‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ Review: A high-octane action film full of wit, flawless VFX and CG sci-fi fantasy world

Chris Hemsworth is back as the ‘God of Thunder’ in the latest instalment of the Thor series of films, Thor: Love and Thunder. The movie is like a quick roller coaster ride, which has its ups and downs, and yet is entertaining. With the addition of new characters, we get to see some old ones starring either for brief moments or for the entire film like The Guardians of the Galaxy cast who can be seen in the beginning of the movie, where Star Lord (Chris Pratt) motivates sad Thor to find a purpose in life. We also get to witness the Asgardians’ new way of living with a modern humanistic touch after they get relocated to Earth.

The audiences are up for some double Thor action as Thor’s love interest Dr Jane Foster played by Natalie Portman becomes Mighty Thor, wielding Mjolnir (Thor’s ex-weapon). Jane is fighting her own battle with cancer, but she gets a calling from Mjolnir and sets on a mission to save others without caring about herself. 

Christian Bale is seen as a psychic Gorr a.k.a God Butcher donning a rugged white robe who after his daughter’s death acquires Necrosword, which is powerful of all weapons, to kill all the gods and avenge the death of his daughter. 

Love and Thunder has classic comic scenes like Thor interacting with his weapons, Korg being Korg and many other scenes which don’t involve Hemsworth. Russel Crowe is portraying the character of the god Zeus, who is the head of all gods, the godly realm of Omnipotence City and the owner of the Thunderbolt weapon. The whole sequence involving Zeus is fun to watch. 

Talking of the Omnipotence, the CG work can be seen at its peak, where the whole gold city is built with complex structures and details. Two wonderfully crafted scenes that strike out the most in the film from a VFX perspective are one with the Zeus, and the other is a pre-climax scene where both the Thors enter the monochrome world of Gorr, and everything is black and white except the colourful lights of the weapons Stormbreaker and Mjolnir and Gorr’s eyes. Even though black and white, the scene is beautifully lit, casting perfect shadows. One of Gorr’s powers is to create shadow monsters using his Necrosword, and we can see the CG monsters all over the place. 

The movie employs various techniques for creating visual effects from virtual production, set design, and using green screens to adding effects in post-production. Major studios like Weta VFX (VFX supervisor: Luke Millar), Rising Sun Pictures, Framestore, Industrial Light and Magic/ILM (on-set VFX supervisor: Frazer Churchill), Method Studios, Luma Pictures (VFX supervisor: Andrew Zink), Mammal Studios (VFX supervisor: Gregory D. Leigey), Cinesite (VFX supervisor: Artemis Oikonomopoulou), and Outpost VFX (VFX supervisor: Mathieu Assemat) have worked on the film. Jake Morrison is the VFX supervisor. 

Based on Marvel Comics, the film is directed by Taika Waititi and produced by Kevin Feige along with Brad Winderbaum. The screenplay is written by Taika Waititi and Jennifer Kaytin Robinson. Backed by Marvel Studios and Walt Disney Pictures, it includes other actors and actresses like Tessa Thompson, Jaimie Alexander, and Taika Waititi along with others. The special appearances include all the actors of The Guardians of the Galaxy, Luke Hemsworth, Matt Damon and Sam Neill.

Verdict: The colourful movie with a good storyline is a beautiful blend of comedy and drama which is portrayed swiftly. We won’t say it is one of the bests from the MCU, but overall it is a fun film with top-notch VFX and action sequences. Even though Thor is God of Thunder, a lot of characters can be seen stealing the thunder. There are two post-credit scenes, and yes, Thor will return.

‘Thor: Love & Thunder’ new release date revealed

(Left to Right) Natalie Portman, Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson at San Diego Comic-Con (Photo Courtsey: Getty Images)

Marvel fans are eagerly waiting for Phase IV to commence to experience the superhero extravaganza again. 

MCU Phase III ended with Avengers: Endgame and the defeat of Thanos. Of the ‘Big Three Avengers’, Tony Stark aka Iron Man died and Steve Rogers aka Captain America retired in Endgame. The only one left is the God of Thunder who has a new film, Thor: Love & Thunder  in line. 

His latest stand-alone film is expected to be far from conventional with Chris Hemsworth returning as Thor, Natalie Portman as Jane Foster and Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie. As announced at San Diego Comic-Con 2019, the film  will be helmed by Oscar winning director Taika Waititi who revealed that it will focus on romance. 

Taika Waititi handing the Mjolnir to Portman’s Jane Foster

Valkyrie, who Thor appointed the new ruler of Asgard at the end of Endgame, will be in search of a queen to sit by her side. Thor: Love & Thunder will be MCU’s one of the first storylines to focus on a same sex/queer relationship. It was also confirmed that Portman’s Foster will take over the role of the Mighty Thor.

The filming was supposed to begin in August, as Waititi confirmed in January 2020, but has been pushed back due to the pandemic and now is slated to begin in early 2021, according to Portman.

Waititi who also directed Thor: Ragnarok, will additionally write the screenplay for the film, alongside Jennifer Kaytin Robinson.

Christian Bale will be making his MCU debut in Thor: Love & Thunder, and though his role is currently undisclosed, Thompson said in an interview he would be playing a villain. Additionally, Vin Diesel revealed that Groot, along with some of the Guardians of the Galaxy characters would make an appearance in the film. Thor joined the Guardians at the end of Endgame, so a cameo from them is obviously expected.

Originally set to release on 5 November, 2021, the new release date for Thor: Love & Thunder is 18 February, 2022 owing to the shut down of productions and shooting due to COVID-19.

Natalie Portman: Thor sequel filming to commence early next year

Natalie Portman, star of Thor: Love and Thunder revealed that the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s fourth Thor film is set to begin filming in Australia in early 2021. Portman recently took part in a video discussion with American tennis superstar Serena Williams. in a conversation with Williams, Portman casually revealed, “We’re shooting in Australia at the beginning of next year.”

Writer-director Taika Waititi has also shared some news on the movie, calling it “romantic” and “insane”. He told BBC that he and his team have been working on the script for over a year now. There are also going to be some romantic elements in this film, which fans might have guessed from the title, but Waititi is excited because this is something he hasn’t tried before.

“We’ve been writing the script off and on for over a year, and this week I’m doing another pass on it. It is so insane,” he said in a statement. “It’s also very romantic. I’m into romances now. I just want to make a romance. I want to make something I’ve never done or never cared for. I would like to attack something like that.”

Besides this, Waititi is working on a new Star Wars movie. He’s also writing the script for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory series on Netflix.

Love and Thunder is set to release in early 2022. Chris Hemsworth is returning as Thor, and Portman as Jane Foster. Christian Bale is reportedly making a debut in Marvel as the villain. It will be the first Thor movie since Ragnarok (2017), which Waititi also directed.

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