Thor: Love and Thunder review: A whole lot to love

Thor: Love and Thunder review: A whole lot to love

The last Thor movie was the third MCU project to revolve around Chris Hemsworth’s buff, blonde, disarmingly insecure God of Thunder. Clever, funny, suspenseful and lewd, 2017s Thor Ragnarok is basically one of the best superhero romps ever made and, like Thor: Love and Thunder, was directed by maverick Kiwi, Taika Waititi.

In terms of excellence, has lightning struck twice? Alas, no. This intergalactic space adventure has a bitty first half and there’s not even one joke about being pulled off by a hammer.

Thankfully, once the erstwhile Avengers member teams up with his former girlfriend Dr Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) to defeat child-napping iconoclast, Gorr the God Butcher (a compelling Christian Bale), Waititi’s whimsical juices start flowing.

Scientist Jane has Stage 4 cancer and, in an attempt to save herself, has answered the call of Thor’s aforementioned hammer, the shattered Mjolnir. Thor has been putting the universe to rights with his mighty axe, Stormbreaker. Yet seeing Mjolnir in Jane’s hands, Thor is overwhelmed by longing for his ex, and his ex-weapon, which throws Stormbreaker into a tizzy. This may be the first chain of desire to involve a jealous axe.

The superb Hemsworth makes the most of his wonkily sweet lines. Thor, explaining “space dolphins” to Jane, gushes, “They mate for life. In packs of six!” Hemsworth has nice buns (which we get to see). But, as ever, the sexiest thing about the actor is his comic timing.

Meanwhile, Portman is goofy and moving as the newly super-human Jane, aka the Mighty Thor, who turns out to be a one-of-a-kind action heroine.

Also pleasing is Russell Crowe’s Zeus (adores orgies, talks like one of the locals in Mamma Mia!). That’s right, Crowe plays the God of the Olympians as a cheesily Greek pansexual. Bold choice.

Stirring, kid-friendly CGI sequences are set to various songs by Guns N’ Roses. To quote Stranger Things’ Dustin: “Most metal ever!” Try not to compare Love and Thunder to Thor: Ragnarok. Judge it on its own terms and there’s a whole lot to love.

Thor Love and Thunder is available to view in cinemas from 7th July