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Ciné Sunday: Thor: Love and Thunder

Taika Waititi

Everyone’s favourite New Zealand funny-man Taika Waititi reinvigorated the Thor series with 2017’s Ragnarok, bringing not just a much-needed sense of humour, but bombastic action scenes, and some choice needle drops to the franchise, and he has returned for this wonderfully titled, 80s-inspired sequel. 

"Thor finds himself answering the call to action once again..."

The story picks up with Chris Hemsworth’s Thor in retirement and trying to find some inner peace. But this is short-lived as Thor learns of a being called Gorr, the God-Butcher (a creepy performance by Christian Bale), who has embarked on a self-appointed crusade to kill the Gods of the Marvel universe pantheon.

Along with Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson reprises her scene-stealing role from Ragnarok) and his pal Korg (Taika Waititi himself as a softly spoken sentient pile of rocks), Thor finds himself answering the call to action. As if saving the universe (again) wasn’t enough, there’s also the small matter of Thor’s ex Jane Foster being back on the scene (Natalie Portman’s first appearance in the series since 2013’s Thor: The Dark World) - and much to Thor’s bewilderment, she’s somehow wielding his beloved hammer Mjolnir, which was, at least to Thor’s (and our) knowledge, previously destroyed.  

That sounds like a lot of plot to cover, but Taika Waititi has proved time and again that he can navigate the peaks and troughs of tone and storytelling with ease and style. Whether it’s a holocaust drama (Jojo Rabbit), a vampire mockumentary (What We Do in the Shadows), or a superhero blockbuster, Waititi always has a firm handle on his subject and still packs his films with the irreverent, silly humour we’ve come to expect of him. In an age of po-faced blockbuster franchises, Waititi makes Thor fun again, and he is set to deliver again with this follow-up.  


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