On September 8, Thor: Love and Thunder will be released online. This is a new film that is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the fourth solo film about the hero of Chris Hemsworth. The last one is amazing. Indeed, formally (if you do not take into account the importance of roles in crossovers), even Iron Man and Captain America have fewer separate films. In addition, the first two parts of “Thor” turned out to be not too bright – “The Kingdom of Darkness” is now generally very few people will remember.
But the thing is that one of the most sought-after directors of recent years, comedian Taika Waititi, took up the restoration of the screen reputation of the God of Thunder. He perfectly restarted the story of the hero in the third Ragnarok movie, adding his trademark humor and drive to the plot.
But with the continuation, problems have already arisen, and at once on several levels. In Thor: Love and Thunder, Waititi repeats his own jokes, which also do not fit well with the gloomy plot. And all this is complemented by technical shortcomings.
Still, the movie isn’t that bad. He entertains quite well, and Christian Bale plays one of Marvel’s best villains.
Thor: Love and Thunder strikes an odd balance of darkness and humor
After the events of Endgame, Thor decided to change his life. He is engaged in meditation, periodically helps different races fight the invaders (although sometimes it only gets worse from his participation). Soon the hero learns that a certain Gorr ( Christian Bale ) attacked New Asgard – the owner of the Necroblade, who killed many gods.
Meanwhile, Thor’s ex-lover Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) discovers she has stage 4 cancer. She is strangely drawn to the hammer Mjolnir. As a result, the girl also receives the powers of a god and decides to help in the fight against Gorr.
Before taking apart the new Thor, let’s take a look at Taika Waititi’s filmography. Everyone knows him as a comedian and immediately remember the “Real Ghouls”. But if we discard the humorous component of most of his paintings, it turns out that the director shoots rather sad stories. So, ” Hunting for savages ” and “Eagle vs. Shark” talk about loneliness and the search for a loved one, “Boy” and “Jojo Rabbit” – about the destruction of children’s ideals (by the way, in both tapes, Waititi himself played the most unpleasant characters). And in many films, the director also talks about death: almost all of his characters lose their parents.
This is what hit Thor: Ragnarok. The god of thunder was actually losing his last support: his father Odin died, and Asgard was destroyed. And, perhaps, only Waititi could show it so easily, while maintaining the faith of the hero (and with him the viewer) in the future. Although, perhaps, James Gunn could have done just as well, but they gave him Guardians of the Galaxy.
But “Thor: Love and Thunder” kind of fails in this regard. It is difficult to say what exactly the matter is: in the increased ambitions of the author or in the fact that the director within the framework of the cumbersome cinema universe cannot be completely free in his decisions.
Looks like Waititi does the same. He jokingly recalls the gloomy events of the past, speaks on very serious topics, each time discharging them with gags. He manages to joke even about cancer. And so that it does not sound vulgar and rude.
The problem is that the film is overloaded with storylines. Remember the first “Thor”: there the hero was stripped of his powers and sent to Earth. While he was getting to know people and trying to earn his hammer again, Loki was wreaking havoc on Asgard. That’s all.
Now there is Thor’s return line, the evil Gorr, New Asgard, Jane’s illness, meeting with the gods, different planets, flashbacks and much more. That being said, Love and Thunder is shorter than most of the Marvel movies, running at less than 2 hours. And in this abundance of events, the mood is constantly jumping. So, the tragedy of Gorr is diluted with comical gods, the love of Thor and Jane is interspersed with stupid jokes about jealousy for Mjolnir. The director also wants to give more time to the Valkyrie, played by Tessa Thompson, and at the same time to flicker in the image of Korg himself.
And in the end, it’s just not possible to catch any one atmosphere. The film jumps all the time through locations, genres and storylines.
The director often repeats himself and forgets about the development of the characters
If you look back at the films of Taika Waititi, one important little thing can be noticed: he never directed the continuation of his works. Only ” Real Ghouls ” turned into a franchise. But, firstly, only spin-offs about new heroes were released, and secondly, the director’s partner Jemaine Clement (the one who is Vladislav Poking) is more involved in them.
And Thor: Love and Thunder makes it clear why Waititi doesn’t work with the same characters and plots. It’s just repetitive. Anyone who watched the Thor: Ragnarok movie (and the rest of us don’t need to include a new part) will see many familiar jokes.
Remember the theatrical production about the death of Loki? Now there will be the same about Odin, and several more famous actors will run into the frame. The Hulk’s bare butt was replaced with a naked Thor. Instead of the harmful Grandmaster, now the vile Zeus. Even the battle scenes are exactly the same as classic rock, except that they are playing not Led Zeppelin, but Guns’n’Roses. And you can go on for a long time.
Although a much more serious problem is that the director seems to be making a separate film, forgetting that the characters develop within the framework of the MCU. In the introduction, he shows Thor as a one-man man who does not know how to work in a team. But there were already two final parts of the Avengers, where everything changed. In addition, Waititi brings Jane Foster back, briefly explaining the history of her relationship with Thor, but there is no closeness between the characters once in love. But we have already seen them in the first pictures about Thor. That is, “Love and Thunder” is best for those who are not familiar with the rest of the Marvel films at all – inconsistencies and repetitions will not be noticeable. But such viewers will not understand anything in the plot and references.
And the saddest thing is that the attempt to make the heroine Portman the new God of Thunder looks, if not a failure, then a very timid experiment. Her character is a talented scientist who turned to the power of Mjolnir out of desperation. But instead of making the female counterpart an independent person, Jane is simply turned into a new Thor. I would like to add “in a skirt”, but she even has the same suit as Hemsworth. She immediately forgets about her intellect, flexes her muscles and crushes enemies with brute force, inventing a “cool phrase” on the go.
If the authors wanted to come up with a new type of female superhero, then they succeeded very poorly – it turns out that you just need to become a copy of a man.
Thor: Love and Thunder doesn’t have very good action and graphics, but a great villain
In recent months, conversations and complaints from experts about the pace of creating graphics when working with Marvel have repeatedly surfaced on the Web. In short: the studio gives the minimum terms and almost unrealistic conditions. It seems that the new Thor also suffered from this.
The main trouble is not even that many scenes look cartoonish – for example, lightning in the hands of the God of Thunder looks like a child’s toy. The problem is the widespread use of the new Volume technology – when huge plasma panels are placed on the site instead of the classic green screen , onto which the background is immediately projected. This, on the one hand, helps to make the action and acting more realistic – before, the artists were literally explained in words where their characters were.
But on the other hand, Volume partly killed the work on real locations with built scenery. And in the movie “Thor: Love and Thunder” it is noticeably too strong. The actors are almost all the time separated from the background and seem to be playing a very expensive teleplay. Alas, this applies even to action scenes in which real danger and movement are not felt. Moreover, it is still presented in a comedic manner.
Perhaps, even with such shooting, the picture could be properly finalized so that the characters do not get out of the general landscape. But they didn’t. The exception is the battle with Gorr. The character of Christian Bale is generally the only hero to whom there are no complaints. Even within the framework of a comedy action movie, he looks frightening. Moreover, the battle with him was shown in black and white , turning the action almost into a horror. The minimalism of the visuals, the mood, the camera work, the soundtrack – everything matches perfectly. True, alas, not for long. Then the picture returns to its usual fussy narrative.
By the way, when I watched this scene, only one thought sounded in my head: “I want to see a dark film or series about Gorr, he deserves more than 20 minutes in a comedy.”
After the premiere, many scolded the film “Thor: Love and Thunder”, calling it one of the weakest Marvel films. But she’s actually not that bad. It’s just that Taika Waititi once again proves that he always makes only “his” movies: a crazy hooligan combination of drama and comedy with naive jokes. But the second time to see such a picture is not very interesting.
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