You cannot start a Thor: Love and Thunder review without referencing Director Taika Waititi’s previous attempt at reimagining the Norse god. Thor: Ragnarok gave a breath of fresh air to a largely run of the mill franchise. Ragnarok was funny, clever, insightful and well scripted. It would appear all of that hard work has now been catastrophically discarded with this latest iteration.
This is a gothic monstrosity, a vacuous romp which depleted the valuable two hours that I spent on this. It made me question my life choices, at my big age, what was I doing taking in this technicolor turd. Well, I take solace in the fact that I suffered this so you do not have to and that perhaps this was geared toward a very young audience.
Ragnarok represented a fantastic set up, an establishing shot of sorts. Thor: Love and Thunder trampled through all of that hard work like a bully on a beach, putting their oversized feet through intricately crafted sandcastles. It’s frustrating as all the elements for success were on display in plain and clear sight. Christian Bale as Gor, the God Butcher, check. Guardians of the Galaxy, check. Russell Crowe as Zeus, check.
The reasons for what should have led to its success are flash in the pan, fly by night, snatches of greatness as the fleeting nature of how these elements are rolled out was incredibly frustrating. Bale is underused and clearly enjoying showcasing his range as Gor who, after a brief origin story sets out to lay waste to all of the Gods on multiple worlds. It’s up to one man to stop him, cue a universe hopping road-trip in which he is reunited with Valkerie and Jane Foster, who has an origin story of sorts here.
With a running time of 1 hour and 59 minutes it is Marvel’s shortest movie since 2018’s Ant Man. To that end this film seems rushed. Everything is moving at such a frantic speed that the aforementioned elements are not given the depth they deserve to fully flesh them out. I felt myself screaming internally like the goats that appear in this, as my senses lurched from scene to scene without ever getting the opportunity to settle and take in what should have been spectacles.
It’s a bum note from Waititi who had previously bought a much needed comedic element to the franchise. This has all the feels of trying too hard to be funny and the component parts feel as though they were focus grouped beyond recognition.
It’s not for big people, which is disappointing as it could have been. I was sat thinking at the end that with a bit of love this could have continued the lighting caught in the bottle we saw in Ragnarok.