Thor: Love and Thunder (12A 119 min)
Verdict: Now Not to Surprise
Brian and Charles (PG 90 mins)
Verdict: Fit Funny Jodi Comedy
Now that the surviving members of the gang are older, no longer making movies together, no one really uses the adjective ‘Pythonesque’. Yet it was the word that came to mind during the new Marvel blockbuster, Thor: Love and Thunder.
Should one want to be reminded of Monty Python when watching a superhero movie, that’s a moot point, maybe even a Thor point. The Odeon garnered plenty of chuckles and cheers during Tuesday evening’s gala screening at Leicester Square. Heaven (and Valhalla) knows, I’ve seen enough superhero movies over the years that have taken themselves at least as seriously as Newsnight. That’s why I’m generally inclined to applaud those who don’t.
That said, director and co-writer Taika Waititi, who got the balance just about right in his previous Marvel outing, 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok, leaned too far this time towards swoon. Her picture is occasionally found in her search for laughs, but when the comedy falls flat she does so with a super-thump.
Ungodly: Natalie Portman and Chris Hemsworth in Thor: Love and Thunder
Still, there’s no mistake in the cast list. Christian Bale, recognizable under a Voldemort makeover, plays a mortal whose possession of the evil enchanted ‘Necrosword’ enables him to turn his disillusionment with the gods into a murderous rampage. He becomes the Gor the God butcher and, like the Pied Piper, steals all the children from the realm of Asgard, terrorizing them in his den.
Thor (Chris Hemsworth) vows to bring them back, paying a visit to Mount Olympus in hopes of raising an army, but Zeus (Russell Crowe, amusingly the King of the Gods plays as a kind of prissy). Rather no support from the camp (Greek-Cypriot chip-shop proprietors). Zeus is not impressed by the Norse God of Thunder (‘Isn’t thunder just the sound of lightning?’ he scoffs), but the same cannot be said of his female acolytes when Thor strips himself of his essentials. Takes. That scene caused quite a ruckus in Odeon.
Leaving ‘Omnipotence City’ without an army of immortals, Thor must instead rely on the help of Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), warrior Korg (voiced by Waititi), and his human ex-girlfriend, physicist Jane Foster (Natalie). . Portman), who suffers from a terribly debilitating disease, but is usefully invested with superpowers from his old hammer.
All of this would be as silly as it sounds without even accidentally referring to Portman’s character as Jane Fonda and then Jodie Foster — twin examples of that script for cheap laughs. In fairness, working gags work well. Matt Damon, Sam Neill and Melissa McCarthy have funny but enjoyable cameos as Asgardian amateur theatrical troupe, and other scattered pleasures, but the fact remains that the kidnapped Asgardian offspring include Waititi’s own children, as well as Hemsworth, Portman and Bell’s children are also involved. Exactly all you need to know about a film that often plays like a big joke that we, the audience, are left out.
That is why, I hasten to add, so I have not attached the adjective pythonesque. I’m as big a fan of Python’s masterpiece Life of Brian (1979) as anyone – though I must say I don’t think there’s anything inherently funny about Brian’s legendary name.
Obviously I’m in the minority, because the protagonist of Brian & Charles, played happily by the film’s co-writer David Earl, is a British comic archetype—a perpetual social misfit who lives on his own, dreaming up crackpot inventions. Is.
Brian and Charles
He has a lot of antecedents in popular culture. When I was a kid, it was a strange old cove called Professor Branstrom. Anyway, sporting a gorgeous beard and a pair of Deirdre Barlow specs, Brian lives in a dilapidated cottage in rural Wales, gently…
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