When comedian Taika Waititi wrote and directed the 2017 Marvel epic “Thor: Ragnarok,” he injected the Avengers series with a playful, irreverent twist, emphasizing humor as well as action. He made Thor a bit of a goof. Still heroic, but also flawed and fearful. Watiti employs that same template with its follow-up, “Thor: Love and Thunder.” Chris Hemsworth is back as the god of thunder, but he’s no longer the hammer-wielding deity. The new Thor is his former lover, Jane, played by Natalie Portman, who has newfound superpowers thanks to finding favor with the hammer. The new Thor and the old Thor join forces to take on Gorr the God Butcher, played by the effectively creepy Christian Bale.
The plot comes from the Thor comics written by Prairie Village, Kansas resident Jason Aaron, who has also written for a number of other Marvel comics series including Wolverine, Ghost Rider and The Avengers. Waititi’s script gives Aaron’s dark story a whimsical, lighthearted spin. And there are some funny celebrity cameos to boot.
While it may be a bit too goofy for its own good, it’s still fun, an entertaining and welcome entry in the series. And, as always, don’t forget to sit through the end credits for a couple of bonus scenes. “Thor: Love and Thunder” delivers what its title promises.
The Tivoli Under the Stars movie series continues with a round of outdoor films this summer on the lawn at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Upcoming titles include “Enter the Dragon,” “The French Dispatch,” “Moonstruck,” “Rear Window,” “The Big Lebowski,” “Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday” and “Guardians of the Galaxy.” More information about the Tivoli Under the Stars series is available at nelson-atkins.org.