Some Marvel fans seem to be unimpressed with “Thor: Love and Thunder”, the latest MCU film which premiered last week. While other reviews nitpicked each and every reason why the fourth sequel of Thor did not work, I decided to focus on the reasons why it did… or at least, for me.

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WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

Before watching it in the cinemas, we last saw Thor taking off with the Guardians of the Galaxy. We also saw them in the trailer which led me to believe that the group will be playing a huge role in the upcoming installation–but they didn’t. Although, I wasn’t too mad about it since they will still be having their own sequel in 2023. They went separate ways earlier on, and I agree that Gorr the God Butcher needed to be faced by the God of Thunder himself with his (tiny) people and his true love, instead of the entire gang.

Speaking of Gorr, some reviews said that Christian Bale needed more screen time too with, like, an in-depth introduction. They said it lacked the establishment of the character’s need to end all gods. However, it was enough for me to see the passing of his daughter–the last of his family and people–and the revelation that there is no such thing as an eternal reward. If you have lost a family member, you will know that people react to death differently.

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While some become depressed (like Thor) or develop an addiction (like Valkyrie in “Thor: Ragnarok”), some turn to their god for strength. When you’ve seen your loved one suffer for a long time, it becomes a test of faith. It may even feel like they failed you when none of your prayers worked to help your loved one stay alive and well. As for Gorr, he continued to praise his god only to discover that everything he has done for him was in vain. He could have just let it slide and accept his own death. Instead, he chose to end all gods as he yielded the power of the Necrosword.

Another tease from the trailer was Thor’s reunion with Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who was counting her days, battling cancer. While it is heartbreaking to see your loved one slowly pass away, it is most difficult to be on the other side of the rope. When you know that you are going to be gone soon, it is scary to leave the people you love behind. Jane was not only given the chance to meet her great love for the last time, she even got to help save his life as the Mighty Thor! The female hero was able to do one last mighty act for her loved one, which feels satisfying for me because it fulfilled what was probably everyone’s dying wish.

The characters faced too many losses as most people did during the pandemic, and yet director Taika Waititi was still able to make it fun and vibrant. (I super loved the Jean-Claude Van Damme, Taylor Swift, and Loki references, by the way!) Even though how he tackled the subject of death was moving, it did not come off as a heavy drama film. This impressed me because most movies I saw about losing someone tend to be too depressing. They leave me staring blankly into space, and I would need to watch a comedy to lift my mood back up. But, “Thor: Love and Thunder” was everything I needed to see because it was sad but comforting at the same time. It gave us the chance to miss our departed loved ones and grieve about our losses, and then smile and laugh again with the director’s signature comedic style.

In a unique way, Thor even inspired me to be a great leader–to stay strong and dependable for everyone who needs your help and guidance. Despite losing everyone he has loved (now, including Jane), he fulfills his duties as a god and a hero! He protected his people even without the title (as he passed it on to King Valkyrie) and even when others (Zeus and Gorr’s god Rapu) are not doing their jobs. He even fought to save his kingdom’s future at the risk of losing Jane, whether from her illness or in battle. He was exactly the god that Gorr and his people only wished to have, and the leader and hero we need in our lives right now.

It was the perfect contrast between light and dark for me, which is why the title “Love and Thunder” seemed fit. This was even visually represented in their battle against Gorr in the Shadow Realm! Thor, Mighty Thor, and King Valkyrie’s powers beamed with the franchise’s neon color scheme through the black and white planet.

Plus, it felt like Waititi himself was telling us Thor’s story, with flashbacks interpreted from Korg’s narration to the young Asgardians. Those recaps welcomed new viewers so they could quickly catch on…and to be honest, I needed them too because a lot has happened ever since we last saw them.

Overall, the GotG crossover, Christian Bale’s participation, and Natalie Portman’s comeback were definitely a sweet treat. However, it’s a Thor movie after all—and I personally believe that Chris Hemsworth and Taika Waititi delivered. Based on the ending and mid-credit scene though, this is just the beginning. A whole new plot line is about to unfold with new characters recently introduced–Hercules and Love, so I’m still very excited to see what’s yet to come!

How about you, what did you think of “Thor: Love and Thunder”?

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