Thor: Love and Thunder is, technically, the fourth installment of the Thor franchise within the MCU–making him the first, and only, core Avenger to have broken the solo trilogy barrier–and let’s be honest Thor 4 is pretty fun to say. It would perhaps be more accurate to call it Thor Ragnarok 2, however, given the return of writer/director Taika Waititi in addition to the cast, continuing his work of course correcting the God of Thunder in both tone and aesthetic. Gone is the Shakespearan fantasy drama, here to say is the ’80s neons, dad rock, and slapstick comedy.
Love and Thunder sees Thor (Chris Hemsworth) in his post-Endgame reality, having left Earth and New Asgard in favor of teaming up with the Guardians of the Galaxy. Naturally, things don’t go smoothly for any of them–and after some time (done in montage, of course) spent galavanting around the cosmos with the Guardians, Thor is forced to break off from the team and deal with a new threat facing god-kind. Gorr, the God Butcher (Christian Bale), an alien with a specific vendetta against any and all deities, has been roaming from planet to planet, killing every god he can find–and this includes Earth, where the Asgardians have settled after their own world was destroyed. These events set in motion a journey for Thor which reunites him with his old flame, Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), the new King of Asgard, Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), and a handful of other familiar faces along the way.