'Thor: Love and Thunder' Review: How Taika Waititi Ruined The Fun Himbo Avenger

With a rock n' roll soundtrack and a bevy of beloved stars, Thor: Love and Thunder seemed poised to be a victory lap for Taika Waititi. After helmer Alan Taylor's Thor: The Dark World went over like a wet fart in 2013, this charismatic writer/director/actor not only rebranded the titular God of Thunder into an adorkable himbo for Thor: Ragnarok but also cast himself as the lovable rock creature Korg.

Waititi also introduced thirst trapping to the MCU by way of a strapped Valkyrie, a naked Hulk, and a long-established sex symbol, Jeff Goldblum. Fans would likely have been giddy for more of the same in Waititi's follow-up.

But while a bunch of the characters we've loved return for this fourth installment, the thrill is gone. Thor: Love and Thunder is a mess that can't make sense of what matters. 

Co-written by Taika Waititi and Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, Thor: Love and Thunder picks up with its eponymous Avenger galavanting around space with the Guardians of the Galaxy, flexing his beefy biceps for good and running from the pain of his long-ago break-up with mortal scientist Dr. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman).

That is, until Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale in Voldemort mode) descends on New Asgard with shadow beasts in tow, kidnapping a handful of Asgardian kiddies along the way to kick off his war against the gods.

It's tough enough to run into an ex, but Thor is a bit crushed to realize that Jane has gotten a post-split glow-up courtesy of Mjölnir magic. Blonde, buff, and clad in Viking armor, Jane is now known as Mighty Thor, and she can kick all kinds of monster butt.

But to bring an end to Gorr's vengeance-fueled annihilation of all gods, these exes will have to team up — and bring along some previously established friends, like Korg (Waititi) and King Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson).

Unfortunately, amid requisite action sequences, introducing new MCU entities, and plentiful flashbacks that doggedly detail the chilly breakdown of Thor and Jane's once-piping hot romance,

Thor: Love and Thunder doesn't have much time for fan-favorite figures. Both Korg and Valkyrie are awkwardly sidelined to make room for Jane, Thor, and Gorr, but even those main storylines feel short-changed.