The first reactions to Thor: Love and Thunder have rolled in, with critics lucky enough to attend the film’s world premiere calling it “big, colourful, weird and irreverent”.
The fourth movie in the Thor franchise and the sixth film in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Love and Thunder sees Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster take up the mantle of Mighty Thor.
Taika Waititi returns to direct following his work on 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, while Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson and Jaimie Alexander are also back. Franchise newbies include Christian Bale as villain Gorr the God Butcher, and Russell Crowe as Zeus.
Praise has already started to roll in…
“Thor: Love and Thunder is the perfect blend of Taika at his best with comedy and a punch to the gut all in one,” tweeted journalist Rachel Leishman. “I left this movie emotionally satisfied while also sobbing and just perfection.”
“Thor: Love and Thunder surpasses all expectations,” tweeted journalist Caitlin Tyrrell. “Balancing absolutely bombastic insanity with moving character driven stories.”
Collider’s Perri Nemiroff added that the film is “electric”. “A wacky, high energy delight with a cast full of aces crushing one scene after the next. LOADS of laughs (my face legit hurts), menace of Christian Bale’s Gorr is chilling, but most of all loved that it’s a film brimming with good vibes and heart.”
Critic Courtney Howard wrote that the film is a “subversive, irreverent spectacle”, while critic Erik Davis praised it for being “big, colourful and weird”.
Significant praise, meanwhile, has gone to Portman, with the film reportedly adapting elements of a 2014 comic book story in which Jane takes on Thor’s powers shortly after being diagnosed with cancer.
“Natalie Portman’s performance is exceptional,” wrote critic Lyra Hale. “Watching Dr Jane Foster transform into this hero… it’s what I want for all women on my screen. I want that complexity.”
Hale also added that Thompson gets to play Valkyrie as “her most authentic self”, possibly alluding to pledges by MCU chief Kevin Feige that the movie would address her character’s bisexuality.
Other critics, meanwhile, offered slightly more mixed responses.
“Thor: Love and Thunder has very high highs and very low lows,” tweeted Scott Menzel. “It’s very Taika Waititi and is tonally all over the place.” Brandon Davis also added that Bale’s character “could’ve benefitted from a little more screen time but [still] lands really well”.
Earlier this week, Portman said she was asked to “get as big as possible” for her role in the film, while also discussing the poor response to her last Thor movie, 2013’s The Dark World.
On the promotional trail for the film, Bale also offered a characteristically blunt response to questions about jumping into the MCU, and Hemsworth has revealed the one condition he had for returning for the film.
Thompson, meanwhile, jokingly (sort of) apologised to Marvel after she accidentally leaked photos from production.
Thor: Love and Thunder hits cinemas on 8 July.