Thor: Love and Thunder is a beautiful mess of a movie. There’s seriously no other way to put it. This movie has Taika Waititi’s name written all over it and that’s a fantastic thing. This movie feels like the sequel Ragnarok deserves and will have you smiling from beginning to end. It is one of Phase 4’s strongest entries. Thor: Love and Thunder is funny, emotional, and an action-packed experience that needs to be seen.

The best part of this film is easily the performances. Led by strong performances from the entire cast, it is Natalie Portman and Christian Bale who elevate this film from being good to great.

Portman returns to the Thor films after being absent from Ragnarok and it’s like she never left. Her chemistry with Chris Hemsworth is still great and she steals the show every time she’s on-screen. Portman delivers the jokes with ease and fits right into the mold of Waititi’s Thor films. As Mighty Thor, she gets some of the best action sequences and her arc unfolds beautifully throughout the film. A great performance from Natalie Portman and it reminds me, yet again, why she is one of my favorite actors of all time.

Natalie Portman as The Mighty Thor in Marvel Studios’ THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER. Photo by Jasin Boland. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

Going into this movie, I suspected that Christian Bale was going to be great as Gorr. Like Portman, Bale is one of my all-time favorite actors and I had high expectations. Thankfully, he didn’t disappoint. If Patrick Bateman and the Joker had a baby, you’d get Gorr the God Butcher. One minute is giving a nuanced, slow, villainous monologue and the next minute, he is cackling at the top of his lungs and fighting the Thors. Gorr has become a top-tier MCU villain in my eyes and the only negative I have about him is that we didn’t see more of Gorr. He was THAT great.

Christian Bale as Gorr in Marvel Studios’ THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER. Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

The story is also another strong point of the film. Taken directly from the comics, it focuses on Jane Foster dealing with her cancer diagnosis. However, when she wields Mjölnir, not only does she become Thor, she is seemingly cured of her cancer. The storyline is adapted well and that’s in part due to the writing and directing but also, the great acting. You sympathize with Jane during this trying time and it’s a great way for her to get back into Thor’s life.

This film also has some of the best character development of any MCU film. I loved the developments for all the characters, especially Korg and Valkyrie. While the development was subtle, I think it added a lot of depth to their characters and how they can be explored. Love and Thunder left a lot of loose ends with these characters which sets it up perfectly for Thor 5. Great stuff from Waititi.

(L-R): Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Natalie Portman as Mighty Thor in Marvel Studios’ THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER. Photo by Jasin Boland. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

One of my problems with the film was the third act. Not only did it feel slightly disjointed from the rest of the film, but it felt rushed and unfinished as well. It feels as if the story was rewritten briskly and reshot quickly. While I did enjoy the third act, it felt like it was from a different film completely. As I watched it, I found that some of the effects looked like they were still in the pre-viz stages. It was very noticeable at times and it distracted me quite a bit. I’m not usually picky on effects but when I’m watching a multi-million-dollar movie from the biggest franchise in the world, I expect the effects to be polished.

(L-R): Natalie Portman as Mighty Thor and Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Marvel Studios’ THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER. Photo by Jasin Boland. ©Marvel Studios 2022. All Rights Reserved.

The saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is the perfect way to describe Love and Thunder. It took what made Ragnarok amazing and gave us more of it. If you’re looking for a galactic road trip that will make you smile, laugh and cry, then Thor: Love and Thunder is the movie for you. I loved this film as much as Ragnarok and I’m confident the fans will too. I can’t wait to see how Taika tops this film with the inevitable Thor 5.