Thor: Love and Thunder Review: Welcome to the jungle!

Cinema, Reviews, Thor: Love And Thunder

The magic of escaping into fantasy for a brief time when everything around is falling apart is an attractive prospect. With Thor: Love and Thunder his second Thor film after Ragnarok, director Taika Waititi acknowledges this fact by sending a cancer-afflicted Jane Foster (a pumped Natalie Portman returns wielding Mjolnir!) on a comical high-seas voyage with Thor (Chris Hemsworth on fine comedic form), Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) and Korg (Waititi), while filling in the gaps on her doomed romance story with the God of Thunder. Just like Dorothy followed the Yellow Brick Road in The Wizard of Oz, Jane travels a rainbow-coloured tide on a wild adventure where companionship and disillusionment pave a journey of great sacrifice and discovery.

The lively crew are pitted against adversary Gorr the God-Butcher – Christian Bale bearing a resemblance to the Atmosfear Gatekeeper and a War Boy from Mad Max: Fury Road. The aforementioned film is a clear influence on Waititi’s vibrant yet tragic Guns N’ Roses (four songs feature) rock opera from the opening shot. It may not possess the brutal elegance of George Miller’s post-apocalyptic masterpiece, but it is a highly entertaining MCU entry, charged with cheeky sexual innuendo, silly comedy and cameos that may make you guffaw or cringe.

The effervescent neon-tinged worldbuilding (Waititi at one point executes an ominous reverse The Wizard of Oz sequence) satisfyingly matches the pulsating score by Michael Giacchino and Nami Melumad, and a soundtrack that amusingly uses Abba, Enya and Mary J. Blige. Plus, the costume design by Mayes C. Rubeo is to die for. Thompson works both sharp suits and baggy T-shirts while Hemsworth and Portman get to show off chiselled good-looks and robust guns in cut-off armour and leather gear.

The dynamic cast share great chemistry, with Portman and Thompson’s scenes of sisterhood particularly uplifting. The heart of the film, however, lies in the endearingly performed relationship between Thor and Jane. Hemsworth and Portman’s flirtations are mischievous, and when the film reaches its emotional climax, the pair deliver the dramatic goods. For the most part, love and loss are dealt with in a self-aware fashion, nodding to the tropes of breakup films and romantic comedies with all the subtlety of Thor brandishing Stormbreaker mid-battle. But that’s all part of the fun.

Thor: Love and Thunder opens in cinema 8 July 2022. 

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