Thor: Love & Thunder - Spoiler Review

Thor has been on a bad luck streak since the first Thor film; he has lost his mother, father and brother since his first appearance in the MCU. Chris Hemsworth has felt more comfortable in the role since Ragnarok, and I think his best performance came in the Avengers double feature of Infinity War and Endgame. Love & Thunder is my favourite of the Thor films, but when compared to other films in the MCU it is probably middle of the pack at best. The negativity surrounding Love & Thunder is unmerited, the film is very entertaining, and it suffers from the fact that it does not feel like it has the biggest stakes. Bale, Hemsworth and Portman deliver in their leading performances, but the film as a whole does not naturally fit together. The transition between scenes felt a little jarring, and I am not the biggest fan of the way the Guardians of the Galaxy (GOTG) were used in the film. This was an incredibly difficult film to review because I did have a fantastic time watching it. I think having Gorr in the film would have helped more, it felt like we got an introduction to him, but we skipped over all of the God killing he did. Love & Thunder was one of the shorter MCU films, and I think that it could have used more time to focus on Jane and Gorr. Adding more to the Jane and Gorr characters would have probably made the film even more enjoyable and might have connected with audiences better.

In a lot of ways Love & Thunder is more a comedy film than any MCU film before it, Taika Waititi who wrote and directed the film lent his humor to the film. The shift from the first two Thor films to the last two Thor films was light years apart. Taika infused a different visual aesthetic to Thor, but his biggest addition was making Thor funny and allowing Chris Hemsworth to show that he had excellent comedic timing. Getting Christian Bale to play Gorr the God Butcher felt like a huge get for Marvel, but it backfired on them as fans have complained that the Gorr in Love & Thunder was too different than the comic book version of the character. Gorr in the film was turned into a sympathetic villain, and I agree that they should not have made him sympathetic. Some villains are just evil, and there is nothing wrong with a villain who is bad because he just bad to his core. Bringing back Natalie Portman as Jane Foster was a smart choice and having her become the Might Thor was awesome to see. In the comic book featuring Jane becoming Thor it was a similar story with one big different. In the comics Thor has an encounter with a Nick Fury who has become a Watcher and he tells Thor something that makes Thor feel unworthy. After Thor feels unworthy, he loses Mjolnir, and the hammer goes to Jane imbuing her with the power of Thor. I thought the subtle change they did to Jane's Thor origin was a smart move that added some heart to it.  


The movie opens with Gorr, and his daughter Love (played by India Hemsworth) are walking through a desert, and before finding salvation Love dies. Gorr wakes up hearing a voice calling to him, and he follows the voice to a lush jungle where Gorr finds water and food. The jungle is also where Gorr finds his God Rapu who has slain an assassin wielding the Necrosword. Rapu mocks Gorr’s faith and belief that Rapu will save him; this leads Gorr to confront Rapu who grabs Gorr by the throat choking him. The Necrosword moves up through the ground into Gorr’s hand who uses the blade to slay Rapu. Our introduction to Thor comes with a voiceover by Korg (voiced by director Taika Waititi) gives the audience Thor’s story leading to now. Thor has lost his belly, and he is currently helping a planet that has had their God killed by Gorr. Thor is joined by the Guardians of the Galaxy in battle, but Thor does all of the work including accidentally destroying the temples. Thor is gifted with two screaming goats for his help, even though the residents of the planet are mad at him for destroying the temple.

We go to earth where we see Jane Foster getting chemotherapy, she has been given a terminal diagnosis that earth medicine can’t help. Jane is doing research to look for a cure, but what she is drawn to is a book about Mjolnir, which suggests the hammer can heal her. Jane travels to New Asgard which is now a tourist destination, she finds the broken shards of Mjolnir in a glass case as tourist attraction. As Jane approaches the broken hammer the shards start to electrify. Returning to Thor we see the As-Guardians of the Galaxy are looking for their next mission when Thor sees a message from Sif (played by Jaimie Alexander) asking for his help. Thor and Korg (along with the screaming goats) decide to leave the Guardians of the Galaxy to go save Sif. Thor finds Sif who has lost an arm, and she warns Thor that Gorr is heading to New Asgard; Thor uses Stormbreaker to bring them to New Asgard. They arrive in time to fend off an attack by Gorr using shadow monsters, and they are joined by King Valkyrie. While fighting Thor first hears and then sees Mjolnir, he then sees the wielder of Mjolnir is a female. Thor does not recognize Jane with her helmet on, but when she removes it, he is shocked to see her. The battle rages on, but when things look bleak for Gorr he decides to switch tactics and he kidnaps a group of Asgardian children and runs away.

The people of Asgard are panicked by the missing children, but Thor calms them down telling them that they will get them back. Thor, Valkyrie and Jane are planning their next step when they see a floating head of one of the children (Axl) who is Heimdall’s son. Axl then brings Thor to the ship transporting the children, Thor recognizes that the children are in the shadow world. Thor and Valkyrie realize they need help, so they plan to recruit help in the form of Gods; the team travels to Omnipotence city (home of the Gods). In Omnipotence city the team join a meeting of the Gods which is headed by Zeus (played by Russell Crowe). Zeus refuses to assist Thor because he feels it is safer to remain in Omnipotence city, and because of Zeus’ reluctance to help they attack Zeus to take his lightning bolt. Zeus strikes down Korg, but Korg's face remained intact meaning he only lost his body. Thor in anger caught the bolt and threw it back at Zeus impaling the God with his own weapon. The heroes escape with the bolt now in their possession. The heroes head to the shadow realm where Gorr has taken the kidnapped children. Along the way to the shadow realm, Thor and Jane talk about their relationship and Jane admits to Thor that she is dying. Thor and Jane agree they will live in the moment for Jane's last adventure, they embrace as they arrive at the shadow realm. 

Gorr is more powerful in the shadow realm, and he eventually defeats Thor, Valkyrie and Jane using Jane and Valkyrie as hostages so Thor will call Stormbreaker. Gorr needs Stormbreaker to reach Eternity; and Thor refuses to call the axe until Jane's life threatened and Thor calls Stormbreaker. The arrival of Stormbreaker is followed by an explosion of lightening that frees everyone. Thor opens the Bifrost for them to escape, but as Thor is leaving Gorr rips Stormbreaker out of Thor's grasp. Thor, Jane and Valkyrie arrive back in New Asgard; Jane is back in human form and as she crawls for Mjolnir, she loses consciousness. Thor has brought Jane to a hospital where the doctor tells Thor that something is preventing Jane from fighting the cancer. Thor explains to Jane that being Thor is sapping her strength and making her sicker, Thor will confront Gorr on his own and get the children back. Jane wants to come, but Thor says if she dies then they will never be together again. Gorr has brought the kids to the entrance to Eternity, he then uses Stormbreaker to open a doorway to Eternity which will take some time. Thor arrives and decides to share his power with the kids, Thor grants each of the children the power of Thor (for a limited time). The kids take on the shadow creatures while Thor faces off against Gorr, but the battle goes badly for Thor. 

Jane in her hospital bed feels that Thor is in danger, and when she comes to Mjolnir is levitating in front of her waiting for Jane to grab it. Jane arrives just in time, to save Thor, but Thor is dismayed by Jane's arrival as he knows it will be the last time he sees her. Jane and Thor team up to defeat Gorr; Thor transports the kids back to New Asgard and Jane catches the broken shards of the Necrosword inside of Mjolnir and she calls upon the lightening to destroy the sword. The destruction of the Necrosword was the final act of heroics Jane does, but the door to Eternity has opened and Gorr has gone to see Eternity. Jane and Thor follow Gorr, and they see him staring at Eternity. Jane and Thor both plead with Gorr to change his mind, Thor tells Gorr that he can use Eternity to bring his daughter (Love) back. Thor tells Gorr it is up to him; Thor would rather spend his final time with Jane embracing love one last time rather than fight. Gorr says his daughter will be alone, but Jane says she won't be alone and Thor vows to look after Love. Jane dies and Gorr resurrects Love as he dies, we then jump forward to see Thor and Love living together. Thor and Love then enter into a battle with Thor wielding Mjolnir and Love using Stormbreaker as the credits start. The mid-credits scene involves a recuperating Zeus who commands his son Hercules (played by Brett Goldstein) to kill Thor. The post-credits scene is Jane arriving in Valhalla, where she is greeted by Heimdall. 


This was a tough film to review because my feelings on the film are so incredibly mixed that I am not sure how good the film is.  The film is very entertaining, and it has an interesting villain in Gorr; but the film also is lacking in stakes that hurts the finale. I kind of liked Gorr, and I thought his mission was something that had a lot of room to explore. I thought the film did not go into the reason behind Gorr's mission as much as I would have expected. A villain that sets out to kills Gods is a very interesting thing, but the film never really explored that idea beyond Gorr's introduction. An exploration into why Gorr believes Gods must die could have been a very interesting idea, it could even turn into something Thor could understand. The film decided to take an approach that was very safe, and while I can't blame a Marvel film for not wanting to be controversial, I do hold it against the film when it comes to my review. We go to the city of the Gods, and we see that the Gods are not very Godly as they are hiding from Gorr. The Gods are so arrogant that they did not believe Gorr could get to Eternity (which he did). Thor proved to be a true God as he was willing to confront Gorr, and later convince Gorr to come from a place of love rather than hate. The message is simple that by the end of the film the world was saved by love, Thor choosing to spend his last moments with Jane instead of fighting Gorr was a powerful moment. 

The introduction to Thor with a voiceover from Korg was cool but seeing so little of the Guardians of the Galaxy (GOTG) was a bit of a let down. I was not expecting the GOTG to be in the film a lot, but I thought they might have had more to do than that. The speech Quill gives about love was really good, and it felt like something that Quill would say. I think the sense of humor between James Gunn and Taika is very similar, the main difference being that Gunn's humor can get a little more edgy. I don't think Thor will be in GOTG 3, but I think it might have been a missed opportunity to have an entire movie featuring the GOTG going on adventures with Thor. Love & Thunder tried to imply that Thor wore out his welcome with the crew but seeing them together would have been great. I know it has been said that GOTG 3 will be the end of the GOTG story, but it doesn't mean there won't be an Asguardians of the Galaxy film coming in the future. I think Marvel really messed up when it fired Gunn so quickly, and later rehired him back when things had cooled down. The MCU has struggled since Endgame; I think part of the struggle is we have barely seen any of the characters we were originally attached with some of them now dead. The MCU losing Natasha, Tony and Steve has left a big void to fill, and all of the new characters they keep introducing us to (while great) lack the emotional attachment we had to the old guard. Marvel might be pumping out more movies per year now (with Disney Plus series too), but without Tony and Steve we have yet to feel that someone has replaced them. The loss of Chadwick Boseman was an unexpected event, which has robbed fans of another character we had grown to care for. While I think Hemsworth is fantastic as Thor, I am not sure if fans have grown to love the character of Thor like they did with Tony and Steve.

The first two Thor films did not quite work, they are enjoyable, but they are not films that I find myself going back to revisit. Thor: Ragnarok was lot more enjoyable, but it is also a film that leaned too hard into comedy at the expense of heart. I really enjoyed the Thor we saw in both Infinity War and Endgame, but in Love & Thunder that Thor is gone again. I enjoyed the humor in Love & Thunder, but I missed the broken Thor, I wished we got to see a more in depth focus on Thor healing his inner self. I do not think I am far off in my opinion since the fan scores for Love & Thunder are lower than they were for Ragnarok. The reviews are just people like me who watched the film, they're not professional film reviewers, they're just fans. The fans are the ones who generate income, they pay to go and see the film, it is their opinion that ultimately matters. I wonder if fans had a better idea behind what is going on in phase four, and also what it is building towards would that have affected fans enjoyment of the film. I myself found the stakes of the film to be lacking at times, feeling that I knew where things were headed. I never felt like Thor was in danger, and I was sure that Jane would not make it out of the movie alive. If the film, had managed to do something unexpected it would have made the film feel more shocking. The film could have used a jolt to make things more interesting, everything was great except the story which was predictable. 

While the plot being predictable was a big minus for me, the rest of the film worked and so I am going to give Thor: Love & Thunder a 7/10. The film was really funny, and the Guns N' Roses soundtrack was a refreshing change from the typical orchestral score. There was an obvious attempt made to make the early part of the film feel like an homage to an 1980's film. I really loved the title card for Love & Thunder, it evoked the 1980's while also looking so cool. The heart and soul of the film is the relationship between Jane and Thor, and even though it ends on a heartbreaking note both Jane and Thor have a happy ending. There has been some speculation that seeing Jane in Valhalla during the post-credits scene means we have not seen the last of her. I don't think we will see Jane or Heimdall again, I think the post-credits scene was about giving Jane and Heimdall an ending that will give fans closure. I am more curious if Love will be a major character going forward, it seems that whenever we see Thor, we will see Love. I was also curious as to what powers Love seems to possess; we see that was able to shoot something out of her eyes. Based on the mod-credits scene I think when we see the next solo Thor film, we will see Hercules play a major role in that film. I thought it was interesting casting choosing Brett Goldstein, I think he has the acting and comedy chops, but visually he was a very out of the box choice. Love & Thunder while not a top tier MCU film, is still a very entertaining film that features some great performances from the lead actors. I recommend seeing Thor: Love & Thunder, it will keep you entertained, but it will not shock you. 

Thank you for reading my spoiler review of Thor: Love & Thunder, please let me know your thoughts on the film.

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