This past June, Marvel’s fourth Thor movie hit theaters and it got mixed reactions from viewers. As someone who has always advocated for Marvel projects–even when they probably weren’t worth defending–I tried to keep my hopes high. Sadly, I was disappointed.
There were definitely highlights throughout the movie. I really enjoyed Thor becoming a father figure at the end of the movie. I thought it was a good way to satisfy Thor’s desire for something more in life, as well as giving a child another chance at a good life. Another thing I enjoyed was Christian Bale’s performance as the movie’s villain. I thought that he was one of the most intriguing parts of the film, and even when he was killing Gods, he kind of got you to be on his side.
However, the highlights do not outweigh the bad parts. First, there were so many plots that were started, then left behind. For example, when battling Zeus at the meeting of the Gods, Thor kills Zeus for hurting his friend. Zeus’s death is barely mentioned or addressed, minus a one-liner where Thor mentions that someone will probably kill him for murdering Zeus. Another issue I had was with Natalie Portman’s character, Jane Foster. I’ve never been a fan of Jane, and was honestly okay with her absence from Thor: Ragnarok, but was hopeful that a strong character would emerge from this development. Somehow, I still feel her character fell flat. She had potential to become her own person, and to wield power for herself, but her lifel still ended up being about Thor’s development as a character. This, as well as the fact that we missed out on a developed friendship between her and Valkyrie, really disappointed me.
The thing that annoyed me the most was, once again, the lack of attention to Thor and his struggling mental health. In Avengers:Endgame (2019), Thor was famously a fat, drunken Viking who was made fun of for having gained weight. These jokes ignored the fact that he was grieving his brother’s death, blaming himself for the destruction of the world, and struggling to help the Avengers during their battle. This pattern continued in Thor: Love and Thunder. In the beginning of the film, Thor is with the Guardians of the Galaxy and has some attachment issues with them. Instead of being welcoming and helping him, Peter Quill ostracizes him and treats him poorly while he’s on the ship–which could be more of a commentary on him, but either way. It felt like Thor didn’t ever have a moment to feel his feels without a joke being cracked, which is a problem that a lot of Marvel projects face.
Overall, Thor: Love and Thunder is not one of Marvel’s strongest movies. I think that after the third Thor movie, everyone had high hopes. Maybe the disappointment surrounding this movie stems from creating too many projects in such a short period of time, or maybe it’s from the lack of care from the director. Either way, before the fifth Thor movie comes out, I hope Marvel readjusts their standards.