The first reactions to Thor: Love and Thunder rolled on, and critics lucky enough to catch the film’s world premiere called it “big, colourful, weird and irreverent”.
The fourth film in the Thor franchise and the sixth film in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, love and thunder sees Jane Foster take on the role of Mighty Thor from Natalie Portman.
Taika Waititi returns to directing after his work on 2017 Thor: Ragnarok, while Chris Hemsworth, Tessa Thompson and Jaimie Alexander are also back. Newcomers to the franchise include Christian Bale as villain Gorr the God Butcher and Russell Crowe as Zeus.
The praise has already started rolling in…
“Thor: Love and Thunder is the perfect blend of Taika at its finest with comedy and a gut punch all rolled into one,” tweeted journalist Rachel Leishman. “I walked out of this film emotionally satisfied while at the same time sobbing and being just perfect.”
“Thor: Love and Thunder Exceeds all expectations,” tweeted journalist Caitlin Tyrrell. “The balance between absolutely bombastic insanity and moving, character-driven stories.”
colliders‘s Perri Nemiroff added that the film was “electrifying.” “A crazy, high-energy treat with a cast full of aces crushing scene after scene. LOTS of laughter (my face really hurts), the threat of Christian Bale’s Gorr is terrifying, but what I liked most was that it’s a film full of good vibes and heart.”
Critic Courtney Howard wrote that the film was a “subversive, irreverent spectacle,” while critic Erik Davis praised it as “big, colorful, and weird.”
Meanwhile, praise went to Portman, who is reportedly adapting elements of a 2014 comic book story about Jane taking over Thor’s powers shortly after being diagnosed with cancer.
“Natalie Portman’s performance is exceptional,” wrote critic Lyra Hale. “Dr. Watching Jane Foster transform into this heroine is what I wish for all the women on my screen. I want that complexity.”
Hale added that Thompson would be able to play Valkyrie as “her most authentic self,” possibly alluding to promises from MCU boss Kevin Feige that the film would address her character’s bisexuality.
Other critics, meanwhile, offered somewhat more mixed answers.
“Thor: Love and Thunder has very high highs and very low lows,” tweeted Scott Menzel. “It’s very Taika Waititi and sonically it’s all over the place.” Brandon Davis added that Bale’s character “could have benefited from a little more screen time, but [still] lands really well”.
Earlier this week, Portman said she’s been asked to “go as big as possible” for her role in the film, while also opening up about the poor response to her final 2013 Thor film the new world.
On the film’s promotional trail, Bale also gave a characteristically blunt response to questions about the MCU jump, and Hemsworth has revealed the only stipulation he had in order to return for the film.
Thompson, meanwhile, jokingly apologized (sort of) to Marvel after accidentally leaking photos from the production.
Thor: Love and Thunder hits theaters on July 8th.