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Thor: Love and Thunder First Reactions Praise MCU Sequel's Action, Performances & Genuine Heart

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The first reactions to the highly anticipated Marvel sequel, Thor: Love and Thunder, are in. So, have director Taika Waititi and star Chris Hemsworth struck neon-lit gold as they did with previous outing Thor: Ragnarok? Do the additions of Natalie Portman’s The Mighty Thor and Christian Bale’s villainous Gorr the God Butcher impress as much as we expect? See below to find out.

The first lucky viewer privy to the first showing of Thor: Love and Thunder called the sequel their “favorite Thor movie” and heaps praise on the work of Hemsworth and Portman as Thor and Jane Foster.

Erik Davis from Fandango continues the positivity calling Thor: Love and Thunder a “classic Thor adventure.” He goes on to pick out Christian Bale and Russell Crowe, who joins the MCU as Zeus, as particular highlights, and even calls for The Mighty Thor and Valkyrie to get their own spinoff.

The next reaction applauds the Marvel sequel’s ability to make you laugh and cry in equal measure, concluding that Thor: Love and Thunder gives Natalie Portman the role she deserves in the franchise.

One of the biggest criticisms for Thor: Love and Thunder in these early reactions is in comparing the sequel to Thor: Ragnarok. Many have found that this latest outing does not quite live up to the “comedy” or “bombast” of the 2017 Marvel movie, and in fact find Thor: Love and Thunder strongest when it distanced itself from Waititi’s previous effort.

As expected, there is a lot of love for Oscar winner and The Dark Knight star Christian Bale’s performance as the villain of the piece, Gorr the God Butcher. While many had concerns that the menace inherent in both the character and the actor would be watered down by the comedy stylings of Taika Waititi, it sounds like this is far from the case.

It’s not all positive, however, with one reaction taking critical aim at the lack of stakes — something they think may be a problem currently held across the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Finally, writer Mike Ryan declares Thor: Love and Thunder “the greatest MCU movie, or, for that matter, any movie ever made.” And it’s all thanks to one reference.

Thor: Love and Thunder is Due for Release Next Month

 Love and ThunderMarvel Studios

Thor: Love and Thunder finds Thor on a journey unlike anything he's ever faced – a quest for inner peace. But his retirement is interrupted by a galactic killer known as Gorr the God Butcher, who seeks the extinction of the gods. To combat the threat, Thor enlists the help of King Valkyrie, Korg, and ex-girlfriend Jane Foster, who – to Thor's surprise – inexplicably wields his magical hammer, Mjolnir, as the Mighty Thor. Together, they embark upon a harrowing cosmic adventure to uncover the mystery of the God Butcher's vengeance and stop him before it's too late.

Directed by Taika Waititi and starring Chris Hemsworth alongside Christian Bale, Tessa Thompson, Jaimie Alexander, Waititi, Russell Crowe, and Natalie Portman, Thor: Love and Thunder will be released in the United States on July 8, 2022, as part of Phase Four of the MCU.

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