'Thor: Love And Thunder' Source: Marvel

Review: 'Thor: Love And Thunder' a Romp of a Good Time Filled with Exciting Thrills, Chills, and Wit

JC Alvarez READ TIME: 3 MIN.

Let's face it, for the last several weeks you've been as intrigued as the rest of the world about how much is revealed of Chris Hemsworth's backside since the very first trailer for Marvel Studios' "Thor: Love and Thunder" hit the internet. Now that the latest big-screen blockbuster in the epic mythology of the Marvel Comics favorite is hitting theaters, fans can finally rejoice! Thor is back and in his best form, having lost the Dad-bod the Norse God of Thunder had put on after beheading the Mad Titan, Thanos, in "Avengers: Endgame."

Choosing to tramp through the spaceways seeking adventure and glory alongside Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and the rest of his Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor has all but detached himself from the trappings of the mortal coil. But when a distress call from a onetime ally gets his attention, Thor decides to get back in the fight. With the wholehearted blessing of the Guardians (who honestly aren't all that sad to see Odinson go), Thor returns to New Asgard, the Earth-bound colony of the surviving Asgardians ruled by King Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), when the village is attacked by shadow monsters.

It's there that Thor learns that gods are being hunted by an alien being. Christian Bale, the one-time Dark Knight, has traded in his cape and cowl and transitioned into the Marvel Cinematic Universe to establish one of Marvel Comics' most malevolent adversaries, Gorr the God Butcher. His performance, even under all the body makeup, is astoundingly visceral, and strikes at the core of the film's theme. Bale is haunting as Gorr, a physical match for his enemies, but he is just as emotionally nimble in the light.

This is screenwriter/director Taika Waititi's second outing in the franchise; his first, "Thor: Ragnarok," redefined the tone the character would take. With the otherworldly nature of the hero and his roots in mythology, it's very easy for Waititi to lay all his cards on the table, and his approach allows some fun and bluster for Hemsworth. When Hemsworth is paired with Tessa Thompson, the duo have a chemistry that is unique and all of their own, but roots the grandness of these Marvel heroes in a believable reality that packs a hell of a punch!

Returning to the franchise is Academy Award Winner Natalie Portman. Her character, Dr. Jane Foster, has gotten a significant upgrade and is now wielding the power of her ex-boyfriend's magical hammer, as a formidable Thor herself. Their pairing is very touching, and it's great to see Portman having as much fun as the rest of the crew, especially when, in an effort to defeat Gorr, Thor and company appeal to Zeus (Russell Crowe) about starting an army.

The scene-stealing Crowe is charming as the lightning-powered "Father of all the Gods," and immediately sees through Thor's disguise, leading him to strip the God of Thunder in front of the entire pantheon (insert panting here), and banning Thor from admittance to any upcoming orgies. Unable to convince Zeus of the threat, Thor borrows his lightning bolt in order to use the weapon in a final conflict with Gorr. But time may be running out: If Gorr reaches the all-powerful Eternity and makes a wish, it will mean the end of all gods across all dimensions!

For the true Marvel enthusiast, "Thor: Love and Thunder" is a romp of a good time, filled with plenty of exciting thrill and chills and wit. The cast is as colorful as their superhero suits, and you can't help but feel warmly toward them, especially Thor's loyal sidekick, Gorr (Taika Waititi), who is a lumbering pile of rocks of a really big heart (and with two dads!). "Thor: Love and Thunder" is visually among one of the most stunning films to behold, and as imaginatively vibrant as its director.

"Thor: Love and Thunder" also leaves the door open for its hero's continuing adventurers. With the introduction of Russel Crowe's Zeus, many a keen Marvel fan will want to stay after the credits, as the Olympian God sets the stage for the MCU's next larger than life hero!

"Thor: Love and Thunder" opens in theaters on July 8.

by JC Alvarez

Native New Yorker JC Alvarez is a pop-culture enthusiast and the nightlife chronicler of the club scene and its celebrity denizens from coast-to-coast. He is the on-air host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Out Loud & Live!" and is also on the panel of the local-access talk show "Talking About".

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