Thor: Love and Thunder spoiler-free review: Is Thor 4 good?

(L-R): Natalie Portman as Mighty Thor and Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Marvel Studios' THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER. Photo by Jasin Boland. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.
(L-R): Natalie Portman as Mighty Thor and Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Marvel Studios' THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER. Photo by Jasin Boland. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved. /

Thor: Love and Thunder brings back the God of Thunder for a fourth offering, but is it an adventure worth his – or your – time?

It’s been some time since the God of Thunder has headlined his own Marvel Studios movie. Five years, to be exact, but the wait is over as Chris Hemsworth brings Thor, the Mighty Hammer, and even a few familiar faces back to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in Thor: Love and Thunder.

The 29th installment in the MCU, it focuses on Thor, now a Space Viking united with the Guardians of the Galaxy, as he attempts to find himself in a post-Endgame world, dealing with both the emotional fallout of the loss in the Thanos saga, and the loss he experienced throughout his life.

There has been a lot of conversation surrounding Love and Thunder – the first fourth solo movie for any hero in the MCU – particularly because Taika Waititi reinvigorated the franchise with previous outing Thor: Ragnarok. Could Thor 4 recapture that success?

Is Thor: Love and Thunder good?

If you’re going into Thor: Love and Thunder hoping for a good time, then you’ll be relieved to know that the film is a lot of fun. You would expect nothing less from the mind of Taika Waititi as the director has managed to craft another colorful adventure for the MCU’s beloved Space Viking that is very much in line with the tone he crafted in Thor: Ragnarok.

Yes, Love and Thunder is a spectacle for the ages, with some stunning shots and a beautiful color palette that really brings the comic book movie to life. It’s loud and noisy in all the same ways that its predecessor was, and it has a good time doing it.

Where this one really thrives, though, is in its chemistry between Chris Hemsworth’s Thor and Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster. The two have always had palpable chemistry but the material hasn’t always served them well. Here, though, they shine, giving the iconic Marvel Comics couple the spotlight they deserved long ago.

Jane Foster, Natalie Portman, Mighty Thor, Thor: Love and Thunder Jane death, Thor review
Natalie Portman as The Mighty Thor in Marvel Studios’ THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER. Photo by Jasin Boland. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved. /

Speaking of Jane, Natalie Portman is nothing short of spectacular in her return to the role. She recaptures the magic spark that made Jane such a lively character in the first Thor movie and magnifies it just a little to match the eccentric nature of Waititi’s film, while never losing the core essence of the character. Moreover, she’s show-stealing as the Mighty Thor, so much so that I will happily go as far as to say that she’s the best part of the film.

Another highlight is Christian Bale, who turns in a performance so impressive, it instantly turns Gorr the God Butcher – a character we don’t actually spend that much time with – into one of the most terrifying villains that the MCU has ever seen. He’s horrifyingly good, and he knows it, giving Gorr a deliciously evil personality that I’m not entirely sure the script on its own could have conveyed.

There are some issues, such as jarring mood shifts that don’t allow every single joke to land, and it unfortunately doesn’t make the most of its villain – in spite of Bale’s best attempts to counteract that. All in all, though, it’s a hoot.

The Thor movies are all about their sense of adventure, and Thor: Love and Thunder is one of the most enjoyable. Though not a perfect movie, it rises to the occasion many times throughout its short 119 minutes runtime, delivering some of the most enjoyable sequences of Phase Four and the MCU as a whole, and it’s all rounded out by stunning performances from Portman and Bale.

Grade: A-

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