'Thor: Love And Thunder' gets mixed reviews: Fun but shallow
Thor: Love and Thunder has divided film critics, leaving some delighted with the latest Marvel movie, while others felt it lacked substance.
Chris Hemsworth returns as the God of War in the fourth Thor movie opposite Natalie Portman as his ex-girlfriend Jane Foster, aka Mighty Thor and Christian Bale is then revealed as villain Gorr The God Butcher.
Empire magazine gave the film 4/5 stars, calling it, "a deeply weird, deeply wonderful triumph."
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Ben Travis said: "It’s a movie that dares to be seriously uncool, and somehow ends up all the cooler for it — sidesplittingly funny, surprisingly sentimental, and so tonally daring that it’s a miracle it doesn’t collapse."
Collider.com's Therese Lacson said of the A-rated film: "While there might be complaints about the film's pacing or weaker first half, Thor: Love and Thunder recaptured exactly what charmed me about these MCU movies.
Watch: Chris Hemsworth talks Thor: Love and Thunder
"It successfully silenced a rather jaded MCU fan by offering a story that had it all without having to sacrifice its soul to the MCU machine that is eager to churn out stories for future phases."
The Telegraph heaps praise on the 4/5 star film: "from the crunchy action to the zany comic vibe, everything feels distinctively Marvellous."
The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw awarded Love and Thunder 3/5 stars, commenting that Marvel movies had come to rely on, "a highly contained form of restricted self-satire or auto-undercutting that is always offset by the huge CGI intergalactic action scenes."
He added: "This is becoming a bit of a cul de sac – but that isn’t to say it isn’t still funny, and Thor still delivers a mighty hammer-blow, or rather axe-blow, of fun."
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The Radio Times also gave the film 3/5, saying: "Overall this is not to Ragnarok what Ragnarok was to The Dark World. Thor: Love and Thunder is a patchy movie with plenty of fun bits, but not much idea of what it’s actually trying to do or say. It’s decent, not great – despite its Thorsome potential."
The Sun called the film "a step backwards", adding that, "very little is taken seriously as our Norse God hero Thor returns once more to save the universe from a single-minded megalomaniac set on a course of revenge."
Grant Rollings blamed Bale as the movie's main flaw, saying: "A superhero movie is only as good as its super villain and on that front Thor Four is more drizzle than Thunder."
But Variety hailed the moving chemistry between Hemsworth and Portman, saying: "I like plenty of Marvel movies just fine, but they are what they are, and what they are is products. This one has enough wide-eyed boldness and shimmer to earn the designation of fairy tale."
And Screen Daily agrees: "Love And Thunder doesn’t always gracefully execute its balance of light and dark but when the film focuses on the unshakeable bond between Thor and Jane, the results can be mighty moving.
The Times gives the film 4/5 stars, calling it director Taika Waititi's "difficult second album" to follow Thor: Ragnorak.
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Ed Potton writes that it: "May not quite have the irreverent zing of its predecessor but it still bursts with surreal spectacle, Pythonesque silliness and disarming emotion."
Many hailed Russell Crowe's performance as God of Thunder Zeus the highlight of the film.
The Guardian said: "The movie is effectively ruled by one cameo, the figure of Zeus, which it would be unsporting to reveal here: our A-list guest star unveils one of his strangest accents yet, but also gets serious laughs, as the upstart Thor deprives him of his lightning bolt."
The Times agreed: "Best of all, we have Crowe hamming it up outrageously as Zeus, whom Thor calls upon for help after Gorr abducts New Asgard’s children."
The Sun observed: "For reasons only known to Crowe he chose to lend the Greek God Zeus what sounds like a West Indian twang, which will hit you like a lightning bolt and leave you permanently floored."
But added: "The splendour of the Golden Temple where Zeus resides is worth the ticket entrance alone."
Although Screen Daily called Crowe's cameo "underwhelming".
Thor: Love and Thunder has a score of 71 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes with an overall consensus that the film is entertaining but lacks depth.
The latest MCU release is the fourth solo Thor movie following 2017's box-office hit Thor: Ragnarok.
The film was shot at Fox Studios in Sydney, Australia, in 2021 and it utilises the same StageCraft virtual production technology that was used in Disney+ Star Wars series The Mandalorian.
Like a lot of Marvel releases, it has experienced several delays.
It was originally set for release on 5 November, 2021 but was delayed to 18 February, 2022 by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was subsequently moved up to 11 February once Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was rescheduled from November 2021 to March 2022.
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It was delayed once again to 6 May, 2022, before shifting to the July 2022 date in October 2021.
The film follows Thor on a quest for inner peace, but this is interrupted by galactic killer Gorr the God Butcher whose aim is destroy all the gods.
Thor: Love and Thunder will be released on 8 July, 2022.
Watch: The trailer for Thor 4