Thor: Love and Thunder (A - M/UK - 12A/US - PG-13)

In a word: Floundering

Thor Love and Thunder

Natalie Portman stars as Dr Jane Foster and Chris Hemsworth as Thor in Thor: Love and Thunder.

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is back in a stand-alone film, five years after we last saw him in Thor: Raganarok.

Since we last saw him, Thor has been travelling with the Guardians of the Galaxy, answering calls for help across the universe. But when the Earth settlement of New Asgard comes under attack from a mysterious human named Gorr "The God Butcher" (Christian Bale) and his shadow monsters, Thor, finds himself on a new mission.

"While it has many of the usual characteristics of a Marvel film, Thor: Love and Thunder really struggles to find a purpose - sure, they're off saving the world but do we really care? Without the strong narrative seen in the first Thor films - including his interaction with the now defunct Avengers, Love and Thunder seems to be in search of a reason to be. Leaving one with a sense of 'meh'."

Together with his boulder-like companion Korg (voiced by director and writer Taika Waititi), he sets out to save the gods themselves from Gorr, who, motivated by the death of his daughter, aims to end the gods themselves using a powerfully enchanted sword designed for that very purpose. Joining them is King Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) and Thor's former flame, scientist Dr Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) who, facing her own very earthly battle with cancer, is transformed into a female "Thor" after responding to the call of Thor's shattered hammer, Mjölnir.

Together they set off on a quest to warn the gods of the danger facing them and save the children of New Asgard who have been kidnapped by the mysterious shadow monsters. 

There's action from the outset, strange new worlds to explore, famous faces popping up everywhere (including Russell Crowe as the god Zeus and Matt Damon reprising his role on stage as the actor playing Thor's brother Loki) and plenty of laughs as one has come to expect from Marvel. But the focus seems to be overly placed on the gags and the character of Thor, which has progressively become thinner with each film, is here reduced to little more than a cardboard cutout.

While it has many of the usual characteristics of a Marvel film, Thor: Love and Thunder really struggles to find a purpose - sure, they're off saving the world but do we really care? Without the strong narrative structure of the first Thor films - including his interaction with the now defunct Avengers, Love and Thunder seems to be in search of a reason to be. Not the follow-up we expected after Ragnarok and for all the hype, Thor: Love and Thunder may well leave one with nothing more than a sense of 'meh'.