Thor: Love And Thunder…an underutilized mess.

Thor embarks on a journey unlike anything he’s ever faced — a quest for inner peace. However, his retirement gets interrupted by Gorr the God Butcher, a galactic killer who seeks the extinction of the gods.

To say the MCU Phase Four has been divisive would be the understatement of the year, while there have been some really installments that I would actually go as far to say are some of the best of the MCU such as Doctor Strange: And The Multiverse Of Madness, Loki and Spider-Man: No Way Home, there are also ones that completely missed the mark (Black Widow and Eternals) or had a ton of great ideas but settled on playing safe or were just hindered by the 6 episode format (looking at you Moon Knight even though I gave it a 7/10).

Thor: Love and Thunder is truly baffling the way it came out, there was so much here that should have absolutely worked but didn’t for several reasons. I’ll start with what I liked, Natalie Portman who returns as Jane Foster and becomes The Mighty Thor is truly fantastic here. Like in the first Thor films she really captures Jane Foster quite well and absolutely tries her best with the bare bones script she is given, what hurts her character is she isn’t explored nearly enough which is quite odd considering this was supposed to be a huge part of the film. Christian Bale who plays Gorr (or The God Slayer) also gives a strong performance but is the very definition of underutilized, Gorr as a character is very interesting and has a backstory that could have been quite emotional and actually powerful as well. The problem is Gorr is not given enough screentime to make that work, plus his backstory itself is nowhere near as explored as it should have been, Bale goes all out with the role which is just another huge reminder of how good of an actor Bale is. There’s a few fun action scenes here and there but a lot of it feels very empty that goes completely off the rails towards the end in all the wrong ways. Lastly there’s Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie who for some reason gets put into the backseat and just becomes some sidekick, when she does get time to shine she’s really great but Thompson and her character deserved far better than this.

Now for what it is completely wrong with this movie and that’s mostly due to three major things that completely break it. The first being the jokes, while I do understand the criticism of Thor Raganrock having jokes in it at least they worked to an extent and were at least controlled on a tight leash, the jokes in Thor: Love and Thunder are the complete opposite the first half of the movie is filled to the brim of jokes that are painfully unfunny. Even resorting to the screaming goat meme which is from 2012 (went viral in 2013), the first time it might have gotten a chuckle but the film kept doing it over and over again. The biggest problem here is the movie tries to juggle between jokes and serious moments, there’s some okay setups for some emotional scenes but are hindered by poorly written jokes that feel like they should be in an entirely different movie. The second major issue is the writing which can be pretty much summed up as being the definition of bare bones, characters who could be interesting have no character development, plot lines are introduced and abandoned with a snap of a finger and writing that completely prohibits any emotion or depth. Lastly there’s what I hinted at the beginning of this review, this another case of Phase Four having a ton of great ideas but completely wasting them. Particularly with Gorr and Jane Foster, there were many ideas about them that are interesting the movie just completely fails to do anything with them and if the movie does do then it’s barely anything at all, Thor finding out who he really is could be interesting but once again that’s only mentioned a few times throughout the movie but is quickly abandoned. Overall Thor: Love And Thunder is a huge missed opportunity that should have absolutely worked, it’s honestly quite baffling how wrong this went and is just massively disappointing overall.

Thor: Love And Thunder is in theaters.

4/10 D+

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