With Thor: Love and Thunder, can director Taika Waititi recreate the magic he conjured with 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok? According to critics, the answer is…almost.
The latest entry in the Marvel cinematic universe sees Thor (Chris Hemsworth) team up with his ill but newly superpowered ex-girlfriend Jane (Natalie Portman) to fight Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale).
The film, which hits theatres July 8, is currently getting mostly positive reviews, with many saying that Waititi’s bombastic, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink style is at times overwhelming but he still manages to land some genuinely emotional beats, especially in the movie’s final stretch.
Check out what top critics are saying about Thor: Love and Thunder:
“The movie suffers from none of the self-seriousness or draggy exposition of other Marvel outings, even when its patchwork plot feels stuck together with rainbows and chewing gum.” -Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly
“Waititi pushes the wisecracking to tiresome extremes, snuffing out any excitement, mythic grandeur or sense of danger that the God of Thunder’s latest round of rote challenges might hope to generate. Chris Hemsworth continues to give great musclebound himbo, but the stakes never acquire much urgency in a movie too busy being jokey and juvenile to tell a gripping story.” –David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
“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.” –Owen Gleiberman, Variety
“The title that Taika Waititi chose for Thor: Love and Thunder is a good one; not only does it reflect the movie’s hard rock flavor (which is as much of a tribute to Guns N’ Roses as Thor: Ragnarok was to Led Zeppelin), it also speaks to the latest Marvel spectacle’s almost perfectly even split between raw emotionality and empty noise.” –David Ehrlich, IndieWire
“Thor: Love and Thunder is not nearly as cohesive or propulsive as Thor: Ragnarok but it’s more ambitious and heartfelt. The cast all bring their A-games, and even when parts of the film don’t line up with the others, they are never boring to watch.” –Germain Lussier, Gizmodo
“The good news, in re: Love and Thunder: Waititi is back, and he’s determined not to reinvent the wheel. The bad news: The wheel’s tire-treads are looking worn.” –Glen Weldon, NPR
“More than any other MCU movie, Love and Thunder epitomizes the trap that much of modern comic book culture finds itself ensnared in: demanding to be taken seriously while also relentlessly making self-deprecating jokes about how ridiculous it is because it’s aware that it’s derived from children’s entertainment.” –Jake Cole, Slant
“Love and Thunder doesn’t feel as tight as Ragnarok, but it’s still so much fun it doesn’t feel like a lot. Between Bale and Russell Crow as Zeus, this is a movie featuring two of the best actors of the last 25 years just absolutely going for it and having a ball.” –Mike Ryan, Uproxx
“The studio has stumbled into what may be the worst film yet in its long line of spectaculars, an erratic and fatally dull morass of limp jokes and aimless plotting. The magic is decidedly gone, and the film left me wondering, on a more macro scale, if this whole cinematic universe machine has any idea where it’s headed.” – Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair