Thor: Love And Thunder Reviews Are Online, And People Are Going Nuts Over Bale

Chris Hemsworth is back for another go in the MCU, as Thor: Love and Thunder is set to hit theaters July 8. Fans have been waiting on this one for a while, and anticipation is high to see how it might tie into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. We’ll also see Christian Bale making his MCU debut as Gorr the God Butcher. The reviews are in, and it seems like the critics are loving the MCU’s newest villain.

The first reactions to the latest MCU Phase 4 project were promising, with many who were able to screen the movie early saying that not only does director Taika Waititi bring the laughs, but there’s also plenty of heart in this one. Let’s dive a little deeper into what the critics think of the film, starting with our own CinemaBlend review of Thor: Love and Thunder. Eric Eisenberg rates the film 4 stars out of 5, saying it’s not quite as strong as 2018’s Thor: Ragnarok, but despite its uncomplicated plot, the additions to the MCU canon are strong:

Gorr The God Butcher may have a simple arc and motivation, but there is a very good reason why the production hired one of the greatest talents of his generation to play the role, and it pays off in the very first scene of the blockbuster as the antagonist is introduced. The phenomenal power of Christian Bale’s performance shapes the way we feel about Gorr, and while he looks like a horror movie villain, it’s surprising just how empathetic he still is.

Tom Jorgensen of IGN rates the blockbuster a “Good” 7 out of 10, saying the movie is held back a little by its cookie-cutter plot, but the actors pick up the slack, with Christian Bale being a haunting addition to the MCU:

The God Butcher, both haunted and haunting, vacillates between theatrical mustache-twirling and unnerving resolve, and Bale treats every shade of the villain with verve. It’s clear Bale’s relishing the opportunity to portray a comics character that’s a little more playful, even on a quest for vengeance.

Josh Spiegel of SlashFilm says the God Butcher’s backstory is an early indication that Love and Thunder is darker than Ragnarok was, and Christian Bale’s is able to shift seamlessly into the grimmer tone, proving that his comic book movie talents extend beyond Batman:

Where ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ does work unequivocally is in serving as a reminder that Christian Bale is an excellent actor. For a cinematic franchise built on good guys vs. bad, there are not a ton of truly memorable villains in the MCU, but Bale makes Gorr pretty close to unforgettable with his genuinely very solid performance.

Germain Lussier of Gizmodo says the movie overall can be a bumpy ride, but the excellent cast brings their A-games, so it’s never boring to watch. Christian Bale gives a particularly layered performance, this review says:

Most of the film’s success is thanks to the cast, who do a masterful job of balancing the pinpoint tonal bullseye Waititi is after. Bale’s Gorr goes from terrifying to humane to hilarious in the blink of an eye. Portman’s Foster is heroic and exciting while also harboring a very sad reality. The same can be said for Hemsworth’s Thor, who this time has to be not just the happy-go-lucky Thor, but have enough tension in the performance that he could burst into sad tears at any point—which he does, on several occasions.

Like the critic above, many reviews praised the acting overall, with many singling out Tessa Thompson for her return as Valkyrie. Brian Truitt of USA TODAY was among those critics, who also loved Christian Bale as Gorr, comparing him to another classic villain:

Thompson’s Valkyrie continues to be an enjoyable supporting player, riding into battle in a Phantom of the Opera sweatshirt. And Bale is outstanding as Gorr, joining Thanos and Killmonger among the best of MCU’s rogues gallery. There is a deep sense of pain and trauma with this former zealot yet Bale lends a playfully horrifying, maniacal quality to him a la Pennywise.

If you can’t wait to check out Christian Bale as the MCU’s newest villain, you can catch Thor: Love and Thunder in theaters on Friday, July 5. Be sure to check out when you’ll be able to see other upcoming Marvel movies, and you can also start planning your next trip to the theater by taking a peek at our 2022 Movie Release Schedule.

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.