Thor (Chris Hemsworth) had recovered from his post-depression obesity and said farewell to the Guardians of the Galaxy. Just when he returned to New Asgard, the town was attacked by shadowy creatures who were abducting the children. Thor led the fight against the intruder with his axe Stormbreaker. He was surprised to see his ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) also there in thick of the fight, wielding his old hammer Mjolnir.
The entity behind the abduction of the Asgardian children was Gorr (Christian Bale), the so-called God-Butcher because of his quest to kill all gods with his special sword called All-Black, the Necrosword. Thor, Jane, New Asgard king Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) and stone gladiator Korg (Taika Waititi) hied off to ask Olympian god Zeus (Russell Crowe) for assistance, before they set off on their dangerous rescue mission.
This is the fourth MCU film with Thor as the featured hero, and the second one with Taika Waititi at the helm. With Waititi comes his irreverent sense of humor, so again comedy was a major part of this installment, despite the serious subject matters of cancer, murder and kidnapping at hand. Some comic touches do go overboard for me, especially with Russell Crowe caricaturish portrayal of Zeus, which was quite evident in the trailer.
Practically everyone was portraying their characters tongue-in-cheek, even Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson. The main narration was done by Korg in a light-hearted manner, as if telling a bedtime story to kids. After their short cameo in "Ragnarok," Sam Neill, Liam Hemsworth and Matt Damon are back with their silly theater actor roles, with a new guest star. The post-credits scene was so awkwardly shot, it looked like a lame comedy skit.
The only actor totally serious here was Christian Bale in the role of Gorr. The first five minutes of the film were devoted to telling his back story, how he became the God-Butcher. As expected of Bale, he was totally committed to this tragic character, with his pale scarred skin and wiry physique. (I've never noted it before, but there was a distracting mole between his right eye and nasal bridge which he may need to pay medical attention to).
'80s hard rock band Guns N' Roses dominated the musical soundtrack of this film. We already heard "Sweet Child of Mine" in the trailer. It turns out that there would be three more GNR songs in the mix, including "Paradise City," "Welcome to the Jungle" and "November Rain." This GNR fixation was even incorporated into the script, with Heimdall's son preferring to be called Axl (like the GNR frontman) rather than by his Asgardian name.
This review was originally published in the author's blog, "Fred Said."