The Thor franchise is one defined by ups and downs, perhaps more so than any other within the MCU. While Thor failed to live up to the standards of its MCU counterparts, its sequel, Thor: The Dark World, fared a fair bit worse, serving as a new low for the franchise.
However, new hope came to the franchise in the form of director Taika Waititi, whose unique blend of humor and creativity helped propel the third film in the series, Thor: Ragnarok, to new heights.
As such, fans expected Waititi's second film in the MCU, Thor: Love and Thunder, to be of similar or even greater quality. But upon its release, many were let down by the sequel, citing what they saw as a failure to balance tone and a waste of characters and storylines. This has led the film to suffer, both commercially and critically.
Even as Thor: Love and Thunder is less than a month old at this point, it has already broken a new record for the franchise, and not in a good way.
Love and Thunder Ranks Last Among Thor Films
As the reviews currently stand, Thor: Love and Thunder is now the lowest-rated Thor film on Rotten Tomatoes, sitting at a 65% critic approval rating on the Tomatometer. This number means that 65% of critics gave Love and Thunder a positive score, which is slightly less than Thor: The Dark World as it sits at a 66%.
Thor and Thor: Ragnarok both scored much higher, receiving a 77% and a 93%, respectively. Even so, the audience scores paint a different picture, with Love and Thunder placing above Thor 1 and Thor 2 with a score of 77%, though only by one or two points.
Unpacking Thor: Love And Thunder's New Ranking in the Franchise
Although this new score breakdown puts Taika Waititi's newest film at the bottom of the Rotten Tomatoes ranking, it does give him the unique honor of bookending the list, with his two Thor movies, Ragnarok and Love and Thunder, ranking first and last.
Even as this ranking seems damning for the film, it's important to keep in mind the way that Rotten Tomatoes' all-important Tomatometer actually works. Instead of providing an average of critic scores, the food-based fresh test actually shows what percent of reviews were deemed positive. So even as only 65% of Love and Thunder's reviews were positive, it's actual average score might be a bit higher.
It's also interesting to note that fans seem to feel differently about the film. While still seeing Love and Thunder as generally on par with Thor and The Dark World, they still rated it slightly higher, so much so that it jumps up in the ranking to number two.
Although it's unclear how these low ratings will affect Thor's future in the MCU, it is certainly possible that they could put an end to the possibility of a Thor 5. Eternals, which suffered a similar Rotten Tomatoes fate, becoming the first Marvel film to receive a rotten score, has been largely ignored, with no news of a sequel being announced. The potential antagonist teased in one of Thor 4's end credit scenes is equally unsure of the franchise's fate, another sign that doesn't seem as promising.
However, if any series of films within the MCU were to beat the odds and secure a sequel, it would be the Thor saga, as the God of Thunder has made it through bad reviews once before only to evolve make it out on top. Here's hoping he can do it again.