Marvel Fatigue Sets in with "Thor: Love and Thunder"
It’s finally happened! Marvel fatigue has finally started to set in. After 14 years, 29 movies and a number of television shows, it was bound to happen. This may not be true for all fans. There are fanboys who believe that the studio can do no wrong and laps up everything that they release. However, there is no denying that the new Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the weakest. It lacks the direction the other phases had. Yes, the multiverse has arrived, but that is only a story element, but so far, we have not seen where this is taking us. “Thor: Love and Thunder” does not correct this course.
This is the first-fourth solo outing for a Marvel superhero. Iron Man and Captain America stopped at three. The third Thor movie, Ragnarok is considered the best of the franchise thanks in large part to the direction of Taika Waititi. He’s back again in the directors chair that sees the God of Thunder now looking for his place in the universe and finds himself at odds with Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale). Thor also has a new ally, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), his ex-girlfriend who is also the new Mighty Thor.
The movie feels like that bad play from the last movie that featured Matt Damon in a cameo. A lot of it feels artificial. Even Thor's costume in this movie looks like it belongs in that show. Take the Guardians of the Galaxy for example. Since Thor (Chris Hemsworth) left Earth with them at the end of "Avengers: Endgame" they make an appearance here, but they feel out of place the entire time they are on screen. The fun banter they have with each other is missing and it felt like they were only there just to be rushed off the screen.
Chris Hemsworth is a movie star. He can help open certain types of movies. Natalie Portman is an Academy Award winning actress and it was great to see her return to the MCU when she previously stated she was done. She excels taking up the mantle of the Mighty Thor and performs very well in all her action scenes. There is a serious dramatic moment between the actors, one that if done right could bring a tear to the audience's eye. Portman, of course, was easily up to the task, but a scene of this magnitude is out of our leading man's range and the film suffers from it.
Like the last time Waititi directed, this entry has a lot of laughs. There is some good action too. Bale does a great job as the main villain. There is also a ton of easter eggs in here from cameo appearances from known actors to some surprising Marvel characters showing up. It is one of the better aspects in the entry that does help make it watchable.
Phase 1 in the MCU showed the formation of the Avengers. Phase 2 and 3 introduced the Infinity Stones that culminated in the battle with Thanos. Phase 4 is still drawing fans to the box office, but the enthusiasm has waned. If this ship is not righted soon, then the fans will soon disappear in the snap of a finger.