Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman bring romance and comedy to Marvel movie Thor: Love and Thunder | The Sun


(12A) 120mins


THERE are many shocks for Marvel fans in the fourth Thor movie.

Firstly, there is no small matter of Russell Crowe’s wayward accent as Zeus.

For reasons known only to the Australian actor, the Greek God’s voice has travelled via the Caribbean and probably some other places far from the Med.

It’s not like he hasn’t got form — hints of an Irish accent were heard in his Robin Hood in the 2010 film.

Then there is Harry Potter’s Voldemort turning up as the baddie. Well, that’s what Christian Bale’s Gorr the God Butcher looked and sounded like to me.

Funny and heroic

The deadened eyes and slithering gestures all came out of the Ralph Fiennes handbook.

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But that’s nothing. I don’t think this is a massive spoiler — so I can reveal that Thor lost his all-powerful tool to his former lover.

No, that’s not a reference to the scene where Chris Hemsworth’s Nordic God stands naked, but rather to his mystical hammer switching allegiance to Dr Jane Foster.

It’s the twist that redeems this film, a sequel to 2017’s far better Thor: Ragnarok.

As far as fans of these comic movies were aware, the hammer had been split into many pieces and was no longer answering to Thor’s commands.

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But when Natalie Portman’s Jane comes along, she inherits its power. Suddenly, she is the male hero’s equal and that sets off a whole lot of fun.

There is plenty of gentle joshing between the former lovers, with Thor pining for both his hammer and Jane. Much of the entertainment in the film is his attempt to woo both of them back.

Even what could be scary scenes, such as the kidnap of a bunch of children, are given a light touch. That robs Bale’s murderous villain of his threat.

Portman demonstrates her superior acting skills, by deftly weaving in the comedy with genuine romance. Hemsworth sticks with what he does best — being funny and heroic.

New Zealand director Taika Waititi also doesn’t stray far from comedy.

Even what could be scary scenes, such as the kidnap of a bunch of children, are given a light touch. That robs Bale’s murderous villain of his threat.

Waititi can’t resist dropp­ing in gags. Many hit, such as the transformation of a tourist Viking ship into an intergalactic vehicle pulled by goats.

But many have been done before and do not. This time round Thor doesn’t really nail it.



(15) 107mins


ON Australia’s West Coast fifty-something Gina, (Sally Phillips from Bridget Jones’s Diary) is feeling the frustrations of many women her age.

Her marriage to Adrian (Cameron Daddo) is deeply mundane, her children have left home, she’s smart, but overlooked by her boss for younger, perkier colleagues, and the highlight of her day is a morning swim with her girl gang. Then she’s made redundant.

When friends buy her a session with a stripper, who turns out to be a male prostitute, for her birthday, instead of nookie, Gina puts him to work cleaning her house, and a business idea is born – a male cleaning agency offering women X-rated extras or “a minimum of one orgasm”.

Phillips as Gina is always good enough to hold interest, but while pertinent on midlife invisibility the script is otherwise dated and cliché filled.

The women gossip and crave sweet food, while the men are mostly guileless and ignorant, but ultimately kind.

Clearly aiming for Full Monty feel-good factors, the cosy but daft tone careers wildly from gentle, to risqué, to silly, but never quite hits its G-spot.

On Sky Cinema.


(15) 90mins   


THIS off-kilter comedy is a delightful way to spend 90 minutes, mostly because of the misadventures of the titular man and robot played by co-writers David Earl and Chris Hayward.

Fans of The Office and This Country will appreciate the mockumentary style in this quirky, affable tale of isolation and emotional connection.

Brian (Earl) is a middle-aged inventor spending his lonely days in rural Wales building bits and bobs that rarely ever function.

He delivers endearing and awkward monologues to camera about his various failures-in-the-making. But as luck would have it, his biggest project yet comes to life: Charles (Hayward).

The arrival of this looming, self-learning robot sets into motion an odd-couple routine that’s less bromance and more teen angst. For Charles develops a rebellious streak that puts him at risk with a few mean locals.

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Hayward’s stunted, robotic tone makes the jokes hit harder, while well-placed sight-gags catch you off guard with a giggle.

Jim Archer does a stirring job in a directorial debut that might not answer big philosophical questions about A.I. but does insert the sci-fi trope with a big heart.

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