By Jamie Miller
Greetings Nightlighters, it is I “the self styled god of comic books” here with another Nightlight. Now friends, you may not know this but I am a huge fan of mythology. I love reading about how those who came before saw the world and how it worked. I am also, as you know if you read my comic regularly, a gigantic fan of comic books, so as you can imagine I am a fan of the Thor comics by Marvel. So when I learned they were making a fourth movie of everyone’s favorite god of thunder I was ecstatic and knew I had to review it, and oh what a movie it was.
“Thor: Love and Thunder,” released earlier this month, continues the tale of Thor, god of thunder. Since the events of “Avengers: Endgame” Thor has recovered his once godly physique and has been traveling with the Guardians of the Galaxy saving worlds and fighting the good fight. Yet something is missing, no matter how many foes Thor faces, no matter how much thunder and lighting he conjures, his heart remains hollow.
However, Thor has far greater problems brewing in the form of Gorr the God Butcher, who seeks nothing less than the total eradication of every god in the universe. To even have a hope of beating this threat, Thor will have to call on old allies, among which is his old love, Jane Foster, though she is no longer the simple scientist she once was. Now she has powers of her own. Can Thor rise to the challenge? Or will his thunder putter out in skies of gray?
“Thor: Love and Thunder” stars Chris Hemsworth once again in the role that made him a household name, though he is less a poetic god and now more of a party god with his intelligence being somewhat lacking. Though I disagreed with his overall analysis of the movie I think our own Kevin Lopez put it best: “In the beginning of his story arc, Thor was this Shakespearean god who was aloof on Earth culture, but now after the fourth movie, the best way to describe him would be a dumbass college bro who happens to be a hero.”
Also along to ride the lightning is Natalie Portman, known for her role as Padme Amidala in the “Star Wars” franchise, as Jane Foster, the ex-girlfriend of Thor. She now has gained powers similar to Thor through a reassembled Mjolnir. Tessa Thompson known for her role in the “Creed” franchise reprises her role as Valkyrie and the current king of Asgard who has a knack for booze and blades. Film director Taika Waititi plays the part of Korg, a stone-like being who befriended Thor back in “Thor: Ragnarok” and accompanies him on his adventures. The cast of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films feature in the very beginning of the movie.
On the less friendly side we have Christan Bale, best known for his roles in “American Psycho” and the “Dark Knight” trilogy, as Gorr the God Butcher. Once a mortal man who, after the death of his daughter and the complete apathy of the god his people worshiped, became consumed by the Necrosword, a weapon with the power to kill gods, warping Gorr into a creature that is neither god nor mortal. Russel Crowe of “Gladiator” fame plays the role of Zeus, though mighty in Greek mythology, in this film he is portrayed as a bumbling, idiotic, and selfish god more interested in orgies than protecting the universe.
This film was….interesting. I mean, it had a mostly compelling story. Bale excelled in the part of Gorr while Hemsworth and Portman were phenomenal per usual. However, the humor was a mixed bag. Some of the jokes made me laugh loud enough for the whole theater to give me dirty looks, but almost as many jokes made me scratch my head in confusion. For example, there were these screaming goats throughout the movie that were just bizarre, other than the humor of the sheer oddness, they added nothing to the movie.
Additionally, the execution of the characters Valkyrie and Korg struck me a bit odd. Now Valkyrie is bi and Korg is gay and that’s ok, more to the point, it’s great. We need more openly LGBTQ+ characters in film and television that don’t contribute to stereotypes. I just wish the director would have gotten the memo. There’s a few blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moments with Valkyrie in the film, as well as an end scene with Korg but that’s it. The whole thing is about Jane and Thor, a relationship so hetero I’m surprised they didn’t have people trying to blur out Valkyrie and Korgs faces throughout the film. Sadly even that small amount of LGBTQ+ content managed to get the film banned in countries such as China, which is an anger inducing story for another time.
However, Hemsworth, Bale and Portman were able to manage the feat of carrying this film almost entirely on their backs, and the humor, mainly towards the end, managed to get me to laugh. So all in all a decent movie, better than “Thor: The Dark World” but not as great as other MCU films, I give it a little over six and a half torches out of 10. I would recommend it.