This Thor has its moments. But it’s no “Thor: Ragnarok.”
Taika Waititi directed that movie, and also helmed “Jojo Rabbit.” But his latest “Thor: Love and Thunder” has neither the wit or the staying power of either of his prior films.
Within the blare of the battles and some funny dialogue is a heartfelt romance. Natalie Portman returns as Jane Foster, Thor’s former girlfriend.
Jane now has written books – there’s a great sequence in which she explains a wormhole to a reader – and has quite an accomplished career.
She also has stage four cancer, with a grim prognosis.
Although she and Thor no longer are an item, she gets a “calling” from an item – one that is in pieces. Thor’s weapon Mjölnir is on display in a sort of Disneyland-type Scandinavian town.
Jane travels there after sensing she needs the power of the weapon, which just might restore her health. But she does not know that there is a dark secret behind the use of this weapon.
Meanwhile, the lovable Chris Hemsworth is back, too, as Thor, who lives to lead battles.
Unlike “Ragnarok,” comedy does not abound here, although there are some chuckle-worthy bits lines and cameos. For example, Russell Crowe is amusing as Zeus, delivering a ridiculous accent as he speaks to a gathering of other deities.
Sometimes, the movie is more like watching a video game than a film, what with all the CGI battle scenes and noise. One engaging sequence stands out visually from the others when the action transitions into the Shadow Realm, which is devoid of color.
Mostly, this is predictable, right down to the usual classic rock tunes sprinkled throughout. Once you see the setup, you’ll know where this going, even in an end-credits extra scene (which MCU fans all expect.)
Is it worth a watch? Sure. Who doesn’t want to watch a couple of screaming goats that were a gift to Thor?
Thor, of course, will be back. I just hope there’s more comedy and cleverness the next time.
2 ½ stars
Rated: PG-13 violence.
Running time: Just a couple minutes shy of two hours.
At Cinemark, Davenport; Regal, Moline; and Palms 10, Muscatine.
Watch the trailer here.