Thor Love and Blunder review


Photo courtesy of IMDb

I originally was not going to do a full review of this film. Instead, I was going to save it for another article where I review all the 2022 Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) projects. After watching it on Disney+ though, I have way too much to say about this film where I wouldn’t be able to discuss my thoughts in an abbreviated format accurately.

In short, “Thor Love and Thunder” is one of the weakest MCU projects to date that disserves the original comics it’s based on and Thor as a character. It’s a movie so lacking in style and substance that it has no creative voice. Compared to “Thor Ragnarok”, this film feels bland, hollow, and soulless. 

Firstly I’ll discuss what was good about the movie.

The soundtrack is very good with a variety of classic rock songs similar to “Thor Ragnarok”. Here they also feel like a much better fit considering the source material (more on that later).

Natalie Portman delivers a really good performance as Jane Foster A.K.A Mighty Thor. Though abbreviated from the original comics, her arc across the movie is easily the best part of the film and is the most faithful aspect to the source material in the film. Her battle fighting cancer while also choosing to be a superhero is compelling which is more than can be said of the rest of the cast.

Before I delve into my criticisms, “Love and Thunder” is heavily based on Jason Aaron’s legendary run on Thor and more specifically his first arc “The Saga of Gorr the God Butcher”. As someone who read the comic-, I went into this movie with high expectations because that story is fantastic and one of the best comics I’ve ever read.

Comparatively, the movie is far more abbreviated and neutered compared to the comic. This movie attempts to tell 7 years’ worth of comics in less than 2 hours and it suffers for it. There are simply too many elements and storylines at play for them to all work in such a short amount of time. It feels like an entire trilogy worth of movies is packed into two hours. 

Because of this, the movie isn’t able to meaningfully explore any of the storylines it attempted to. In one movie, they try to tell Thor’s moral dilemma on whether Gorr is right, Thor’s quest for self-discovery after the loss of Mjolnir, Jane Foster’s battle with cancer, and more. These all got their own dedicated stories in the comics but here they are all just crammed into one movie.

Not only is its attention stretched too thin, but the movie lacks the guts to adapt these storylines well too. No more is this prevalent than with Gorr. In the comic, Gorr starts as a mysterious figure that had traumatized Thor centuries before the Avengers formed and continues to do so in different periods throughout his life. Yet, through those interactions, Gorr grew respect for Thor as he was unlike any of the other gods he had killed and decided to save Thor for last. The movie doesn’t give any sense of such rivalry as the two are just blindly fighting each other because one is the good guy and one is the bad guy. The two were ideologically opposed in the comic and their battle left Thor so scarred that he became unworthy to wield Mjolnir. Instead of a thoughtful analysis of the purpose and morality of gods, the movie opts to demonstrate that in one scene and then doesn’t mention it for the rest of the movie.

Even Gorr himself from his design and his powers is neutered for this movie. He originally had an alien and intimidating design with one of the coolest weapons in comics. Now he just looks like a bald Christian Bale wearing Jesus robes. The Necrosword in the comics is a living sword that bonds to the user and allows them to create constructs and weapons from their own body. It is also the first symbiote created by the god of symbiotes, Knull (yes, the same species as the Spider-Man villain, Venom). In the film, it’s just a normal-looking sword that can summon monsters.

The film also butchers (pun intended) Thor as a character as he is now an immature and bumbling idiot. Every moment that could be used for meaningful character development is sacrificed to make some of the worst jokes you will see in a Marvel movie. For example, early in the film, Thor witnesses one of his best friends gravely wounded but instead of treating the situation seriously, he starts cracking jokes with them.

The comedy in this movie generally ranges from cringe-worthy to eye-rollingly awful. There is simply way too much comedy in this movie for its own good and it undercuts nearly every single scene in the movie. It’s to the point where the movie feels like it has no stakes at all because it can’t help but make a joke every five seconds. The absolute worst though is the infuriating screaming goats that the movie seems to think are funny despite being an outdated meme from over 10 years ago. 

It’s also a very ugly-looking movie. Most special effects are lackluster at best and most scenes have the same ugly washed-out grey camera filter that has become increasingly common for MCU projects. There are admittedly some decent-looking scenes but for every one of those, there is one that looks so incompetent it’s baffling that it was allowed to pass the editing room.

In short, “Thor Love and Thunder” is a lazy soulless movie that not only fails to live up to its source material but also fails to be decent in its own regard. This movie exemplifies every major issue with recent Marvel projects with bad special effects, a contrived plot, boring character development, and a misunderstanding of what makes the source material good. 

Score: 3/10