kenneth Branagh, the saga dedicated to the god of Thunder from Asgard mutated towards self-parodic comedy first with Thor, a dark world (2013), by Alan Taylor; and especially with Thor: Ragnarök (2017), by Taika Waititi. The trend is definitively consolidated with Thor: Love and Thundera sequel that repeats Waititi as director and now also as one of the two screenwriters.
After a prologue in which we see the conversion of the mortified Gorr (Christian Bale) into an avenging villain (“The butcher of the gods”, they define him) after the death of his daughter by starvation in the middle of the desert, the film begins with Thor turned into the axis of a comedy of entanglements that bets on exaggeration, physical humor and jokes that are not too elaborate but that the charisma of Chris Hemsworth manages to sustain and make almost always effective.
Of course, from the first few minutes we know there will be a (melo)dramatic element because Natalie Portman’s scientist Jane Foster is suffering from terminal cancer, but that doesn’t stop her from becoming a female version of Thor on the battlefield and that the playful spirit, at times childish, and of humorous buzz is maintained during the two hours of the story.
The first part of Thor: Love and Thunder is decidedly funny and throws “all the meat on the grill”: from the presence of all the Guardians of the Galaxy to cameos in the framework of a satirical representation of the characters of the saga with Matt Damon as Loki, Luke Hemsworth as Thor, Sam Neill as Odin and an appearance by Melissa McCarthy as Hela; in addition to the later presence of Russell Crowe as a paunchy and decadent Zeus.
However, little by little the enjoyment fades and in the second half, Thor: Love and Thunder -set mostly to Guns N’ Roses hits like Welcome to the Jungle, Paradise City, november rain Y Sweet Child O’Mine– is content with a story of duels and romances with a background of feelings of guilt and redemption quite generic and conventional. The result is still nice and at times convincing, but the feeling is of a setback with respect to the top (of the saga) achieved by Waititi himself in Thor: Ragnarök. The truth is that -even without influencing too much on the fate of the MCU- and after the two post-credit scenes of rigor, a poster indicates what we all already knew: “Thor will return.”
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Reviews: Review of “Thor: Love and Thunder”, by Taika Waititi, with Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and Christian Bale