‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ Reviews Call It Familiar Marvel Fun
The Marvel Cinematic Universe marches on with Thor: Love and Thunder, the sixth movie in Phase Four of Marvel’s multimedia franchise. (Yes, there are already six Phase Four movies. Plus seven TV shows. Avengers: Endgame was a long time ago.)
Love and Thunder comes just a couple months after Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and a day after the latest episode of Ms. Marvel premieres on Disney+. Are people finally getting Marvel fatigue?
Well, we’ll see what the box office numbers show, but a couple film critics definitely are. Overall, the reviews for Love and Thunder are positive. On Rotten Tomatoes, it’s currently got a 75 percent approval rating, about on par with Doctor Strange (74) and Black Widow (79), and way ahead of Eternals (47). But it’s also far behind Spider-Man: No Way Home (93) and Shang-Chi (91), along with the previous Thor movie, Thor: Ragnarok, which got a 93 on Rotten Tomatoes. And the general tenor of the reviews, while mostly of the thumbs up variety, reflect that.
Some critics complain the movie pales in comparison to Ragnarok, and others compare it to a mediocre TV show. There are other reviews that praise the movie’s weird tone and sense of humor, but then one out of every four reviews or so say it feels “familiar” and “strained.”
Here’s a representative sample of all the Thor: Love and Thunder reviews so far:
Ben Travis, Empire:
A deeply weird, deeply wonderful triumph.
Brian Truitt, USA Today:
Waititi’s 2017 threequel Thor: Ragnarok brought broad comedy into the MCU, though Love and Thunder better utilizes the filmmaker’s signature sense of humor.
Clarisse Loughrey, The Independent:
A delightful sequel motor-powered by goofy self-awareness and childlike imagination.
Owen Gleiberman, Variety:
It’s the mix of tones — the cheeky and the deadly, the flip and the romantic — that elevates Thor: Love and Thunder by keeping it not just brashly unpredictable but emotionally alive.
Caitlin, Chappell, CBR:
Bale delivers one of the best villains the Marvel Cinematic Universe has to offer.
Caryn James, BBC:
This big-hearted Thor, thundering and sensitive, may be just the diverting hero we need right now.
Johnny Oleksinski, New York Post:
Waititi, who did an equally terrific job with Ragnarok and should direct every Marvel movie, never gets lost in plot or vocabulary.
David Ehrlich, Indiewire:
Despite the film’s wit and geniality, Love and Thunder is clouded by its uncertain place in the universe from the moment it starts.
Glen Weldon, NPR:
Waititi's familiar strains feel familiar and strained.
Brian Lowry, CNN:
Doesn't rekindle the spark that Ragnarok ignited.
Kaitlyn Booth, Bleeding Cool:
It’s not unique, but it thinks it is, and there isn't anything more annoying than someone who thinks they are the most unique person in the room.
Matt Lynch, In Review Online:
It almost seems as if the circumstance of a Phase 4 MCU that’s so recently and enthusiastically embraced episodic TV is experiencing a bit of mission creep.
Scott Mendelson, Forbes:
Love and Thunder is much shorter than it needs to be, and the time spent on three distinct plots leads to all three of them being barely developed beyond cursory acknowledgment.
Stephanie Zacharek, Time:
Thor: Love and Thunder is packed with gags and jokes, advertising itself so loudly as “Fun!” that it ceases to actually be fun.
Jake Cole, Slant:
More than any other MCU movie, Love and Thunder epitomizes the trap that much of modern comic book culture finds itself ensnared in: demanding to be taken seriously while also relentlessly making self-deprecating jokes about how ridiculous it is because it’s aware that it’s derived from children’s entertainment.
Thor: Love and Thunder opens in theaters on July 8.