Thor joins forces with his ex-girlfriend Jane Foster, who now wields
Mjolnir, to fight a vicious warrior who seeks to render all gods extinct.
Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)
Directed by Taika Waititi
Written by Taika Waititi and Jennifer Kaytin Robinson
Starring Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, Christian Bale, Taika Waititi, Russell Crowe
Sequel to 2017's Thor: Ragnarok and 2019's Avengers: Endgame
Based on characters from Marvel Comics
Thor: Love and Thunder is the 29th overall film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which now includes six TV shows, a number of short films called One Shots, and if you include the Marvel Multiverse, every Spider-Man movie, X-Men movie, and ABC series like Inhumans and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. As a lifelong Marvel fan, even I must admit that we're on the verge of Marvel fatigue. Endgame was too good, and nothing has really topped it yet. This film is a fun adventure, but it doesn't add much to the overall story. It feels more like a DLC for Thor: Ragnarok. That being said, it's still a very enjoyable movie that I really liked.
In the years since Thor (Hemsworth) made Valkyrie (Thompson) king of Asgard, the god of thunder has shed the dad bod and embarked on a search for personal meaning. When a psychotic madman named Gorr the God-Butcher (Bale, who steals the show) targets Asgard for extermination, Thor goes to help and is reunited with his ex, Jane Foster (Portman), who is wielding Mjolnir as the Mighty Thor. I won't spoil the details, but the film finally makes the Thor/Jane relationship feel genuine, and really pushes those first two movies further away than ever. At the same time, Waititi's sense of humor once again influences the film in the best way, from Hemsworth's great improvisational moments to the hilarious scene-stealing screaming goats. I will say that Russell Crowe's Zeus is a bit of a letdown. Hopefully we get more Olympians in the next movie.
While Ragnarok was a wonderful balance of story, humor, depth, and character development, Love and Thunder goes much harder on the humor and not so much on everything else. The tone is a bit inconsistent, the stakes never seem as high as they should be, and it doesn't really feel necessary to the overall story, but that's been a problem with Phase 4 from the get-go. Here's hoping that the next MCU project gives us more insights into where this is all going next.