First reactions have poured in for Taika Waititi’s highly-anticipated “Thor: Love and Thunder,” which had its world premiere June 23 in Hollywood. Expectations for the latest Marvel Cinematic Universe entry are sky high considering Waititi’s last comic book outing, “Thor: Ragnarok,” is widely considered one of the best Marvel movies.
According to journalists and critics on social media, those expectations were met. Film critic Simon Thompson wrote, “#ThorLoveAndThunder is a vivid and vibrant blast that delivers. Hemsworth’s Thor remains a jewel in Marvel’s crown. Bale’s Gorr is a killer boogeyman blending the campy and the creepy. Portman’s Foster and Thompson’s Valkyrie are a top notch pairing. Crowe’s Zeus is *chef’s kiss.*”
Insider correspondent Kirsten Acuna agreed and specifically praised Christian Bale’s performance as Gorr, writing that he is “phenomenally menacing” and “one of the creepiest Marvel villains we’ve ever seen on screen.”
Critic Courtney Howard touted Taika Waititi’s directing, saying that he delivers “a subversive, irreverent spectacle” with “great story, stakes and character-building.”
Some were more critical of the film, like Bro Bible senior writer Eric Italiano, who generally enjoyed “Love and Thunder” but said the plot “felt flat and stakeless.”
Set after the events of “Avengers: Endgame,” the latest “Thor” sequel finds Chris Hemsworth’s superhero teaming up with Korg (voiced by Waititi), Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) and Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) to stop Gorr the God Butcher (Bale) from eliminating all gods. Portman’s return to the MCU has generated the most buzz for “Thor: Love and Thunder” ahead of its release. Portman sat out “Ragnarok” and appears in the new film as Mighty Thor, which also finds her wielding the mystical hammer Mjolnir.
“On ‘Black Swan,’ I was asked to get as small as possible,” Portman recently told Variety for a cover story. “Here, I was asked to get as big as possible. That’s an amazing challenge — and also state of mind as a woman.”
“I’ve seen her play the scientist character in ‘Thor’ 1 and 2, and it just seemed pointless to do it again,” Waititi added about bringing Portman back as a superhero. “That character feels like just a love interest. It’s an Earthwoman who runs around being mortal and not really consequential throughout.”
“Thor: Love and Thunder” opens in theaters nationwide July 8. Check out more first reactions in the posts below.
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