After a solid-if-unspectacular opening chapter and an underwhelming sequel, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Thor franchise was teetering dangerously close to requiring life support before Taika Waititi stepped in.
The filmmaker’s Ragnarok reinvigorated the Odinson and gave a stagnant character a new lease of life, with the New Zealander shedding the Shakespearean trappings and stoicism in favor of a zany intergalactic comedy with a relentlessly offbeat tone. As a result, the God of Thunder’s threequel remains one of the most popular MCU installments among the fandom.
This weekend’s Love and Thunder offers more of the same thing, which is either a positive or a negative depending on how you feel about a romantic comedy set in outer space that doubles as a mid-life crisis movie. There are plenty of similarities between Ragnarok and Love and Thunder, then, but Waititi outlined the single biggest difference to Digital Spy.
“The big difference creatively and in terms of the story was wanting to push Thor in a direction that felt more emotional, where he was challenged by more human issues and things that would make him more relatable. He was great in Ragnarok and he was really fun, it was like a reinvention of the character, but I felt like we could go further with finding more about who he is. Not just, ‘I don’t want to be King’, it’s more like, ‘Who am I? What’s my purpose? Will I ever fall in love? Will anyone ever love me? What’s my place in the world?'”
Detractors will make the not entirely unfounded claim that Love and Thunder is simply Ragnarok Redux, and while that’s very true to a certain extent, the film still has enough about it to deliver a fun-filled time at the theater.