There’s been much weeping, moaning and gnashing of teeth regarding Thor: Love & Thunder. The common thread seems to be that it relied too much on Taika Waititi’s signature humor and didn’t have enough to chew on. However, I think that’s largely overblown.
1. IT CLOSED THE LOOP ON JANE AND THOR’S RELATIONSHIP
The truth of the matter is that there was a gaping hole in this part of Thor’s story that was never reconciled during Thor: Ragnarok.
The relatable reasons they drifted apart, presented as an expositional montage, captured what happens to many people in relationships when one or both partners have demanding jobs.
There has been much said about Natalie Portman not wanting to reprise her role as Jane foster, but given her presence here, that was clearly overstated.
2. WE GOT A GLIMPSE OF OMNIPOTENCE CITY AND THE VARIOUS DEITYS FOUND IN THE MCU
Zeus, Bastet, …Bao – all gods introduced to us through this movie and may be important going forward as Marvel continues to expand the universe.
I half expected Khonshu to show up; I feel that there was a missed opportunity to connect the movie with Moon Knight.
3. HERCULES WAS INTRODUCED
I no longer consider this a spoiler now that the movie is on Disney +.
Brett Goldstein was revealed to be Hercules in the mid-credits scene, and we can expect to see him attempt to hunt down Thor in an upcoming movie (and become She-Hulk’s paramour, but that’s likely much farther down the line).
4. JANE’S PREDICAMENT WAS COMPELLING, AND HER ENDING EVEN MORESO
As one of the emotional beats of the story, Jane’s arc revolves around Mjolnir delaying her terminal cancer by empowering her with the abilities of Thor.
It was heartbreaking to witness the times when she reverted to her normal form, and especially right before final battle where she had to make a decision regarding how soon she met her fate.
5. HOW COULD YOU NOT LOVE THE KID BATTLE?!
The scene where Thor shares some of his power with the children temporarily was quite cute. I know people probably hated that, but I was not one of them.
It was also an interesting display of Thor’s extended powers that we haven’t seen depicted on screen until now.
A COUPLE OF NOT-SO-GREAT THINGS
While I won’t say it was a waste of an actor, the fact that you had someone as consistently great as Christian Bale playing the big bad here and dying by the end of the movie was very vexing. This is someone you think you want to keep around for a bit given the caliber of actor and especially since his motivations were not unrelatable.
Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie was mostly sidelined, and especially in that final battle, which was annoying. I completely get that she was prominently featured during Ragnarok, but her lack of presence in the back half of the movie left something to be desired.
There are a couple more nitpicks here and there, but overall, Thor: Love & Thunder was a satisfying movie with way overblown fan criticism.