THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER – Review by Susan Granger

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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.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.