‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ stays true to campy comic genre

By Marilyn MacLaren, Staff Writer

Directed by Taika Waititi, “Thor: Love and Thunder” (2022) stays true to the original source material in the Marvel comics. Many will recognize Waititi as the previous director for the third sequel in the Thor film series, “Thor: Ragnarok” (2017), and avid fans will no doubt notice the accuracy of certain scenes throughout the film, which seems to be drawn directly from the pages of the beloved comics the series is adapted from. 

Although the majority of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has taken creative liberties that deviate from specific plotlines and characters shown in the comics, this film makes a conscious effort to bring the original comics to life. The attention to detail regarding everything from costumes and composition to set designs shows true love and respect for what the comics intended. 

In transforming the medium from page to production, Waititi has carefully considered how the comics would be transitioned to the big screen with a new audience. Waititi’s campy, comedic approach balances how the characters don’t take themselves too seriously while still appreciating what makes the original comics so entertaining to fans worldwide. 

The film stars Chris Hemsworth as its titular character Thor, whose character growth is marked physically and emotionally throughout the film since his last appearance in “Avengers: Endgame” (2019). Natalie Portman also reprises her role as Jane Foster, growing from the love interest of Thor to achieving a character arc all her own as a superhero. The main villain of the film is Gorr the God Butcher, played by Christian Bale, who compared to the prior villains Thor has faced in the past, seems like a tough act to follow. 

Considering the theatrics and unpredictability of Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston, has contributed as both anti-hero and villain to the series, and in the MCU, expectations have undeniably increased. Following the havoc of Hela, who was played by Cate Blanchett, Gorr as a newcomer to the MCU demands a lot to be considered a reasonable threat. This presents a challenge for him because the audience must see him as a rival that is worthwhile compared to the foes Thor has faced in the past. 

There’s a significance in having an antagonist who matches the history that fans have seen in the series as well as watching Thor struggle, which furthers his development as a superhero. Even without the influence of Thanos and his plotline as a complex villain — as seen in “Avengers: Endgame” — the range Bale brings to Gorr gives the character the merit deserving of a “Thor” series antagonist. 

The film also stars other familiar faces — such as Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie and Waititi returning as the voice of Korg. A surprise for fans may come from appearances by the cast of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” franchise. Many colorful surprises await in this film, which is sure to be enjoyed by both die-hard “Thor” fans and MCU fans alike. 

 

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