Off the bat, go see Thor: Love and Thunder. It is a good blockbuster flick. About on par with Thor: Ragnarok but seems lesser because unlike Ragnarok, this one had expectations of quality after the shift in quality from the first two Thor films. I doubt it will be anyone’s top Marvel films, but I would seriously question anyone who has it among the worst. It is solidly a middle, slightly more toward the top than the bottom of the rankings, tier Marvel film which still makes for an enjoyable summer flick.
Now, I am not saying this is a perfect movie. In fact, there are several aspects one could criticize. For example, the promise and premise of the trailer versus the actual film that was offered. The balance of humor to narrative to darker elements. Personally, I think Taika kept this up as well as his other productions, but can understand why others might not be as cool or interested in Waititi’s style. The lack of a definitive end to many characters in the Thor universe/world that is intended as obvious set up for more projects or another film entirely. Again, there are definitely elements of this film that can, and should be, criticized. However, much of the current criticism doesn’t do this or relate any real critique of the film.
A lot of the criticism of this film, outside of the fuck anything MCU crowd, seems to be annoyed that the film on the screen was not the one they imagined in their heads. Like, one common criticism I have come across is that there is too much humor or the humor is not funny. I am not sure what one would expect from a Taika Waititi film but Love and Thunder was very much a Taika Waititi film. Also, many of the people complaining about the humor in this film absolutely loved Ragnarok which did the exact same thing. Another complaint is the level of queerness in the movie. With one argument being the very presence of queer sexuality being an issue while the other stating that there isn’t any or enough queerness in the movie. Which was never promised or teased at any major point much less that there would be a romance between Jane and Valkryie. Again, you cannot complain that something you wanted didn’t happen when it was never actually a suggestion.
You can not like a film. You can be disappointed that an element you really wanted didn’t happen. However, you cannot critique a film based on those disappointments especially when they only ever existed in your hopes and dreams. It’s also noticeable that the turn against Taika coincides with his appearance, promotion, and enthusiastic support of the gay pirate show he plays a very gay Blackbeard on. Because his demeanor, attitude, style, etc., both professional and personal, have not changed. The only major difference between this and the last Thor movie has been the gay pirate show. Yet, the real issue seems to be the same across the board: critics now have an expectation of base quality, so they are more prone to nitpick and dissect Marvel films to a greater degree than other, even similar, films. Still, if you want to see certain things on screen, then make those movies; otherwise, judge the film you are being given and not the one you constructed in your own head.
Either way, the latest Thor movie is a solid middle tier Marvel film that makes for a good popcorn, summer blockbuster. If you want something to see in theaters, highly recommended, and it is just at about two hours, so not too long a movie compared to other superhero films.