More than a decade and 28 films later -29 if we count the one in question- since making contact with Jon Favreau’s ‘Iron Man’, my experience with the Marvel Cinematic Universe has made it clear that, at least based on my sensitivities and preferences, his best feature films have been those who have opted to escape from the ordinary and enhance the voice of their top managers.
Leaving aside the two great bombings that culminated Phase 3 under the title of ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and ‘Endgame’, my favorite films from the macro-project of The House of Ideas include the spy thriller in the purest Tom Clancy style ‘Captain America : The Winter Soldier’, the brilliant house brand Shane Black from ‘Iron Man 3’ and a ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ that redrew the God of Thunder under the baton of a Taika Waititi in a state of grace.
Now, with the New Zealander at the forefront again, ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ triumphs once again where its predecessor did, marking the path that the MCU should follow at the stroke of originality, sense of humor, self-awareness and self-confidence. All this in a space epic with a gigantic heart that stands as the best film of Phase 4 to date.
The truth always ahead: if you didn’t like ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ it’s extremely unlikely that ‘Love and Thunder’ will, because the new solo adventure of the marvelite superhero embraces the tone, the understanding of comedy and the retropulp essence of the previous film and raises them to the nth degree; resulting in a couple of hours of lashings of fun courtesy of a Waititi unleashed and totally in his element.
This tonal proposal, predominant in the vast majority of a work that does not hesitate to play with the canons of textbook romantic comedy, contrasts with some of its underlying themes and subplots; a priori likely to be treated with greater sobriety. However, this is a creation by an author with a solid vision that balances the balance until reaching dynamics worthy of the best feel good movie.
Similarly, ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ succeeds in combining the overwhelming and colorful show aligned with that of the last installment —with some electrifying and, punctually, imaginative setpieces— and an impeccable narrative, developed at full speedand that you only need 120 minutes to complete a story that works perfectly.
However, and to no one’s surprise —or so I hope—, the true soul of the show lives in its characters; charming and with enviable on-screen chemistry. Beyond a Chris Hemsworth who once again shows that comedy is his thing —what of ‘Ghostbusters’ is still priceless—, an imposing Natalie Portman stands out as Thor, and a Christian Bale who leaves us one of the roundest villains —if not the most— of the MCU since Thanos.
In one of the scenes of ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’, a monochrome world is infiltrated by flashes of color. This could serve as an analogy for a feature film that reflects the best face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and that shines between formulas and photocopies thanks to creative freedom, its own identity, and lack of complexes.