Thor: Love and Thunder Review: The Flanderization of Thor.

When Thor: Ragnarok came out, it was hailed as one of the best films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
While I did enjoy the film, I said in my review that is was overhyped and not quite the masterpiece it was being made out to be.
The reception to the sequel, Thor: Love and Thunder, is far more critical and, honestly, I think it is especially deserving of it.
I did still like the movie but the more I think about it, the more problems I have with it.
Directed by Taika Waititi, Thor: Love and Thunder sees the God of Thunder (Chris Hemsworth) go his separate ways from the Guardians of the Galaxy, after learning that multiple gods have been killed by a villain named Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale).
To stop him, Thor teams up with old friends from Ragnarok,  Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) and Korg (Waititi), and, most surprising of all, his ex-girlfriend, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), who has somehow gained Thor’s ability to wield Mjolnir. 

I liked the role Jane Foster played in this movie’s story.

The rekindling relationship between Thor and Jane is well written and acted, in my opinion, with it being my favourite part about both characters in this movie.
Unfortunately, it is one of the only good things about said characters, as most of them are flanderized to comedic extremes, especially Thor, who is portrayed as a giant idiot the entire movie, who seemingly forgot most of his character development in previous films.

Thor in Love and Thunder is like a dumber version of himself from the first movie before he had his character arc.

Despite my problems with Ragnarok, looking back, it did do a pretty good job of blending the humor with the serious scenes.
This is not the case with Love and Thunder, since it is entirely focused on constant jokes, only half of which made the audience I was watching the film with actually laugh.
It is especially jarring when the movie is dealing with subject matter that should be serious, yet it is played off for a bad joke.
These moments should have been played serious, like the scenes with Gorr, which are undoubtedly the best part of the film, mostly due to the characters’ writing and Bale’s fantastic performance.
That being said, for someone called “Gorr the God Butcher” Gorr hardly did any god butchering in this movie so he felt wasted.

Gorr really did not live up to his name of “The God Butcher.”

What ultimately saves the movie from these massive issues for me is that the action is mostly well executed, some character placement issues aside, and the ending is actually quite good.
I expected a deus ex machina to occur that would result in a completely happy ending without consequence for Thor, so I was pleasantly surprised when something else happened.
It was not enough to entirely save the movie because, as I have said, it still has a lot of issues, but it was enough for me to call Love and Thunder a fun time.
If you go into it expecting the film to take what happens seriously, it’s going to majorly fail for you, but if you go in expecting to turn your brain off and enjoy some action and maybe get a couple of laughs it will work.  

Jojo Rabbit Review: Hilarious, Heartwarming, and Dark.

5 stars
Taika Waititi playing Hitler… well, I think it’s safe to say that I have seen everything now.
In all seriousness, when Jojo Rabbit was first announced there was a bit of controversy over the satirical plot being about a young boy in World War Two Germany whose imaginary friend is Adolf Hitler.
Thankfully, such controversy was unwarranted as Waititi has crafted a film that manages to be hilarious, heartwarming and dark, resulting in a film that is probably my favourites of his.
The story follows the young Jojo (played by Roman Griffin Davis in his first role) a member of the Hitler Youth who is so misguidedly infatuated with the country’s genocidal leader that he imagines him as his imaginary friend.
After learning that his mother, Rosie (Scarlett Johansson), is hiding a Jewish girl named Elsa (Thomasin McKenzie) from the Nazis, Jojo desperately tries to figure out a way to get rid of her without getting his mother into trouble.

Elsa.jpg
It’s interesting how Elsa is framed to suit Jojo’s negative perception of her only for this to slowly evolve over the film as he comes to realise she is just as human as he is. 

What follows is many endearing scenes between the three characters as Jojo comes to learn that Elsa is far from the monster Nazi propaganda would have him believe.
All three actors give great performances, delivering both emotional weight and humor perfectly.
The same can be said for the other characters like the disillusioned Captain Klenzendorf (Sam Rockwell) and Jojo’s friend Yorki (Archie Yates) who is just too pure for this world.
I especially loved Waititi’s portrayal of the imaginary friend Hitler, taking him from the childish and friendly character of Jojo’s imagination to the cruel and detestable dictator we know from history.

Hitler eats a unicorn.jpg
The visual of Hitler eating a unicorn is both darkly hilarious and great symbolism for Jojo slowly coming to realise the dictator’s true nature.

This slow decrease in Jojo’s perception of Hitler, results from many surprisingly tragic moments in the film, including one moment that left me gaping for at least a full minute.
I probably would have cried if I had not been so shocked by it.
Ultimately, this is what proves JoJo Rabbit to be one of Waititi’s best films.
It balances its often dark tone with humor brilliantly, often combining to create dark humor, resulting in a satire that comments on the impact of war, hate, and by the end, love.
I highly recommend Jojo Rabbit.