Thor: Love And Thunder Early Buzz: A Funny And Emotional Sequel That Might Lack Some Of Its Predecessor's Freshness

The first social media reactions to "Thor: Love and Thunder" have started pouring in after the movie's world premiere in Los Angeles.

With "Love and Thunder," Chris Hemsworth's Marvel superhero becomes the first founding Avenger to get a four-quel. "Thor: Ragnarok" reinvigorated the thunder god's solo franchise by tapping into Hemsworth's latent comedic talents, so instead of stopping at three movies like Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans did with Iron Man and Captain America, the actor decided to keep going with his "Ragnarok" director and co-star, Taika Waititi.

Natalie Portman is making her return to the franchise as Jane Foster, and this time, she's wielding Thor's hammer and buddying up with Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie, the reigning king of Asgard. The Guardians of the Galaxy are also on hand to continue their adventures with Thor following the events of "Avengers: Endgame," and there are some new characters like Christian Bale's Gorr the God Butcher and Russell Crowe's Zeus getting in on the action, too.

"Love and Thunder" will have its wide release in theaters two weeks from now, on July 8, 2022, and most loyal Marvelites are probably going to see it regardless of what anyone says. But if late-breaking trailers like the one that dropped yesterday aren't enough to whet your appetite, and you're curious to know what those in attendance at the premiere thought of "Love and Thunder," then all aboard the goat boat for our reaction round-up.

Thor: Love and Thunder social media reactions

First up are /Film's own Hoai-Tran Bui and Jenna Busch, the former of which praised the film for being "pure Taika Waititi," while the latter said "Love and Thunder" is "hysterical and stunning and full of so much heart!" Both highlighted the goats as their favorite characters, and this would become a common refrain in other reactions coming out of the premiere. 

Perri Nemiroff of Collider also said there are "loads of laughs" and called Bale's villain Gorr "chilling," praising the film for how it showcased Waititi's "one-of-a-kind voice." Her colleague Steven Weintraub was more circumspect but said that he "had a blast" with the movie and its credit scenes.

Bale was also a highlight for Joanna Robinson of The Ringer, who wrote that she took "delight in watching [him] slurp up the scenery."

Erik Davis of Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes said Bale and Crowe are "especially great," praised "Love and Thunder" for its "really great sense of humor," and said the buddy-god stylings of Portman and Thompson are "the absolute best in this film." 

Kirsten Acuna of This Is Insider pegged "Love and Thunder" as "the best entry in Phase 4 behind Shang-Chi and No Way Home," writing, "Natalie Portman is FINALLY given her due." She said "Christian Bale is phenomenally menacing" and ranked "Love and Thunder" second overall behind "Ragnarok" in terms of "Thor" movies. 

Matt Neglia of Next Best Picture called "Love and Thunder" "the best Thor film yet," and Lyra Hale of Remezcla and Fangirlish even went so far as to call it "the greatest movie Marvel has made so far." Other critics echoed similar sentiments.

Mixed reactions

Reactions coming out of a Marvel movie premiere are always a bit hyped up if not overly ecstatic, and we can probably expect them to grow more measured as critics start filing their reviews. One early criticism did come from Eric Italiano of BroBible, who said the plot of "Love and Thunder" "felt flat and stakeless," though he praised it in the same breath as "the funniest film in the MCU."

Jacob Kleinman of Inverse was also more muted in his assessment of the film, saying it "can't quite match the visual or comedy bombast of Ragnarok," but that "Waititi makes up for it with an emotionally mature Marvel movie" that is still funny.

Andrew Salazar of Discussing Film added that "most of the humor doesn't land as well as it did" in "Ragnarok," but that "Love and Thunder" "gets better when it's not trying to desperately recapture" that movie's magic.

All in all, it sounds like "Love and Thunder" brings the laughs, which isn't surprising given Waititi's comedy pedigree. It also sounds like it has some heartfelt moments and some terror courtesy of Gorr, and that fans of Bale and Portman (and goats) won't generally be disappointed with their return to the superhero genre, though this four-quel might lack some of the fresh appeal of "Thor: Ragnarok."

We saw a similar effect with "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2," as the novelty of the first film wore off a little, but Kaitlyn Booth of Bleeding Cool felt that "Love and Thunder" might suffer in comparison to that movie.

You can see for yourself what all the buzz is about and form your own opinions about "Thor: Love and Thunder" in two weeks. The hammer of the gods will drive it to theaters on Friday, July 8, 2022.