Thor: Love and Thunder – REVIEW & COCKTAIL

If you’ve been following the Marvel Cinematic Universe for its nearly 30 film run, you may remember a time where no one really cared all that much for Thor Odinson. Chris Hemsworth always did a fine job with the character, but after a passable first film and a largely forgettable follow-up, it’s safe to say that Thor was needing a serious kick in the ass if people were going to remember him for anything more than being the half-brother of one of the best MCU villains.

Enter Taika Waititi, a New Zealand director known best for his low-budget, quirky comedies and heartfelt dramas like What We Do in the Shadows and Jojo Rabbit. Before he was winning Oscars, Waititi was brought on to direct the third Thor film, Thor: Ragnarok, which turned out to be a fantastic move, because not only do I believe its the best Thor film, it’s one of the best MCU films period. A lot of people complain about the MCU’s reliance on comedy in their films about colorfully-dressed muscle heads, but a comedic touch certainly has done wonders for the character of Thor. Ragnarok not only upped the public’s stock in Thor, but in Waititi as well, who is now going on to create new projects for Star Wars. Flash forward a few years to now, and another Waititi/Thor movie may just be what Marvel’s Phase Four needed.

Natalie Portman as Jane Foster (left) and Chris Hemsworth as Thor (right)

.

.

That’s what I thought anyway.

The hell happened with this movie? All of the right ingredients were in the pot, but somehow the final dish came out lukewarm and flavorless. Thor: Love and Thunder is essentially the sleepwalking counterpart to Ragnarok. A lot of what we see here feels half baked, low effort and sorely misguided. Sure, Marvel has slowly been trucking down this path for a while, but I really thought Waititi would be the one to pump some heart into these increasingly obvious products.

That trademark Waititi wit feels shockingly absent here, with some of the laziest dialogue and humor in any MCU movie to date. Remember when screaming goats were a hilarious craze back in the day? Well, if you’ve recently woken up from a ten year coma, you’ll be happy to hear that there’s a pair of goats here ready to bleed your eardrums dry. Whatever charm that was in Ragnarok seems to have been switched out for surface level emotions and themes.

Tessa Thompson as Valkyrie (left) and Natalie Portman as Jane Foster (right)

Chris Hemsworth does a fine job as always, but man does it feel like Natalie Portman and Tessa Thompson don’t want to be here. I mean with the script they’ve been given I get it, but these two important characters feel super underutilized. Speaking of underutilized, we had the potential to have an absolutely terrific villain in Christian Bale’s Gorr the God Butcher, but he barely leaves an impact. Which is a shame, because Bale is giving it his all and is certainly the standout here, but he’s utilized all too little and never given enough time to really show how cool of a villain he could be. 

As for the visuals, they can be really hit or miss, and when they miss, got damn do they miss. There’s some interesting ideas at work here, like a black and white realm where the tiniest slivers of color manage to crawl through, but outside of that we get some of the worst green screen and visual effects the MCU has ever seen. And this is not a dig at the VFX team themselves, as its now becoming more and more apparent how thinly stretched they’ve become with the movies and TV shows, so Marvel, that one’s on you. I also feel the need to bring up the entire “80s” aesthetic this film advertised, because outside of a few predictable needle drops, I’m not really seeing the point. Was it all a marketing ploy because the 80s are still hot right now? Guns n’ Roses are cool, but did we really need Welcome to the Jungle and Paradise City? 

There’s a few bright spots like the aforementioned Gorr, an aggressively Greek Russel Crowe as Zeus, and a few cool action sequences here and there, but overall this is such a let down. Maybe I wouldn’t care as much if it was a film from someone other than Waititi, someone whose films I’ve really enjoyed. I don’t know what happened here and who is really to blame, but I think I feel comfortable in saying this is the biggest misstep of the MCU’s Phase 4 films so far. Hopefully the famously smoothly produced Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will be a bit more palatable.

Rating

(out of a possible 5 lightning bolts)

The God of Thunder

How can one possibly harness the thunderous power of Thor in one cocktail? Well, to make a drink with an electrifying mouthfeel I’ve turned to a heavy use of citrus in the forms of lemons and limes, as well as some added sweetness from a little bit of peach. That’s all well and good, but I needed something to take this cocktail one step further, something to give it a unique taste that will give you a mouthfeel unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. So, allow me to give you a brief botany lesson.

There is a naturally occurring herb out there that goes by many names. Schezuan button, toothache plant, electric daisy, and perhaps most popularly; buzz button. These little flowers have this super interesting property that, when ingested, cause this crazy mouthfeel that electrifies your salivary glands. Sounds like the perfect ingredient for this kind of cocktail right? Well buzz buttons aren’t always the easiest to find, and when you can, they aren’t exactly the cheapest. However, I came across this terrific product that harnesses the power of the buzz buttons into a flavorful powder that’s perfect for cocktail rims. 

It’s called Electricdust, and they were actually super kind enough to send me a free sample of their cocktail dust. You can buy their product straight through their website, along with some other really cool cocktail ideas that will go right along with their product.

The cocktail, combined with the Electricdust, comes out as a tart, slightly botanical cocktail that manages to also be light and not overly sweet. The dust will certainly take your mouth on a 80s rock-fueled ride, so if you get a chance to get your hands on some, give it a try!

Ingredients

  • 1.5oz citron vodka
  • 3/4oz peach schnapps
  • 1/2oz lemon juice
  • 1/2oz lime juice
  • 1/4oz blue curacao
  • Top: Sparkling water
  • Float: 1oz Empress gin (or butterfly pea-infused gin)
  • Rim: Electridust
  • Garnish: Lemon peel

Instructions

  1. Before making the cocktail, rim a tall cocktail glass with a lemon or lime wedge, then coat the rim with Electridust.
  2. Add ingredients to a shaker and shake with ice.
  3. Open pour into prepared glass, adding more ice if needed.
  4. Top with sparkling water.
  5. Layer Empress gin on top.
  6. Garnish with lemon peel cut in the shape of a lightning bolt.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s