The latest superhero film, Thor: Love and Thunder, based on the popular Marvel Comics character, Thor, reprised by Chris Hemsworth, released recently, filled with action and adventure. The film comes as a direct sequel to Thor: Ragnarok (2017), and follows Thor through a midlife crisis, as he tries to find his purpose in life.

The film based on Thor by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Larry Lieber, marks the 29th film, which is part of phase Four, as part of the popular Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The story once again unfolds taking viewers on a journey with the Avenger’s superhero, Thor, the former king of Asgard, who is on a quest for inner peace, is suddenly disrupted, as he gets called back into action.

The story follows a dangerous new threat, Gorr the God Butcher, played by Christian Bale, who is a galactic killer, wielding a terrifying and powerful sword, is determined to find, and hunt the gods, with his aim being the ultimate extinction of the gods. Thor, together with his allies, must find a way to stop Gorr the God Butcher before it is too late.

The movie also stars Natalie Portman, as she reprises her role as Jane Foster. Though she was not in Thor: Ragnarok (2017), Jane has now been reintroduced as Thor’s ex-girlfriend, an astrophysicist who is now undergoing treatment for terminal cancer.. Jane who is now a superhero herself with powers, like what Thor had, now wields his reconstructed hammer, Mjolnir. These elements from her story from the Mighty Thor comic book, unfold seamlessly in the movie.

Jane’s return into Thor’s life, after eight years, adds more depth to the story, and clearly shows that it has a significant impact in his life. This connection between the two, gives dimension to the overall direction, with drama and entertainment value, as Thor’s love interests infuses a sense of romance in the film.

The film also stars Taika Waititi (Director) as Korg, a friend of Thor, who is a Kronan gladiator, Russell Crowe stars as Zeus, a character based on the Greek mythological deity, who is the King of Olympians, and Tessa Thompson stars as Valkyrie. Meanwhile, Sam Neill, Matt Damon, and Luke Hemsworth (Chris Hemsworth’s brother), reprise their roles as Asgardian actors, Odin, Loki, and Thor, with popular star Melissa McCarthy, joining them, playing the role of Hela in a re-enactment stage play. Chris Hemsworth’s brother is not the only other Hemsworth on set, his own twin sons, Tristan, and Sasha, portrayed the lead character, Thor, as a child.

Characters from the Guardians of the Galaxy make a short appearance in the beginning of the film, with Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista, Sean Gunn, Karen Gillan, Bradley Cooper, and Pom Klementieff, each reprising their roles from the MCU, which sets the tone for the entire film’s humour elements.

The 119-minute film by director Taika Waititi, was made together with producers Brad Winderbaum and Kevin Feige, working in collaboration with production company Marvel Studios, with distribution by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. Made with an estimated budget of US$250 million, the film easily raked in over 148 million at the worldwide box-office ahead of its opening weekend.

Thor: Love and Thunder has been appreciated by many viewers and critics for its skilled cast’s performance, and its light-hearted nature, while others disliked the inconsistency in the film’s overall tone. Plagued by mixed reviews, the film received 68 per cent on Rotten Tomatoes, 57 per cent on Metacritic and 7/10 on IMDb.

This is a film that takes the time to make fun of itself, while also stopping to reflect with flashbacks, on what happened in the past and how it shaped who Thor is as a person, and though he has had so much loss in his life, and is afraid to be open, he manages despite it, which adds to his character. Hemsworth once again does an exceptional job in delivering pure entertainment that fans could appreciate, while adding more emotional elements that are heartfelt and romantic.

This one is a must watch for fans of Chris Hemsworth and the MCU, given its fun sense of humour, straight-forward action, and non-stop drama, every step of the way. While Jane’s return, as a superhero, comes with an emotional tearjerker, a touch of romance and powerful action performance, you do not want to miss.

By Nirupa Mohan Dore