Thor: Love and Thunder is the most recent Marvel film to hit cinemas. Though there has been a bit of a dip in quality recently, Daniel Evans went to find out whether Thor could bring some momentum back to Marvel.
At best, Thor: Love and Thunder is another lively addition to the ever-expanding Marvel Cinematic Universe. At worst, it is a self-satisfied and wayward story wrapped up in bright colours and cheap jokes.
This film reminded me more of a pantomime than anything else
Thor: Ragnarok (2017) breathed new life into what was a relatively stale character. It built on the style and energy that had been introduced to the MCU by James Gunn and showcased some of the best of Taika Waititi’s style. Ragnarok was a strong film, but it still teetered on the edge of ridiculousness. Characters that had previously been important were thrown aside without a care and the comedic tone, while mostly entertaining, did somewhat take away from moments that could have had more resonance.
Thor: Love and Thunder does not teeter on the edge of ridiculousness; it gleefully launches itself over.
This film reminded me more of a pantomime than anything else. Writing in Collider, Britta Devore describes a set that had been taken over by the children of its cast members. Using child actors is not necessarily bad, but overusing children who are only in the film through nepotism is jarring to say the least. I’m sure all the cast had a great time on set, but at the end of the day it reduced parts of the film to nothing more than a self-serving gimmick.
Perhaps working on these films isn’t great fun for everyone…
Christian Bale felt wasted and Natalie Portman sudden shift from scientist to demigod felt forced and poorly acted. Scenes often seemed to serve the whims of the actors rather than the narrative and while I am a fan of Waititi’s comedic style almost every scene was punctuated by jokes that felt unnecessary.
The CGI was also awful, but this has been the case in most MCU films lately. Recent revelations that Marvel is a nightmare for digital artists to work for is most likely the explanation. Perhaps working on these films isn’t great fun for everyone…
I certainly had less fun watching Thor: Love and Thunder than its cast had making it. I would struggle to recommend it to anyone and hope that Waititi returns to form on future projects. With each passing film, the greater subtlety, wit and heart that used to exist in his work is replaced with far weaker comedy. The MCU peaked at Avengers Endgame (2019) and it is increasingly clear it exists solely to generate more and more profit with less and less focus on creating anything of quality.
Featured image courtesy of Alex Watkin. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.
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