Audiences, Critics Left “Sobbing” After Emotional ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ First Screening

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Chris Hemsworth as Thor Odinson

Credit: Marvel Studios

Get ready for an emotional punch to the gut.

The Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) red carpet World Premiere took place yesterday — and critics and reviewers are beginning to weigh in with their first takes on the Taika Waititi-directed Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) Phase Four film.

Thor opening his eyes
Credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios’ official Twitter covered the live event, yesterday:

Love, thunder, and a whole lot of stars. Tonight’s the World Premiere of Marvel Studios’ #ThorLoveAndThunder 

Follow along to see who arrives 

During an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Waititi tried to prime audiences for what to expect — of course, apart from the return of Natalie Portman as Jane Foster (and now, the Mighty Thor).

Waititi prefaced the much “crazier” Marvel film, saying:

“It’s like we asked a bunch of six-year-olds what they wanted in a movie, and then just said ‘yes’ to everything. Okay, it’s like, it is… it’s so ridiculous!”

Ravager Thor throwing his cloak behind him in the middle of battle
Credit: Marvel Studios

He continues, in an attempt to drive home the sheer absurdity of his new Thor entry — that still manages to stick somewhat to Norse mythological canon:

“It’s… a viking ship, being towed through space by two giant goats. And that’s what Thor rides around on in this movie.”

Chris Hemsworth as Thor Odinson
Credit: Marvel Studios

Reviewers and critics, however, were still unprepared for how emotionally gut-wrenching Thor: Love and Thunder apparently turned out to be.

Without spoiling exactly why (let’s all try not to think about those rumors), many who got the chance to watch Thor early all seemed rather surprised at the intense emotional reaction that Love and Thunder elicited.

Natalie Portman as Jane Foster/Mighty Thor (left) and Chris Hemsworth as Thor (right)
Credit: Marvel Studios

Warning: Some of the following language may not be suitable for younger readers

Rachel Leishman of The Mary Sue shared her experience with the film, leaving the theatre “sobbing”:

holy shit. #ThorLoveandThunder  is the perfect blend of taika at his best with comedy and a punch to the gut all in one. i left this movie emotionally satisfied while also sobbing and just perfection. we stan a dad rock soundtrack. in the words of my new favorite characters: AHH

Erik Davis from Fandango also joined in on the hype, claiming that it was definitely “more emotional” than the previous, Waititi-directed Thor: Ragnarok (2017) — additionally warning any Marvel fans that they had better stay for the post-credit scenes:

There are lots of fun little details in #ThorLoverAndThunder, so keep your eyes open. It’s more emotional than #ThorRagnarok, but both films have a really great sense of humor & the best side characters (the goats!). Also, the post-credits stuff is major so don’t go anywhere.

Lyra Hale of Fangirlish seems to have seriously fallen in love with the film, and also advises audiences to “bring tissues” — finally, throwing it a “chef’s kiss”:

#ThorLoveAndThunder is the GREATEST movie Marvel has made so far! I’m not joking. I haven’t laughed that hard since Ragnarok and I feel invested in Marvel again in a way that I haven’t since Endgame. Also, bring tissues. The journey is *chefs kiss* from start to finish!❤️

Brandon Davis of reiterates Hale’s sentiment of the film’s capacity to reignite a passion for the MCU, sharing that there are also “great surprises” for fans in-store:

#ThorLoveAndThunder is absolutely electrifying. My favorite #Thor movie of the four.

Taika Waititi through and through. It’s mature, the soundtrack rocks, and there’s great surprises. So much fun.

Feels like the best of MCU Phase 1 and Phase 4 in one entry. Loved it.

Richard Nebens from The Direct found it “unexpectedly personal and heartfelt”, as well as “deliver[ing] an emotional story” — it might be his favorite Thor movie:

#ThorLoveAndThunder is predictably hilarious yet unexpectedly personal and heartfelt. Christian Bale and Natalie Portman’s performances truly shine while Waititi delivers an emotional story. I think this may be my favorite Thor movie.

While member of Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Courtney Hoard, and Simon Thompson of Variety and Forbes had more general (though still extremely positive), praise to share:

#ThorLoveAndThunder has an Appetite For Destruction & laughs. It’s totally rad! Taika Waititi delivers a subversive, irreverent spectacle. Great story, stakes & character-building. Chris Hemsworth & Natalie Portman, superb.Russell Crowe & Christian Bale slip easily into the world

With Thompson congratulating Christian Bale pulling off Gorr the God Butcher, and contributing his own “critic’s chef’s kiss” to Russell Crowe as Zeus:

#ThorLoveAndThunder is a vivid and vibrant blast that delivers. Hemsworth’s Thor remains a jewel in Marvel’s crown. Bale’s Gorr is a killer boogeyman blending the campy and the creepy. Portman’s Foster and Thompson’s Valkyrie are a top notch pairing. Crowe’s Zeus is *chef’s kiss*

Andrew J. Salazar of DiscussingFilm though, had a slightly more tepid response, claiming:

#ThorLoveAndThunder gets better when it’s not trying to desperately recapture the magic of Ragnarok. Most of the humor doesn’t land as well as it did the first time, but Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, & Christian Bale do the best with it.

More coming soon to

He further clarifies that fans will simply “get what they came for”:

I’m not really disappointed because the movie you see in the trailers is what you get here. Can’t help but feel like Taika could have cut a lot of the humor to make more room for Portman and Bale. Also, the 2nd half of the movie looks marginally better than the first.

All in all, these first looks at Thor: Love and Thunder definitely leave us with the notion that audiences will likely walk away from the cinema this July having experienced a veritable roller-coaster of emotions — so get your tissues ready.

Let’s just try not to think too hard about what that could mean.

Are you hyped for this galaxy-traversing Thor adventure? What do you think of these first takes? Sound off in the comments below!

Part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Thor: Love and Thunder is slated to premiere in theatres July 8, 2022.

It stars Chris Hemsworth (Thor Odinson), Natalie Portman (Jane Foster), Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie), Christian Bale (Gorr the God Butcher), Chris Pratt (Peter Quill), Dave Bautista (Drax the Destroyer), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Pom Klementieff (Mantis) and Russell Crowe (Zeus).

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