Thor: Love and Thunder premiered last night, and initial reactions to the film are full of praise, especially for the Christian Bale’s villain.
Thor: Love and Thunder, the next film in Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is set to be one of the biggest films of the year, and one of the best in Marvel’s history, according to the first reactions.
Directed by beloved Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi, the upcoming film follows the primary Avenger (played by Chris Hemsworth) as he moves beyond the events of Avengers: Endgame, and runs into old flame Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) who now has superpowers of her own. Other familiar faces pop up, and they all must work together to defeat new villain Gorr the God Butcher, played by Bale.
The film premiered yesterday at an event filled with both stars and avid fans of the MCU, which led to a lot of critics being able to see the film early. And so far, their feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.
Christian Bale is “phenomenally menacing” as Gorr in Thor: Love and Thunder
A lot of praise has been directed towards Christian Bale’s performance as Gorr. Simon Thompson stated that “Bale’s Gorr is a killer boogeyman blending the campy and the creepy” and Insider critic Kirsten Acuna called him “phenomenally menacing” and “one of the creepiest Marvel villains we’ve ever seen on screen.”
Next Best Picture’s Matt Neglia also wrote that “Christian Bale slays it as the terrifying Thor.”
The fact that Bale has been able to fit into the MCU so well is very funny, considering that he didn’t actually know what the MCU was prior to being cast in Thor: Love and Thunder.
THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER is a rockin’ great time with electrifying action, lots of laughs (the screaming goats!) & a profound story on absent gods & our desire for love. Natalie Portman makes a mighty return & Christian Bale slays it as the terrifying Gorr. The best Thor film yet! pic.twitter.com/s42SkqxlJj
— Matt Neglia @Tribeca (@NextBestPicture) June 24, 2022
#ThorLoveAndThunder is a vivid and vibrant blast that delivers. Hemsworth’s Thor remains a jewel in Marvel’s crown. Bale’s Gorr is a killer boogeyman blending the campy and the creepy. Portman’s Foster and Thompson’s Valkyrie are a top notch pairing. Crowe’s Zeus is *chef’s kiss* pic.twitter.com/PDb5SZRWOo
— Simon Thompson (@ShowbizSimon) June 24, 2022
Thompson also added that “Hemsworth’s Thor remains a jewel in Marvel’s crown” and “Portman’s Foster and Thompson’s Valkyrie are a top-notch pairing.”
Portman’s return was one of the biggest draws for the film, as seeing her wield the hammer Mjolnir as the Mighty Thor is nothing except incredibly epic. As Jane wasn’t included in Ragnarok or Endgame, it’s great to see her again, especially since she gets to be more comedic than she had previously been, alongside fan-favorite character Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson).
Thor: Love and Thunder is “the greatest movie Marvel has made”
Some critics have offered glowing praise for the film, such as critic Lyra Hale citing it as “the greatest movie Marvel has made so far.” Another critic, Courtney Howard, praised Waititi for delivering “a subversive, irreverent spectacle,” with “great story, stakes, and character-building.”
#ThorLoveAndThunder is the GREATEST movie Marvel has made so far! I'm not joking. I haven't laughed that hard since Ragnarok and I feel invested in Marvel again in a way that I haven't since Endgame. Also, bring tissues. The journey is *chefs kiss* from start to finish!❤️ pic.twitter.com/bJYVxCJoQS
— Lyra Hale 🔜 SDCC (@TheAltSource) June 24, 2022
#ThorLoveAndThunder has an Appetite For Destruction & laughs. It’s totally rad! Taika Waititi delivers a subversive, irreverent spectacle. Great story, stakes & character-building. Chris Hemsworth & Natalie Portman, superb.Russell Crowe & Christian Bale slip easily into the world pic.twitter.com/W7PUUXIfM5
— Courtney Howard (@Lulamaybelle) June 24, 2022
Some were more critical of the film, like Bro Bible senior writer Eric Italiano, who argues that the plot “felt flat and stakeless.” However, he did say that he enjoyed the film overall, and that it is “the funniest film in the MCU.”
#ThorLoveAndThunder is the funniest film in the MCU. The jokes are excellent as is the cast delivering them.
Christian Bale, obviously, is also terrifying as #Gorr
— Eric Italiano (@ericitaIiano) June 24, 2022
Other tweets from critics also had slightly negative things to say about the movie, with some comparing it to Thor’s previous film, Ragnarok. However, overall it seems like Thor: Love and Thunder simply can’t stop the praise from coming.
I saw #ThorLoveAndThunder. It can't quite match the visual or comedy bombast of Ragnarok, but Taika Waititi makes up for it with an emotionally mature Marvel movie. It's also very funny (Natalie's got jokes) and features one of the most stunning visual sequences in MCU history.
— Jake (@jacobkleinman) June 24, 2022
Another classic Thor adventure! #ThorLoveAndThunder is everything I wanted it to be. Big, colorful, weird Guns N' Roses-fueled battles to go w/ a hopelessly romantic story about discovering love in unexpected places. Christian Bale & Russell Crowe are especially great. And Korg! pic.twitter.com/fu0gTUuMRj
— Erik Davis (@ErikDavis) June 24, 2022
#ThorLoveAndThunder is much more episodic than I would have suspected. Delivers big laughs. Very standard, cookie cutter villain with Christian Bale. I want the buddy cop comedy with Natalie Portman & Tessa Thompson. Matt Damon must go Broadway. Post credits are EPIC! Pure fun. pic.twitter.com/2J5UQuHHSA
— Clayton Davis – Stand with 🇺🇦 (@ByClaytonDavis) June 24, 2022
Ultimately, fans can feel safe that the movie will at least be a fun-filled romp, but this film may be just as impactful as Ragnarok was in 2017. And since Hemsworth wants to keep playing Thor forever, we can hopefully expect more great Thor films in the future.
Thor: Love and Thunder hits UK cinemas on July 7, before arriving in the US a day later on July 8.