Gorr, the God-Butcher (Christian Bale) and his daughter, Love (India Hemsworth), struggle to cross a barren desert. Even though they pray to the god Rapu, Love dies. Gorr is called by the god-killing Necrosword and it leads him to Rapu’s lush kingdom. Rapu (Jonathan Brugh) dismisses Gorr and tries to strangle him. The Necrosword appears and Gorr kills Rapu with it. He vows to kill all gods. He can manipulate shadows and produce monsters at will but is cursed with death himself and totally corrupted by the weapon.

After Gorr kills a number of gods, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) learns of a distress signal from  the goddess Sif (Jaimie Alexander) and leaves the Guardians of the Galaxy (Chris Pratt, Pom Klemmentieff, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillen, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, and Sean Gunn) to respond. He finds Sif injured, warning him that Gorr is threatening all of Asgard.

Thor’s ex-girlfriend, Doctor Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) has been diagnosed with cancer and travels to Asgard, hoping that Thor’s fractured hammer might cure her. Because of a spell Thor put on it years before, it reforges and bonds itself to her, making her a new Thor. The old Thor arrives in New Asgard just as Gorr’s attack begins. He teams up with Foster, Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), who is the new King of Asgard, and Korg (director Taika Waititi). Gorr escapes their wrath, kidnapping Asgardian children and holding them in the Shadow Realm.

Axl (Kieron L. Dyer) has inherited the abilities of his father Heimdall (Idris Elba) and contacts Thor, who wants to form an army of gods, and he travels to Omnipotence City. Zeus (Russell Crowe) is afraid of Gorr and refuses to help, thinking they are safe where they are. He orders Thor and company captured to prevent them from revealing their location. Korg’s body is destroyed, but his head remains alive. Thor impales Zeus on a thunderbolt, which Valkyrie steals. Thor and Foster become a couple once again and Thor learns of her illness.

They arrive at the Shadow Realm but cannot find the children. Foster thinks it was all a trap because Gorr wants Thor’s axe Stormbreaker, to summon the Bifrost and enter the realm of Eternity, who can grant his wish to kill all gods. Gorr overpowers them, severely injuring Valkyrie, and they retreat to Earth. Gorr steals Stormbreaker. Foster finds that using Mjolnir weakens her and may soon kill her. Thor talks her into letting him fight Gorr alone. Thor finds the children at Eternity’s altar and with Zeus’s thunderbolt he imbues them with his power to battle Gorr’s monsters while he goes up against Gorr. When Foster senses that Gorr is about to kill Thor, she joins the fight with Mjolnir. They smash the Necrosword, freeing Gorr from its influence, but they are transported to Eternity’s realm.

Thor begs Gorr to revive his daughter instead of destroying the gods, then leaves to attend to Foster, who is dying. Gorr wishes for Eternity to revive his daughter Love, which it grants. Gorr dies of the curse, asking Thor to take care of Love. Korg’s body is restored and he starts a family. Foster’s sacrifice is honored in New Asgard. Valkyrie and Sif begin training the children. Thor adopts Love, who joins him. She wields Mjolnir and he wields Stormbreaker. In mid-credits, a recuperating Zeus sends Hercules to kill Thor. In post-credits, Foster arrives at the Great Hall of Valhalla and is welcomed by Heimdall.

The film was directed by Taika Waititi, who wrote the script with Jennifer Kaytin Robinson. The original story was in the Mighty Thor comic book series by Jason Aaron, in which Foster becomes Thor. The movie was praised for its light-hearted nature and the performances of Christian Bale and Natalie Portman. Gorr’s daughter Love is played by Hemsworth’s daughter India, and the wolfwoman by his wife Elsa Pataky. The Asgardian children were played by the children of Bale, Porter, and Waititi. Jeff Goldblum, Peter Dinklage, and Lena Headey were cut out of the film. As usual with Marvel films, it was announced at the San Diego Comic-Con. The romance was important to Waititi, as was the crazy adventure surrounding it.

The Asgardian Actor’s Group—Matt Damon, Sam Neill, Luke Hemsworth, and Melissa McCarthy—appear in the story. Michael Giacchino did the music, as he had done for Doctor Strange (2016) and the MCU Spider-Man trilogy. Because of censorship demands, the film was not released in Malaysia, Brunei, Kuwait, and Bahrain. Valkyrie is bi, oh my. Christian Bale did not want to be in another superhero film, but his kids begged him to do this one. Natalie Portman reported that Bale in costume as Gorr was terrifying, even before he spoke. In the comics, Gorr looks a lot like Voldemort, so his face was changed. It was Russell Crowe’s idea for Zeus to speak with a Greek accent.

Thor’s goats, Toothgrinder and Toothgnasher, appear, straight out of Norse myth. They scream a lot in the movie. Chris Hemsworth bulked up to 231 pounds for the role and looked amazing, particularly in his nude scene. He had to eat eight times a day to maintain that weight. On days when they filmed kissing scenes, he would not eat meat because Natalie Portman is Vegan. Make up your own joke. She had to stand on boxes because Hemsworth is literally a foot taller than her. The scene in which Korg addresses the children in a cave was based on a scene in Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. The film is vintage Waititi—fantastic action, romance, dumb jokes, and heartbreak, all mixed together—and a perfect vehicle for Hemsworth.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever should be out in November. I will review it as soon as I can see it and will continue with the rest of Marvel’s Multiverse Saga.

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