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Natalie Portman (left) as The Mighty Thor and Chris Hemsworth as Thor in a still from Thor: Love and Thunder (Category IIA), directed by Taika Waititi. Christian Bale co-stars. Photo: Jasin Boland/Marvel Studios

ReviewThor: Love and Thunder movie review – Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman reunite for a planet-hopping Marvel romance

  • In Thor’s fourth solo outing – the second directed by Taika Waititi – he takes on Christian Bale’s Gorr the God Butcher alongside former flame Dr Jane Foster
  • They’ll get help from Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie, stone creature Korg and the Guardians of the Galaxy, while Matt Damon and Russell Crowe feature as cameos

4/5 stars

Marvel’s Asgard warrior is back for a fourth solo outing, and the second directed by the brilliant Taika Waititi, following 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok.
Waititi’s wry, sideways glance at the Marvel Cinematic Universe is again in full effect in Thor: Love and Thunder, a planet-hopping story that contains plenty of both titular attributes. With Chris Hemsworth once again flexing his muscles in the lead, the love comes in the shape of astrophysicist Dr Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), Thor’s former flame.

Now in desperate ill health, she travels to New Asgard, the quaint, amusing rebuild of Thor’s now-destroyed alien home. There she finds his shattered hammer, Mjolnir, on display. Picking it up, she is bestowed with powers, and The Mighty Thor is born.

It’s not long before she is reunited with Thor, the warrior both delighted to see her and confused by her new-found abilities, while he’s left wielding his axe, Stormbreaker.

Together, these two, along with returning Ragnarok characters Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) and the stone creature Korg (voiced by Waititi), must face Gorr the God Butcher, played with lip-smacking malevolence by Christian Bale.

Christian Bale as Gorr in a still from Thor: Love and Thunder. Photo: Marvel Studios

“He seeks the extinction of the gods,” we’re told. After kidnapping Asgardian children and brandishing his powerful Necrosword, Gorr looks all set to bring the thunder, wreaking revenge on the immortals who turned on him.

So far, so Marvel, with an Avenger taking on an opponent fixated on domination. But Love and Thunder truly sparks when Waititi’s fingerprints are visibly smeared on the film, like with the talking bao bun they encounter, or the persistent use of Guns N’ Roses on the soundtrack, with Axl Rose something of a Greek chorus.

Korg is also the film’s narrator of sorts, recounting Thor’s travails and acting as a wry commentator on the action. At one point, seeing Thor naked and glancing towards his nether regions, he quips: “Looks like a shy courgette.”

Chris Hemsworth as Thor in a still from Thor: Love and Thunder. Photo: Jasin Boland/Marvel Studios

There are some ripe cameos too – with the Guardians of the Galaxy crew kicking off proceedings, fighting alongside Thor. Matt Damon is back as the thesp on New Asgard who acts out Thor’s adventures. And best of all, Russell Crowe pops up as a playboy Zeus, the god who is in danger of Gorr’s murderous actions.

Less po-faced than past Avengers outings, Love and Thunder may not quite be the “classic Thor adventure” as Korg puts it, but it’s got an emotional core about finding the one you love – as Hemsworth’s beefcake discovers, there’s more to life than being a superhero.

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