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“Thor: Love and Thunder” – Chris Hemsworth & Taika Waititi Combine Superhero Action, Humor & Love

Thor: Love and Thunder, brings Golden Globe winner Christian Bale into the Marvel Universe as Gorr, the God Butcher. Anyone who is a Harry Potter fan will be a tiny bit distracted by how closely the Butcher resembles Voldemort.

In the comic books, Gorr is muscle-bound and sports a G-string, a look not replicated in the movie – apparently at Bale’s suggestion, according to a report in The Wrap. But fans need not feel short-changed. Gorr still looks horrific, with Bale projecting a sad and relentless determination to eradicate the false gods who promise a non-existent afterlife. The scariest moments in this Marvel movie are when Gorr brings havoc on New Asgard and steals their most precious commodity.


The rest of the movie is played for action and lots of romance, with Hemsworth and former love, Jane Foster (Golden Globe winner Natalie Portman), dissecting the stressors of their former relationship. Tessa Thompson reprises her role as Valkyrie. She is another character nursing a broken heart.

If anyone thinks that’s inconsistent with the genre, then Hemsworth would feel he hit the mark. Back in 2016, he shared, “I worry about how to make the character a little inconsistent and keep people interested, rather than feeling like I have to tick a bunch of boxes. That can become mundane, feeling there’s a pattern of how he spoke, what he did. Why not change it up; mix it up? I welcome the unexpected and the change with the character.”


“There was a huge amount of pressure coming into Thor: Love and Thunder”, admits the Australian actor in the press notes. “Thor is the only character to make a fourth film so far. So, I wanted to do something different. I always want to do better with this character.” Well, he got it. This installment is definitely different.

Since 2011, Thor has appeared in seven MCU features as well as Marvel Studios’ “What If …?” animated series. He is the first MCU character to lead four franchise films. To fans around the world, Chris Hemsworth simply is Thor. With his lanky good looks and physique, it is dream casting. Be it as it may, Hemsworth, speaking with a perfect British accent blended with just the right inflection of self-mockery as Thor, was aware of the challenge of bringing this character back in another stand-alone film.

Back in 2017, Thor: Ragnarok succeeded in part because the humor of Taika Waititi was so unexpected. And needed. Waititi, making his directorial debut within the franchise, breathed new life into the fantasy by finding just the right balance of action and humor. That amounted to real transformation. Hemsworth’s freshman effort, in 2011’s God of Thunder, did not exhibit such a tone. The New Zealander director strikes gold again this summer. He co-wrote the screenplay along with Jennifer Kaytin Robinson.


Hemsworth, the father of three – India Rose, Tristan, and Sasha, with wife Elsa Pataky – gleefully leans into the humor and self-parody of an increasingly self-aware Thor. Fans will love a scene with him and fellow Ozzie, Golden Globe winner Russell Crowe. Crowe does one of the most difficult things to do on screen: he appears in a wispy white roman skirt and breastplates, not a muscle in sight. The accent is so vague and abstract in its origin that Borat would embrace it proudly. The audience isn’t sure if they are meant to laugh. They are. Mr. Crowe is a superbly talented actor and is relishing the puffery as a possibly-past-his-prime Zeus. 

The scene also reveals Chris Hemsworth stripped bare, with very un-politically correct reactions from the female cast members, something that could not happen with a woman in these times. Here, they get away with revealing Thor because the humor throughout the film is just that broad.

Such a sense of fun captivated Hemsworth right away. He explained the appeal on a set visit for Thor: Ragnarok. “It’s what grounds all of the insane, larger-than-life aspects. I wanted to do more humor. What I love about Taika’s work is that he, not only has a tremendous amount of playfulness, but his films also have heart. He builds in something real and relevant.”

We also have a ‘god’ in touch with his feelings. There’s so much dialogue about the inability to express emotion that one could, at times, be forgiven for thinking that this superhero saga is a very strange rom-com. The soulful explorations are not accidental.

“I don’t think it’s far-fetched to expect change in a character like Thor,” says Waititi of his choices. “He’s been around for a long time. There’s time for him to go through different phases. I was relieved when I knew how high he was testing in the Ragnarok screenings. But there was a sense of pride, as well: we’d managed to reinvent this character in a way that made the film do well but, also, made people want to see more of him.”

“One of the cool things about Marvel films is this ability to embrace various genres within a single film,” says Waititi. “It keeps audiences guessing. The characters feel different all the time. When we came up with Thor: Love and Thunder, we knew the fans would really freak out about it.”

“Thor: Love and Thunder feels similar to Ragnarok in terms of tone and style, but we wanted to double down on how vibrant and crazy the worlds are and the situations we put Thor in,” says Waititi. “When you’re dealing with outer space and a Viking, if you run and embrace that incredible combination as the thing that powers the story, you’re only limited by your imagination.”