Chris Hemsworth's Asgardian Avenger was able to pull off something none of his other teammates on Midgard could: a fourth solo movie, also known as Thor: Love and Thunder. Well, sort of—Natalie Portman has returned to her role as Jane Foster and will be sharing that spotlight, this time with a pieced-together Mjolnir; double the thunder.
Ragnarok's Taika Waititi is back in the director's chair for another wild ride, this time, according to him, not only is it "crazier," but "[there will] be far more emotion." Part of that is likely due to the movie's villain, Gorr the God Butcher, played by Christian Bale.
The antagonist has quite the tragic backstory in the comics, and it's likely to have remained intact for his MCU debut. There's also Jane Foster's cancer storyline, which has been confirmed to be a part of the project—needless to say, there'll probably be plenty of tears.
But, will the final product be able to live up to all the hype? Well, reactions are starting to hit the web, and the verdict is in: critics love it.
Thor 4 Reviews on Social Media
Thor: Love and Thunder just had its first press screenings, including at the red carpet premiere in, LA, and now the social media reactions are starting to flood in. So what did everyone think about Chris Hemsworth's fourth outing as the God of Thunder?
The Direct's Richard Nebens exclaimed how "Christian Bale and Natalie Portman's performances truly shine," and that it "may be [his] favorite Thor movie:"
"Thor: Love and Thunder is predictably hilarious yet unexpectedly personal and heartfelt. Christian Bale and Natalie Portman's performances truly shine while Waititi delivers an emotional story. I think this may be my favorite Thor movie."
Erik Davis from Fandango teased how "big, colorful, weird Guns N' Roses-fueled battles," and how "Christian Bale [and] Russell Crowe are especially great:"
"Another classic Thor adventure! Thor: Love and Thunder is everything I wanted it to be. Big, colorful, weird Guns N' Roses-fueled battles to go w/ a hopelessly romantic story about discovering love in unexpected places. Christian Bale & Russell Crowe are especially great. And Korg!"
Davis continued, noting how the film is "more emotional than Thor: Ragnarok," and teased that "the post-credits stuff is major:"
"There are lots of fun little details in Thor: Love and Thunder, so keep your eyes open. It's more emotional than Thor: Rangarok, but both films have a really great sense of humor & the best side characters (the goats!). Also, the post-credits stuff is major so don't go anywhere."
On a final note, Davis praised Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson's friendship in the film, declaring that the "two are the absolute best:"
"Also, these two are the absolute best in this film. Give us a spin-off with just the adventures of Valkyrie and Mighty Thor!"
Laughing Place noted how the movie was "nonstop ridiculous fun," and how Love and Thunder was "a totally crazy theatrical experience:"
"Thor: Love and Thunder is nonstop ridiculous fun! It’s hilarious and action-packed and just a totally crazy theatrical experience. The phenomenal cast does an outstanding job and this movie packs a few surprises. Definitely don’t miss this one!"
Rachel Leishman from The Mary Sue firmly stated that the film "is the perfect blend of Taika [Waititi] at his best with comedy and a punch to the gut all in one:"
"holy shit. Thor: Love and Thunder is the perfect blend of taika at his best with comedy and a punch to the gut all in one. i left this movie emotionally satisfied while also sobbing and just perfection. we stan a dad rock soundtrack. in the words of my new favorite characters: AHH"
Discussing Film's Andrew J. Salazar had a more mild reaction, noting how "most of the humor doesn't land as wells it did the first time [with Thor: Ragnarok]:"
"Thor: Love and Thunder gets better when it's not trying to desperately recapture the magic of Ragnarok. Most of the humor doesn't land as well as it did the first time, but Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, & Christian Bale do the best with it."
Caitlin Tyrrell from The Illuminerdi pumped the positivity back up, exclaiming how the movie "surpasses all expectations," and proudly declared that "[Taika] Waititi may have delivered the MCU's best movie of Phase 4;"
"Thor: Love and Thunder surpasses all expectations balancing absolutely bombastic insanity with moving character driven stories. Christian Bale is top tier and Natalie Portman is truly outstanding. Waititi may have just delivered the MCU’s best movie of Phase 4"
Fangirlish's Lyra Hale ramped the hype up to its highest, firmly saying how Love and Thunder "is the GREATEST movie Marvel has made so far," and that "[she felt] invested in Marvel again in a way that [she hasn't] since [Avengers: Endgame]:"
"Thor: Love and Thunder is the GREATEST movie Marvel has made so far! I'm not joking. I haven't laughed that hard since Ragnarok and I feel invested in Marvel again in a way that I haven't since Endgame. Also, bring tissues. The journey is *chefs kiss* from start to finish!"
Simon Thompson of both Forbes and Variety stated that "[Christian] Bale's Gorr is a killer boogeyman blending the campy and the creepy," and that the whole movie is "a vivid and vibrant blast that delivers:"
"Thor: Love and Thunder 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*"
Variety's Courtney Howard praised the film for "[delivering] a subversive, irreverent spectacle... [with a] great story, stakes [and] character-building:"
"Thor: Love and Thunder has an Appetite For Destruction & laughs. It’s totally rad! Taika Waititi delivers a subversive, irreverent spectacle. Great story, stakes & character-building. Chris Hemsworth & Natalie Portman, superb. Russell Crowe & Christian Bale slip easily into the world."
Kevin Polowy from Yahoo! Entertainment made it known that "[he] hope[s] Taika Waititi never stops making Thor movies," and that the movie "is fucking great:"
"Thor: Love and Thunder is fucking great. I think instantly one of my favorite Marvel movies - probably cause it’s easily the funniest, yet still had me choked up by the end. I hope Taika Waititi never stops making Thor movies."
Thor: Love and Thunder hits theaters on July 8.
Thor: Critical Love and Thunder
One thing seems pretty clear: Taika Waititi looks to have pulled off yet another successful Thor film. Almost all of the initial social media reactions are positive, with Discussing Film's Andrew J Salazar being the most negative of the bunch, and his reaction isn't even all bad.
Love and Thunder's success isn't all too surprising given how big of a hit Ragnarok was. To know he can pull it off again, however, is undoubtedly going to set many fans' hearts at ease. It's also likely to bump his name up on Marvel Studios' radar—maybe Waititi will be considered for a big crossover project in the same way the Russo Brothers were?
From the looks of it, Natalie Portman's Jane Foster is going to shine in her first adventure, and Christian Bale's Gorr seems to be an impressive addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe's rogue's gallery.
One of the hardest elements of a story to nail is balancing heart and humor, and judging by the countless accounts of praise on that very same subject, Taika Waititi seems to have pulled off something truly special.
Thor: Love and Thunder hits theaters on July 8.