On Wednesday I took a bus to central London to see Thor: Love and Thunder, one of several simultaneous previews shown in cinemas in Leicester Square. It wasn’t a stellar red carpet – it was across the street, in a posh theater – but a cardboard Chris Hemsworth was provided for a selfie, and grinning fans lined up to grab a large plastic mallet. Later, when I was sitting in a buzzing hall waiting for the movie to start, someone behind me tried to record an audio message to his subscribers several times, so I heard about 50 times that he summed up every Marvel movie plot online (no feat) and that Marvel invited him to the preview as a reward. He also stated, to his obvious delight, that Hemsworth was in the building. A pre-recorded greeting later confirmed that Hemsworth, alas, is not even in the country, and the screenwriter / director /Korg Taika Waititi, Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie) and Natalie Portman (Jane Foster) approached from another theater to thank the audience. “How gay is the movie?” shouted one Portman fan. “So much fun,” she replied after a pause, and the crowd applauded movingly. (In my imagination, they were all brandishing large plastic hammers; perhaps this is a false memory.)
Whatever you love about the Marvel franchise, there are now 29 films for fans and they’re still excited. As someone who has watched less than a quarter of them and hasn’t read a single comic, I’m also not in a position to concoct smart criticism or even at the level Martin Scorsese. However, I will say that over the years it has become more and more difficult to just dive into the franchise. Thor: Love and Thunder beat this house. This is not exactly a criticism. Instead, it’s a payback: at this point, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has become so dense and self-referential that it’s hard to watch one of these films without feeling like you’re missing out on all the jokes and revealing the plot. You’re missing out on a lot if you don’t know the characters. Love and Thunder was marketed as an action movie, but in many ways it’s a better fit for the party genre.
This last Thor is the first since Thor: Ragnarok also led by Waititi. AT Love and Thunderthe new villain is Gorr the Butcher God, played by Christian Bale, a silver man with a grin like the moon from Majora’s mask and a voice that sounded disconcertingly like Bale’s real English accent. Gorr wants revenge on the gods for letting one of them let his daughter die; by the way, he got the Necrosword, a weapon that kills the gods. Thor, stunningly orange and sculpted, each arm a sun-drenched mountain range, must renounce his friendship with the Guardians of the Galaxy team in order to stop him. At the same time, his ex-Jane Foster is diagnosed with cancer. However, wielding Thor’s old hammer seems to have cured her again, as well as dressing her up in a costume to match the pair of heads. They get together with Valkyrie after Gorr attacks New Asgard and runs off with the city kids. The team’s journey will take them to Almighty City, where Russell Crowe plays Zeus, spewing an amusingly rude Greek(?) accent.
Recording in Art Review, Jerry Canavan reflects on what he calls Marvel’s “late style” characterized by “super-self-awareness” and “self-preoccupation with a heroic past”. “Without a single focus on a single plot to which everything steadily builds,” writes Canavan, “the franchise is instead fixated on minor variations of itself and its own affective rhythms, questioning, mourning and remixing its past.”
This summary almost reflects the problem with Love and Thunder. Take Thor and Foster’s relationship, which blossomed in the first two Thor films rather than the much-hyped one. Ragnarok. To Waititi’s credit, he gives numerous summaries to keep you informed, usually through the likeable rock musician Korg or through plays within plays featuring Matt Damon. But they can’t provide the emotional character development you need to care for a couple’s struggles with love and cancer.
A fair answer would be to point out that Marvel movies, like Marvel comics, are meant to be fun to interact with each other; that they are never separate stories. But there is a noticeable aimlessness Love and Thunder it’s hard to ignore if you’re not watching the movie just to see your favorite characters. In post-The final world, the dramatic stakes are simply lower, a problem exacerbated by the cold, ironic tone of Waititi and his cast. These films are based on his image, imbued with the same mischievous satire as his What are we doing in the shadows. But that tone reinforces the impression that nothing really matters: we’re just here to have a good time.
And that’s okay! (Or it would have been nice if the supermassive black hole of the Marvel franchise hadn’t swallowed up the prospect of other blockbusters without Tom Cruise or the Minions, but that’s a well-trodden topic.) These films aren’t supposed to fit everyone, and it’s funny, almost avant-garde, that they’ve become so taboo. for outsiders. But how will they age? In 30 years, will audiences who you think have a completely different frame of mind find them watchable? Is it possible that they will log into Disney+ Max and watch 50+ hours of movies to get links in one movie? Perhaps, but we are also far from the end. After Love and ThunderZeus appears in the credits to summon Hercules, the hero of another film. There is comicand a lot of knowledge about it too.
Credit: www.wired.com /