Thor: Love and Thunder
2022
**½
Director: Taika Waititi
Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Christian Bale, Tessa Thompson, Jaimie Alexander, Taika Waititi, Russell Crowe, Natalie Portman

In his fourth feature, Thor must deal with the return of Jane Foster, his old flame who now wields Mjolnir, and Gorr, a vengeful father who has vowed to kill all gods with the help of Necrosword. Taika Waititi’s Thor:Ragnarok (2017) injected a healthy amount of wacky humour into the franchise, and for many people it represents the highpoint of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The follow-up ups the comedy ante and turns the god of thunder into a total buffoon. While the bad guy is butchering gods and kidnapping children, and the ex-girlfriend is dying of cancer, Waititi cannot get through one scene without turning it into a joke. When everything’s a joke, nothing ends up being funny, or moving. This tone-deaf superhero movie delivers passable two hours, but it doesn’t seem to add anything to the overarching MCU storyline. With four songs, a renamed character, and background props, it looks like Guns n’ Roses sponsored the production.