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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Promotes teamwork, empathy, perseverance, choosing love over guarding your heart, and asking for help.
Positive Role Models
Characters show courage and persevere, as well as brainstorm how to defeat rivals. Thor is always brave, but in this installment he's also open to love and to collaboration with Mighty Thor and Valkyrie. He learns to listen instead of acting impulsively. Jane is brave, selfless, willing to sacrifice her safety and comfort to help Thor with their mission. Valkyrie is a brave king, a necessary partner to both Thors.
The Asgardians include some people of color (most notably Valkyrie and Axl, played by Tessa Thompson and Kieron L. Dyer). Additional ethnic/racial (and species) diversity within the background supporting cast. Strong women role models in Jane and Valkyrie, who are both intelligent leaders. Valkyrie is bisexual. Writer/director Taika Waititi, who also voices Korg, is half Maori.
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Violence & Scariness
Children are in danger: kidnapped, kept hostage. In opening scene, a young girl dies from exposure and starvation. Many battles in which people are injured or severely hurt. Hand-to-hand combat, fighting with weapons. Characters are incapacitated or die. Spoiler alert: A major character dies from a long illness, another seems to break apart but survives.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Two references to orgies in the realm of the gods. Scantily clad women surround Zeus. Two people kiss passionately, embrace, hold each other. Thor's clothes are magically removed; his bare back is visible, including his butt. Women who can see him from the front swoon, and two women joke that they "didn't hate" seeing that. Flashbacks to Jane and Thor's romantic relationship. Peter and Valkyrie allude to their lost loves. Flirting. Korg tells a story of how rock babies are made (when two rock dudes hold hands and a rock baby eventually comes out).
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The words "s--t" and "s--ty" are said multiple times or in different combinations: "really s--tty," "holy s--t," etc. Other words include "hell," "stupid," "piss off," "oh my God."
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Products & Purchases
Visible brands include Converse, Fritos, Kettle Chips, Lays, Cheetos. Also a ton of off-screen Marvel merchandise tie-ins with toys, apparel, games, and more.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Tourists in New Asgard are treated to mead at the end of their tour. Valkyrie says a keg of alcohol is necessary for a trip.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Thor: Love and Thunder is the sequel to 2017's Thor: Ragnarok and the fourth Thor movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This time around, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) bids goodbye to the Guardians of the Galaxy when a new threat appears in the universe: Gorr the God Butcher (Christian Bale), whose mission is to kill every god. Expect plenty of comic book-style action violence, including weapon use and hand-to-hand combat, as well as two injuries/deaths that are likely to upset younger audiences. The story focuses more on love and romance than most other MCU films, with kissing and affection between a couple and discussions of true love and the "ones who got away." There's also a suggestive scene in the realm of the gods where a planned orgy is mentioned more than once and women literally swoon at seeing Thor stripped of his clothes (audiences see him naked from the rear). Language includes several uses of the word "s--t," plus "piss off," "hell," and "oh my God." Families can check in on the movie's messages about the importance of choosing love, asking for help, and persevering despite the odds. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Director Taika Waititi can't quite re-create the alchemic chemistry of Ragnarok in this serviceable but less exciting sequel, partly because Jane and Thor's romance doesn't spark. Putting the romance between Thor and Jane at the center of the story is unfortunate, because as talented as Hemsworth and Portman are, they have a bland on-screen presence together (especially when compared to Tom Holland and Zendaya, or Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany). Both Thor and Jane have far more interesting relationships with their closest friends -- in his case, Thompson's Valkyrie, and in her case, Kat Dennings' Dr. Darcy Miller. The banter and teasing they have in these platonic friendships far outshines the platitude-filled commentary about the power of love. So it's partly the actors (since this issue also existed in the earlier Thor films) and partly the screenplay, which tells more than it shows about love. Portman has always seemed an odd casting choice in this role, and though she finally has more to do in this movie, the fit still seems off. At least Korg and Valkyrie are there to add humor to the occasionally cringey early encounters between Thor and Jane.
On the bright side, this Thor, who's vulnerable and open to love, shows more depth than the young, arrogant, and reckless one who didn't think about consequences. He's no longer a selfish god. Speaking of gods, Crowe adopts a strange, pseudo-Italian accent to play a Greek god, and it just doesn't work, which makes Zeus more caricature than actual character. Still, it's fun to watch the former gladiator play an aging and all-powerful god. The land of the gods also leans heavily into Waititi's quirky humor, like when it features Bao, the god of dumplings, or references the not-so-kid-friendly orgy the deities have planned. Just as rock 'n' roll (Led Zeppelin in particular) played a big role in Ragnarok, the music in Love and Thunder is dominated by use of Guns N' Roses' greatest hits, including "Welcome to the Jungle," "Sweet Child O' Mine," "November Rain," and "Paradise City," which are played during key sequences. And kids will appreciate the role that the Asgardian children eventually play in aiding their trio of leaders. They'll also get a kick out of the screaming, flying alien goats who become a running gag. Will this sequel make audiences laugh? Yes. But does it exceed or even meet the expectations set by Ragnarok? No.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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