Popcorn Perspectives: Week of July 4, 2022

Popcorn Perspectives with Danny Minton

Week of July 4, 2022

Thor: Love and Thunder
Rated PG-13 for intense sci-fi violence, action, language, partial nudity and some suggestive material
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%
In Theaters

It’s hard to remember back this far, but for Thor’s first couple of outings it was a struggling franchise, and aside from his appearances in the Avenger’s movies, his early solo adventures are not highly regarded. But then Marvel Producer Kevin Feige made an amazing decision, hiring New Zealander Taika Waititi to take the helm, and now Thor: Ragnarok stands as one of the fans’ most favorited title. Waititi scaled back the broody darkness to let in some humor and creativity, ultimately giving the Marvel Cinematic Universe a new style and direction. With Waititi’s second Thor film, that humor and levity are even more on display as Thor (still Chris Hemsworth) is forced to face Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale), a vengeful being who seeks to destroy all other gods in order to get revenge for the death of his own daughter. Luckily Thor has a little help in Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) and his former love Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) who, though a touching subplot, becomes a female Thor, able to aid in the battle. From start to finish, this Thor is a fantastic and chaotic mess that works better than you can possibly imagine. The incredible script by Waititi and relatively unknown screenwriter Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, brings laughter, tears and excitement in almost equal measure, ultimately creating a surreal joy. But it is Waititi’s special brush strokes that make this so unique and memorable. Sure, some will find it to be quirky, or even a bit whacky, but that kind of delivery is so much fun to watch that you manage to forgive the little flaws and you are able to float past the dark sadness of Gorr’s plight enough to gain empathy for the villain while still wanting to stop him from completing his task. Slightly out of place, but still very welcome is the constant use of Guns and Roses classics throughout the film. Now is where I make you feel old. The majority of the audience watching will probably be very unaware of the songs, since they are now officially 35 years old. Yeah – 35 years. I just assume that Taika wanted to introduce G and R to a new generation, and if that is the case, I admire him for it – and they do fit in nicely. Maybe all these little girls wearing Appetite for Destruction t-shirts will actually know a song or two from the album now. Regardless, most will love this new Thor outing as it is a solid addition to the MCU and a really fun way to spend two hours. A-