By Jake Tickle, Third Year, English
Taika Waititi is back in the director’s seat for his second Thor film starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Christian Bale and Russell Crowe, and it is crazier than ever. The reviews for Thor have been mixed, to say the least. Some believe that this film lacked story and was self-indulgent for Waititi, with too many jokes and too little action, whilst others believe that Taika Waititi can do no wrong. I’m in the latter camp.
Let’s take our minds back to the first two Thor films. Yikes. Since then, Thor has undergone an arguably major facelift, in which he’s gone from the arrogant Asgardian we saw in the first Avengers, to now a ‘retired’, broomstick-flying Asgardian. Over the course of the four Thor films (try saying that three times fast), the franchise has changed immensely, evolving from dark and serious to a far more colourful and silly tone.
This is all thanks to Taika Waititi, and although I would argue his directing peaked with Thor: Ragnarok, this new film is still fantastic. Thor: Love and Thunder, just like Ragnarok, is truly at its best when it isn’t constricted by the MCU formula or trying to link to all the other 6,275 films and Disney+ series in the multiverse.
It’s not that I’ve grown to dislike the MCU, but it’s beginning to feel like they are trying to do too much at once, and as an audience, it can be hard to keep up, which is why Love and Thunder worked so well for me; I could just sit back and enjoy the hilarious and colourful acid trip unfold before my eyes.
The villain of Love and Thunder is Gorr, The God Butcher, and butchering gods is precisely what he does. Christian Bale does a phenomenal job as Gorr and is equally terrifying and intriguing as the kind of villain the audience can almost feel sorry for. However, despite his seemingly limitless potential to be an iconic Marvel villain, he has a disappointing amount of screentime.
As is signature of a Taika Waititi film, Thor: Love and Thunder is hilarious, and it feels more like a Waititi film than a Marvel film, which is refreshing. Of course, most of the jokes come from Korg played by Waititi himself. In one scene, Korg refers to Jane Foster as Jodie Foster and had me in stitches.
Natalie Portman also made her return to the screen and MCU, this time as The Mighty Thor which was the big reveal of the movie. This was handled surprisingly well, as rather than a gimmick with biceps and great hair, she was a lead role in the movie and truly moved me with her heroism… and biceps.
This film is of course silly, but it’s also about loneliness, loss and (surprise!) love. Waititi understands how to deliver a joke and he understands his timing well, allowing the film to oscillate between being heart-breaking and hilarious, immediately followed by a big fight scene which paces the movie in a way that is fluid yet dense.
Thor: Love and Thunder is a great addition to both the Thor franchise and the MCU, and although it loses points for the lack of Gorr screentime, it is a thoroughly enjoyable and humour-filled ride with screaming goats.
Featured Image: IMDB
What did you think of Taika Waititi's latest addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe?