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Ah, Thor: Love and Thunder. Where do we even start?
Director Taika Waititi’s second outing with the beloved God of Thunder of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) guarantees a heck of a good time packed full of the comical sensibilities that he is known to inject into heavier subjects.
Starring Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson, Natalie Portman and Christian Bale, the film follows Thor on his journey to self-discovery after the crushing events of Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame resulted in the God of Thunder falling into a deep depression. In Thor: Love and Thunder, Thor finds his way back into the light by diving head-first into the shadows, literally and figuratively.
Teaming up with King Valkyrie, Korg, and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster, who now inexplicably wields Thor’s magical hammer, Mjolnir, as the Mighty Thor, Thor embarks on a harrowing cosmic adventure into the Shadow Realm to uncover the mystery of the God Butcher Gorr’s vengeance and stop him before it’s too late.
Relationships are One of the Key Themes in Thor: Love and Thunder
Thor: Love and Thunder explores themes that are not unfamiliar to fans of Thor’s story. Just as in Thor, Thor: The Dark World, and Thor: Ragnarok, this new film is about relationships as much as it is about action and fight sequences. While the last three Thor films focus more on Thor’s relationship with his family and himself, Love and Thunder takes a more macro approach by establishing the relationship between the gods and humans of the MCU, while highlighting Thor’s growth and progress at the same time.
The Infinity saga of the MCU only established the involvement of the Norse gods such as Odin, Frigga, Thor, and Loki, among other Asgardians. However, in recent years, it is clear that other mythological pantheons exist in the MCU as well, as proven by the Goddess Bast and the ancestral plane of Black Panther, and, more recently, the Egyptian pantheon in Moon Knight.
The fourth Thor movie gives viewers a peek into Omnipotent City, a place where the gods gather, and how these gods operate in this universe. Without giving too much away, Thor learns that the relationship between gods and humans is not as simple as the one he has with the rest of humanity when he encounters the movie’s antagonist, Gorr the God Butcher, played by Christian Bale.
Gorr: The God Butcher
Gorr being ignored by those in power in his time of desperation fuelled his rage-driven rampage to slaughter all the gods in the MCU. This is especially fitting in today’s society, as a reflection of the disparity between the privileged and disadvantaged. It also was during Gorr’s conquest that Thor learns of his existence and heads back to New Asgard when the Asgardian realises that his countrymen were next on the God Butcher’s list.
Jane Foster: The Mighty Thor
Thor encounters his ex Jane Foster as the Mighty Thor wielding Mjolnir while defending New Asgard from Gorr’s attack, after “eighty years, seven months, and six days” of separation.
Aside from the critical task at hand, Thor has to reconcile his feelings for Jane after a “mutual dumping” before the events of Thor: Ragnarok. Little does Thor know that Jane has a secret of her own as to why she is worthy to wield the mythical hammer that was broken to pieces during Hela’s conquest and the subsequent destruction of the original planet of Asgard.
The relationship between Thor and Jane is probably the biggest factor that impacted the outcome of this film. The tear-jerking ending of the film perfectly depicts the “Love” part of the title, while “Thunder” explains Thor’s character development throughout the movie.
Colour and Tone Set the Stage for the Story
Another impressive aspect of Thor: Love and Thunder is its cinematography. The use of colour has been a very important aspect of both this film as well as Ragnarok. The two Waititi-directed films set themselves apart from the first two Thor films, which were visually and tonally darker and more sombre.
We were first exposed to Thor’s jovial and almost himbo-like nature in Ragnarok when Waititi took the comic that was always in the God of Thunder and embraced it like never before and it persists in Love and Thunder.
While some might say that the comedy in these two films undermines some of the more solemn moments and themes, it is also exactly how Waititi tackles such subjects. He deals with the deep, and sometimes dark, subject matter with humour that not only lightens the mood but also signifies
The shift in tone is also represented in the cinematography, making Ragnarok and Love and Thunder arguably the most colourful and visually dynamic films of the MCU so far. However, in Love and Thunder, colour is also used very intentionally to depict major plot points in the story.
These were only some of the many aspects of Thor: Love and Thunder that defined it as the most different addition to the Marvel universe post-Endgame. The well-concluded ending gives audiences a chance to breathe after all the tragedy that has occurred in the MCU, while the mid-and post-credit scenes build up ample anticipation for
Thor: Love and Thunder is screening in cinemas now. For more exciting films showing in July, check out our roundup of the ten must-watch movies this month.