'Thor' balances between punchlines, pathos

Hemsworth's Thor earns audience's affections


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Natalie Portman and Chris Hemsworth deliver two Thors for the price of one in "Thor: Love & Thunder."

Quirky comedic New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi has more than earned my love over the years, but after watching "Thor: Love & Thunder," I'm starting to wonder whether someone should be exercising control over his sugar and caffeine intake.

Waititi's 2017 "Thor: Ragnarok" elevated the Marvel Cinematic Universe's "Thor" franchise from its competent yet uninspired onscreen origins, in the Norse God of Thunder's previous two MCU films, by abandoning the mock-Shakespearean aspirations for which Kenneth Branagh was hired to direct the character's 2011 cinematic debut.

Marvel Comics' Thor h...

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