'Thor: Love and Thunder' Overcomes Some Choppy Structure, Thanks To Taika Waititi
By Sal LoCicero | July 19, 2022
When ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ hit theaters five years ago, nobody was expecting it to be as much of a tremendous success as it was. This led Marvel Studios to greenlight a fourth film in the franchise. Taika Waititi’s creative vision helped get Thor back on his own feet, as well as gain his true mighty powers that were never shown in any previous movie. This new version had become the most accurate depiction of the character since the comic books. Referencing many easter eggs that only true fans would be able to catch and appreciate.
Now, in July, ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ arrives on the big screen. From writer/director Taika Waititi, this fourth installment focuses on Thor Odinson, after fighting to save half of the multiverse in ‘Avengers: Endgame’, he has left Earth and teamed up with the Guardians Of The Galaxy. He gained back his muscular shape, went on plenty of adventures, and he always has his friend/sidekick Korg (Taika Waititi) by his side. When Gorr The God Butcher (Christian Bale) plans to make all of the gods extinct, it leaves Thor with no choice but to stop Gorr. In doing so, he comes face to face with some unexpected occurrences.
Before any trailer or poster debuted on the internet, Waititi prepared fans for the next movie by saying that it’s like a 5 year old wrote the script, meaning that it will include everything that fans could hope for in a Marvel film. If this were any filmmaker, the announcement would come off as a concern for many, but Taika Waititi has proven many times how amazing he is as a storyteller that nobody is to worry about him overdoing himself. In ‘Love and Thunder’ all of his brilliance shows. For a movie that is connected to the MCU, this does not act nor treats itself like one at all. It is 100% a Taika Waititi feature.
With a duration of 1 hr and 59 minutes, there is a lot of charisma that fills the screen. Chris Hemsworth is still worthy as Thor, and it’s clear how much fun he’s having in this role. Taking a full comedic approach to the character has made it even more of a delight for him. Natalie Portman makes a new appearance as Jane Foster, who turns into “The Mighty Thor”; her subplot is a huge risk, given how it switches half of the Guns N' Roses inspired tone into a drama, which did not entirely pay off. The screaming Goats are downright hilarious and are scene stealers of the show. Christian Bale as Gorr is frightening, but the character loses the chance to become a thought-provoking villain - thanks to such minimal screen time he’s given.
There are so many ideas that Taika Waititi had in store, and throughout the entirety, you may spot more than enough moments that seem as if some additional scenes were cut from the movie. It was reported that ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ was originally a 4 hour long movie that had several extra scenes. So far Marvel Studios has begun the tendency of shortening their features to two hours or less, which was the case for ‘Doctor Strange in the Multiverse Of Madness’. Marvel Studios’ choice to shorten both movies has done nothing but hurt their financial and critical success.
If partially re-edited - and consisted of over a 2 hour runtime, the story would’ve had a clearer structure. The previous film consisted of a perfect structure no matter the amount of ideas that were constantly being thrown at it along the way, because Taika Waititi was given the creative control that was needed for him to make ‘Ragnarok’ what it is.
‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ may not entirely exceed its predecessor, but compared to the deeply underwhelming ‘Multiverse Of Madness’ (and both ‘Thor’ & ‘Thor: The Dark World’), it is a mostly satisfying summer ride!
What are your thoughts?