Early ‘Love and Thunder’ reviews show Taika Waititi isn’t here to redeem Phase Four

Image via Marvel Studios

It’s no secret that Phase Four of the MCU has been struggling to soar as high as its predecessors did in the past decade or so, and while many fans had turned their eyes to Taika Waititi’s whimsical fourth installment in the Chris Hemsworth-led movie series to shake things up, it seems that Thor: Love and Thunder has neither love nor thunder to bring the cinematic universe out of its tumultuous state.

To say that the director’s latest attempt is a complete disaster would be to sell the movie short, as many reviewers have found a lot of things to love about this outing, even if the inevitable flaws are a bit too conspicuous to simply disregard.

Starting with the only review so far that has earned the movie a perfect score, or rather an “A,” Collider called it a reinvigoration of Phase Four, writing, “While there might be complaints about the film’s pacing or weaker first half, Thor: Love and Thunder recaptured exactly what charmed me about these MCU movies.”

Some folks are still not over the chaotic narrative of Multiverse of Madness, on which Love and Thunder would definitely be an improvement. “Love and Thunder is an urgent reminder that in order for the MCU to keep going, in an entertaining, soulful way, creativity and innovation are required. You can’t just say ‘multiverse’ 1,000 times and call it a movie,” wrote New York Post in another positive review.

Alas, things only go downhill from here. IGN gave the movie a 7/10, noting that Waititi’s flick “is held back by a cookie-cutter plot and a mishandling of supporting characters,” but is the first MCU movie that can be described as a romantic-comedy thanks to Natalie Portman and Chris Hemsworth’s chemistry.

The Hollywood Reporter lambasted the movie as uninspired. “Right down to a sentimental ending that seems designed around ‘Sweet Child O’ Mine,’ the movie feels weightless, flippant, instantly forgettable.”

Deadline praised the movie’s action, comedy, and performances, but said that it is “kind of lazily thrown together and fits more into the standard, confirmed MCU. The substance is lost.”

Sorry, MCU fans, this may not be the return to form you were desperately craving after the misfirings of Phase Four. Still, it’s safe to say that almost every critic agrees the movie is a ton of fun, which was what the crew always intended, right?