(director: Taika Waititi; screenwriters: story by Taiki Walker/Jennifer Kaytin Robinson/based on Marvel comics by Stan Lee; cinematographer: Barry Idoine; editors: Matthew Schmidt/Tim Roche/Peter S. Elliot/Jennifer Vecchiarello; music: Michael Giacchino/ Nami Melumad; cast: Chris Hemsworth (Thor), Natalie Portman (Jane Foster/The Mighty Thor), Christian Bale (Gorr), Russell Crowe (Zeus), Taika Waititi (Korg, Old Kronan God Voice ), Sean Gunn (Kraglin, On-Set Rocket), Jaimi Alexander (Sif), Karen Gillan (Nebula), Chris Pratt (Peter Quill, Star-Lord), David Bautista (Drax), Tessa Thompson (King Valkyrie), Vince Diesel (Groot Voice), Bradley Cooper (Rocket Voice), Pom Klementieff (Mantis); Runtime: 118; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: Brad Winderbaum/Kevin Feige/David J. Grant; Walt Disney Pictures; 2022)

“A silly new Thor.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi (“Jojo Rabbit”/”Eagle vs. Shark”) five years ago had given new life to the series with his cheeky superhero film Thor: Ragnarok. He now directs and writes this version as a parody of the film, and it’s a misfire. It’s a silly new Thor, the Norse God, with another jokey script (which I found witless and tiresome) with Jennifer Kaytin Robinson, and Waititi also plays the rock alien Korg-Thor’s sidekick.

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has entrusted Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson) to rule the port city of New Asgard while he left earth on a space-traveling adventure with the rag-tag Guardians of the Galaxy (Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementeiff and Vin Diesel).

Back on earth, the once-pious Gorr (Christian Bale) feels betrayed by the deity he idolized after his young daughter dies and in anger he blames it on the deity. Gorr (the God Butcher) vows revenge, as he wields the Necrosword in the hope to kill every divine being in the universe. And he reveals a nefarious master-plan to take over the universe, even if destroying it, and, also, of reviving his dead daughter.

Thor (plays a self-mocking character, as in a running joke he sings atrocious Guns N’ Roses songs) is now forced to respond to Gorr with a rescue mission.  Returning to New Asgard, Thor discovers his lover Dr. Jane Foster (Natalie Portman) now wields his hammer Mjolnir as “Mighty Thor,” but is dying of cancer. Also New Asgard’s theme park, offering Viking boat rides and mythological re-enactments, Gorr terrorizes and kidnaps all the children there. Thereby Thor, Jane, Valkyrie, and Korg unite to fight the villain.

At this point the film became too cartoonish for me, as I tuned out the ensuing big battles to come seeing how there was no way for me to like this ridiculous film.

The story is a joke. It relies on its talented cast to get over (but they have no chops as comedians to be funny).

Russell Crowe has an inane bit part as the skirt-wearing, curly haired, babbling and petulant Zeus, as he’s fallen way down the ladder from his days as a star.

This is a superficial film, all kitch, that tries too hard to please the viewer. Hey, it also features screaming goats.