Thor: Love & Thunder is fun of all kinds

While Ragnarok was a homage to many high-end 1980s films, Love & Thunder seems more focused on 80s B-movie homages.

While Oscar-winning writer/director Taika Waititi Thor: Ragnarok was both a reboot for a slower franchise and a game-changing movie with a “home from home” storyline (once the characters are on planet Sakaar, they don’t leave until the finale) Thor: Love and Thunder moves the characters like a road movie.

The introductory adventure with Guardians of the Galaxy feels a little out of place before giving way to a solid story based on the strength of the four protagonists (Hemsworth, Bale, Portman, and Tessa Thompson) in this film.

Natalie Portman is back, and Christian Bale on board in an attempt to play a Marvel villain role.

While the Ragnarok was a tribute to many high-end films of the 1980s – love and thunder seems more focused on 1980s B-movie homages. The film takes on a “What if?” Marvel’s plot posits what would happen if Jane Foster picked up Thor’s hammer.

Featuring an extended cameo from Russell Crowe as the less than jerked off Zeus, Thor (Hemsworth, jerked off with muscle in this film), the Mighty Thor (Portman, extremely jerked off), Korg (CGI) and Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson, jerked off) move through the universe in pursuit of stolen children – a plot straight out of the Pied Piper – or say Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

The jokes are great – the first time. Pardon the pun, but love and thunder hammers home the fact that weapons (Mjolnir, Stormbreaker, and Zeus’ lightning) all have personalities that get jealous of other weapons. By the third or fourth version of the same joke, the material thins out.

One wonders if the film was between 95 and 100 minutes long, what additional impact would the material have. This movie seems to have tried to get every actor to improvise Jeff Goldblum, without Goldblum for the ride.

The ending isn’t rushed – but linking the two stories together – Thor/Jane Foster and Gor/his daughter seems like an afterthought – albeit emotional and powerful – and is – at the end of the film – the reason and the definition of “Love & Thunder” in the title.

Once you realize Thor is going through a midlife crisis – and some of what Waititi went through – there’s no doubting the movie’s family-like conclusion.

This movie has the same problem Indiana Jones and the Templee of misfortune had – how do you top an all-time classic movie? I say Doom did it by providing the last 40 minutes of this film with all the action compared to the ghosts of The Raiders of the Lost Ark. Thor: Love & Thunder takes a more emotional approach than Dr. Jones gets from Short-Round by handing him his hat in Temple of Doom.

While taking a different path – Hemsworth is as much an heir to Schwarzenegger’s action title as Dwayne Johnson.

Much like Arnold and Stallone (or in Pacino and DeNiro’s multi-verse) – it’s only a matter of time before these two light it up together.

Thor: Love and Thunder plays this week in Dawson Creek.