After Thor: Ragnarok totally reinvented the Asgardian Avenger within the MCU, and revealed Taika Waititi as one of the most exciting directors on Marvel’s docket, the hype for its long-awaited follow-up, Thor: Love and Thunder, has been through the roof. Unfortunately, now that it’s just days away from hitting theaters, the hype balloon has been punctured. The first reviews are in, and they are far from the unending stream of praise that welcomed Ragnarok back in 2017.
Instead, Love and Thunder is being filed away as an entertaining if bloated and unfocused film that swaps the vim and verve of its predecessor for a lackluster plot. The surprising shrug that it’s receiving from critics, then, means that Thor 4 has opened to a Rotten Tomatoes score that’s hardly godly. At the time of writing, the review-aggregate site has handed Waititi’s second Marvel outing a 72% score, as based on 81 reviews.
So what does this mean? Well, for starters, this is a precipitous drop from the near-perfect 93% Ragnarok currently sports on the same site. Likewise, it’s trailing even 2011’s Thor, which sits on a solid 77%. As things stand, Love and Thunder is at least beating out the notorious stinker that is 2013’s The Dark World and its 66% rating. However, all it would take is a few more rotten reviews, and it might well find itself languishing at the bottom of the subfranchise.
Then again, this could be one of those cases where initial reactions are pretty scathing, only for things to level out later as further critics realize it’s not all that bad. Whatever happens, though, it seems Thor: Love and Thunder is destined not to earn as much love or make such a thunderous impact on pop culture as Ragnarok did. We’ll get to make up our own minds about it when it blasts into cinemas this Friday, July 8.