With one of the shortest runtimes we’ve seen from Marvel in a while at only 119 mins, the much-awaited Thor: Love and Thunder is the definition of here for a good time, not a long time!
Love and Thunder doesn’t spare a second for unnecessary fluff or development. Electing instead to dive head first into the origin story of the film’s big bad, Gorr The God Hunter (Christian Bale) and his quest to *insert gasp* kill the gods! Shocker, I know, whomstever could’ve seen that coming.
In our brief introduction to Gorr, his life and the losses he faced that set him down the path of villainy and vengeance finally deliver one of the most compelling antagonists to grace the silver screen in ages. After drowning in Marvel’s sea of quote-unquote leftist killers and genocidal revolutionaries as villains, Gorr is a breath of fresh air. Unlike his predecessors, he’s genuinely sympathetic. Gorr loses his wife and child while pleading for the gods who can’t be bothered to answer his prayers. Seeing that betrayal of faith and crushing loss invokes more emotion than Thanos’ abusive parenting/filicide could. But at no point does Thor: Love and Thunder attempt to justify or gloss over the violence of his actions, perfectly walking the line between sympathetic yet irredeemable. That’s also where the movie’s emotional depth end.
Thor: Love and Thunder doesn’t attempt to develop anything more meaningful after Gorr’s introduction. The remaining hour and forty minutes serve as the epitome of ‘no thoughts, just vibes’, and it works!
We get flashes of Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy on their space adventures, and before long, it comes time for them to part ways but not before we meet Thor’s new pet goats. The perpetually screaming pair adds a layer of levity and ridiculousness that brings a smile to your face. From there, we take a quick ride on the Bifrost Express back to earth and find ourselves in Gorr’s carefully lain trap. It’s here that I find my first and only complaint.
Before the trap is sprung and battle commences, Gorr uses his god-slaying necrosword to summon shadow beings to do his bidding and terrorize. The necrosword seems to cast an inkiness across the scene, draining the colour and vitality from the screen. Combined with the chaotic choreography of fighting, it makes for an eye-straining viewing experience. It’s amidst this tumultuous tussle that we’re introduced to the Goddess of Thunder herself, Dr. Jane Foster!
The fight wraps as quickly as it begins, with Gorr snatching the children in the middle of the night as their parents fight to keep the town safe. And just like the shadows descended, they lift and leave the harrowed residents of New Asgard in the middle of a picturesque mountainous range, greenery and beachside cottages by the fjords. The stellar use of bright, vibrant colours highlights the stark contrast between the world our heroes are trying to save and one that would exist if Gorr succeeds in his quest.
But the film also uses that same principle to show the audience that not all that glitters is gold. When our heroes Jane, Thor and Valkyrie make their way to the Omnipotence City, home of the gods, we’re treated to the opulence of Olympus and a realm genuinely fit for the Gods. They seek out the King of the gods Zeus in hopes of gathering an army to challenge Gorr and rescue the kids. Unfortunately, the entire pantheon treats the trio like the butt of the joke.
As they flee Omnipotence City and the movie reaches its crescendo, the parallel experiences between them and Gorr are too apparent. All they ever wanted was to be able to live a life with their loved ones. But life is never that simple, especially when the gods can be indifferent and unkind. Still, Val, Jane, Korg, Thor and the goats press on towards the final battle to stop Gorr from completing his mission and save the kids. The movie wraps with a predictable but touching conclusion full of heartwrenching goodbyes and a new addition to the family.
All in all, Thor: Love and Thunder is the perfect summer watch. It’s fun, light, and devoid of heavy multiversal material that requires too much thought. Something that lets you turn off your mind, tune in, and enjoy the sheer bisexual panic of Tessa Thompson licking a knife, Chris Hemsworth’s broad shoulders, and Natalie Portman’s buff arms.
Keshav Kant, aka Mx. KantEven, is a med student tuned Executive Director of Off Colour!
You’ve probably seen her on Twitter and TikTok, both @MxKantEven, or caught her work on Off Colour's many channels.
From consulting on films & shows, manuscript review, conducting interviews, or hosting podcasts & panels, if there is some way to bring sensitivity and authenticity to diversity, inclusion and equity conversations, Keshav will be there.