Thor: Love and Thunder is bringing the hammer down at the box-office. The second God of Thunder movie directed by Taika Waititi adds to the franchise which has grown with each subsequent film. Waititi is widely credited with rejuvenating the series, infusing it with irreverent humor and larger-than-life heavy-metal aesthetics.
When last seen in Avengers: Endgame, regal Thor (Chris Hemsworth) entrusted Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) to rule New Asgard while he embarked on a spacefaring adventure with the rag-tag Guardians of the Galaxy (Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementeiff and Vin Diesel).
But now the once-pious Gorr The God Butcher (Christian Bale) has gone on a villainous rampage. Feeling betrayed by the deity he worshipped, disillusioned Gorr wields the Necrosword, vowing to kill every divine being in the universe.
So brawny Thor launches a rescue mission. But when he returns to New Asgard, Thor discovers it’s become a cruise destination/theme park, offering Viking boat rides, mythological re-enactments and authentic Asgardian mead. Then Gorr terrorizes and kidnaps all the city’s children.
Meanwhile, back on Earth, Thor’s beloved Dr. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) valiantly battles Stage 4 cancer by becoming empowered as Mighty Thor, wielding the hammer ‘Mjolnir’ – only to wind up in Valhalla.
New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi, who wrote the goofy, jokey script with Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, also plays the rock alien Korg, recapping Thor’s history. Along with celebrity cameos, Russell Crowe replaces Anthony Hopkins as Thor’s narcissistic father Zeus, and there’s an amusing rivalry between Thor’s trusty ‘Mjolnir’ and his new ax ‘Stormbreaker,’ whose handle is made from Groot’s arm.
FYI: For Chris Hemsworth, it’s a family film. His sons Sasha & Tristan play young Thor; his daughter India Rose plays Gorr’s daughter Love; his wife Elsa Pataky plays Thor’s former lover; and his brother Luke plays a stage actor portraying Thor.
On the Granger Gauge of 1 to 10, “Thor: Love and Thunder” is an action-packed, silly-scary 6 with two-post credits scenes. This is the 29th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, playing only in theaters.