THOR – LOVE AND THUNDER [4DX Review]: Rock ‘n Seat Roll!!

THOR - LOVE AND THUNDER [4DX Review]: Rock 'n Seat Roll!!
@TravMoody

I don’t remember these seats ever feeling like a carnival ride. 

Maybe it’s the two Thors. Too much Thunder for one film! Then again, it has been almost 2.5 years since yours truly had attended and reviewed a movie screening in 4DX. The technological format of 4DX, for those who’ve never experienced it, consists of seats that synchronize with the visuals on-screen; hammer-twirl in some lighting — although not lightening — effects, water sprays, occasional heat, breezy air, smokey fog, and strange, straight from the printing press-like smells and you’re having yourself quite the night.

Don’t get it twisted; watching a movie in CJ 4DPLEX’s presentation can be immersive as hell. But if the effects are too much, it can definitely take a moviegoer out of it. This was my guest’s first 4DX experience and called it “shocking”. Yeah, there was a ton of super — no, god-level — battles in Thor: Love And Thunder, so the number of times the seats ricked and rocked throughout wasn’t a shock to me. It was the level of punch.

No worries, kids– ya boy Moody didn’t wind up in the ER, but I did almost slip off my seat a few times, and that back-stab effect (typically during swords through the gut) isn’t the most fun thing. But look–maybe it had been too long of a while since my last 4DX visit, or, likely, I’m just getting a wee bit sensitive in my adult age. That said, I did ask my +1 what she thought the best part of Love And Thunder was in 4DX and she noted how meticulously precise the effects were to what was captured on-screen. I totally agree. Thor 4-DX was definitely on-point, and the gusting wind effects throughout made the film feel more sweepingly intergalactic. I was expecting more lightening strobe effects but, maybe I missed them having been resorted into sitting second row. Don’t sleep when buying tickets for Marvel, peeps!

While this 4DX experience had it all (but sprinkles of snow that one particular climactic scene could’ve utilized!), I can’t help but wonder what it’d be like to be set inside the cockpit of an F-18, gliding, banking, and zooming around the cinematic skies. But, hey, few movies have beaten Maverick in anything this year, so I’m sure Tom’s chartbuster takes the cake in 4DX quality too.

If you’ve watched Marvel movies in 4DX (or the panoramic ScreenX) before and loved it, though, do it. And if this is your first time pondering the format, wait for something a little more.. subtle. Deadpool 2 was the last time I said “ouch” in my head many times over watching a 4DX movie, and this one punts it off the galaxy. That also might feel extremely appealing to those who enjoy extreme movie-going adventures. You’re definitely getting your money’s worth with this one if you’re looking for some butt-rocking action. Hey nowww

As for the flick itself, I’ll save you the suspense (seeing how you likely watched it 3 times by now!): I liked it. I liked it a lot. Thor: Love And Thunder is indeed a polarizing venture, and a lot of that hate is coming from people who just aren’t happy with Disney/Marvel things in general (or life.. in general.. heh). But I can see why it’s separating us: it’s got Taika Waititi‘s footprints all over it. Kevin Feige must’ve handed him the keys to the neon green Corvette and said “have at thee!” If you love Waititi’s quirkiness in your Marvel movies, even so smothered with expository “Tales of Asgard” via his own character, Korg, then you’ll be okay.

Seeing how Love And Thunder is a movie involving viking warrior/lovers, it’s hard to fault those who expected and wanted something more epic for their dollar. I get it. Maybe this was Taika’s way of romancing everyone affected by Covid depression with a fun, no-frills comedic action feature rather than anything too smothering with dire circumstances. But wait! That’s totally in there. Christian Bale brings his own hammer (err Necrosword) and dramatic levity to the ball and totally rocks it as Gorr The God Butcher, despite needing another 10-12 minutes for his arc to be fully fleshed.

THOR - LOVE AND THUNDER [4DX Review]: Rock 'n Seat Roll!!

There aren’t many more masterful actors out there who own their craft, yet the former Dark Knight is one of them. Bale steals his scenes. And that stuff with Eternity — aka the physical manifestation of “THE Universe” — in the film’s climax was juicy (does this mean I have to watch Eternals nowww?). Well, you remember the Living Triburnal in Doc Strange in the MoM… It’s all definitely building up to something. Back on track: Bale’s Gorr is written stronger in Jason Aaron’s Marvel Comics saga, without question. That said, Gorr’s still an upgrade from every other villain in Thor movies who isn’t Thor’s brother.

Chris Hemsworth (Thor) and Natalie Portman (Mighty Thor) definitely rise up to the occasion, too. When you have someone as storied as Bale on the call-sheet, you better not mail it in. The result: these two have never been better in the MCU. In fact, I’d venture to say that no single character has had as much growth as the one Thor Odinson. Despite all the quirky jokes and campy moments (especially with the Guardians in the flick’s opening fifteen), you can feel the 15-plus year burden melt off Hemsworth’s chest. Thankfully, his now “mightier” Thor’s presence — a cancer-sick Dr. Jane Foster — never feels forced. I’ve yet to see anyone cry about “girl power” or use the dreaded W-word in regards to her new found clothes.

Not only does Portman look DDG as The Mighty Goddess of Thunder, she owns the part with strength, stature, awkwardness and uncertainty. This once astrophysicist is battling cancer, after all. To top it off, Waititi’s many fight sequences are twice as fun to watch (when you’re not falling out of your seat or smelling some spray oil smoke thing) due to the tag-team power of Mjolnir x Stormbreaker! Thor’s constant banter with his own axe is one to behold, and when Jane finally finds her signature catchphrase, how can you not cheer? Or, cry?

Sure, nerds, Love And Thunder might not have the best story, greatest character development, or most original plot. And we needed a much better final act for Tessa Thompson‘s King Valkerie! Yipes! But it’s so much freakin’ fun, and that’s appreciated in this new, crazed multiverse of Marvel cinematic/streaming madness.

Movie = 4/5 Asgardian Meads.

4DX = 3.75/5 (first time = 3.5/5; veterans = 4/5)

-Travis Moody

Good news: you still have another week (until 7/21) to catch Thor: Love And Thunder at your local 4DX-optimized theater.

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