Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder opened in theaters last Friday and while audiences loved the latest Thor adventure, critics on the other hand only feel marginally positive. According to the Tomatometer score on Rotten Tomatoes, the film sits at 68 percent while the audience score is at an 81 percent rating.
Critic consensus states that “[i]n some ways, Thor: Love and Thunder feels like Ragnarök redux — but overall, it offers enough fast-paced fun to make this a worthy addition to the MCU.” This is eerily reminiscent of how 2013’s Thor: The Dark World earned a score of 66 percent with an audience score of 75 percent.
The Thor movies have always been the oddball of the MCU until Waititi’s previous movie Thor: Ragnarök became the Thor franchise’s runaway success. This movie earned a 93 percent critics rating and an 87 percent audience rating. It is somewhat confusing as to how the latest movie slipped the Thor franchise’s new formula and, according to some critics, back into same mediocre-ness that it once was.
Much like the first Thor sequel, the fourth movie was released to mixed reviews. With the third movie being cited as the best Thor movie, it was clear this movie would have a tough act to follow, not to mention overcome the three-year gap between it and the 2019 behemoth Avengers: Endgame.
Screenrant’s Marcello Leite noted that “[w]hile Thor: Love and Thunder reviews highlight that Taika Waititi hasn’t lost his touch, they also speak of the movie being too similar to Ragnarök-for better or worse. Natalie Portman’s Mighty Thor and Christian Bale’s Gorr are pointed as highlights, as is Hemsworth’s performance as Odinson, while the visual effects and inconsistent tones are seen as low points.”
Collider’s Therese Lacson gave the movie a positive review stating that Waititi has reinvigorated the Phase 4 movie slate with comedy, heart, and a pair of screaming goats.
“With Love and Thunder, Waititi fully leans into his brand. Having co-written the screenplay with Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, his DNA is all over this film,” Lacson wrote. “Eccentric and funny, with touches of slapstick, and a heavy dose, of heart and some melancholy—it’s familiar formula when it comes to Waititi’s work, but not one that has lost its charm.”
LA Times’s Justin Chang gave the film a negative review, citing the film is not so mighty in addition to being painless and boring.
“Unfortunately those aims are lost, or at least frustratingly under-realized, in a blur of flat-footed jokes and lazy schematic plot turns, plus the general sense of a franchise spinning its creative wheels,” Chang wrote according to Screenrant. “These issues smack of run-of-the-mill Marvel fatigue, but they also bear the fingerprints of New Zealand-born director Taika Waititi (who co-wrote the script with Jennifer Kaytin Robinson).”