Entertainment Movies 'Thor: Love and Thunder' Called 'Rad' and the 'Funniest Film in the MCU' in First Reactions Initial reactions praise Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tessa Thompson, new cast member Christian Bale and more in Thor: Love and Thunder By Jen Juneau Jen Juneau Twitter Jen Juneau is a digital news writer for PEOPLE since 2016. People Editorial Guidelines Published on June 24, 2022 01:55 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Thor: Love and Thunder's first reactions are in — and it seems like fans will be pleased! The upcoming newest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, led in part by a reunited Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman, is earning serious praise from fans and critics across the board. Eric Italiano of BroBible calls the flick "the funniest film in the MCU," adding, "The jokes are excellent as is the cast delivering them." Journalist Courtney Howard says Love and Thunder is "totally rad" with "an appetite for destruction and laughs," shouting out Hemswoth, 38, and Portman, 41, as "superb." "Russell Crowe & Christian Bale slip easily into the world," Howard adds of the two actors who play Zeus and villain Gorr, respectively. Natalie Portman and Chris Hemsworth in Thor: Love and Thunder (2022). Jasin Boland/Marvel Studios Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human-interest stories. Thor: Love and Thunder first reactions. Twitter Everything to Know About Thor: Love and Thunder Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes' Erik Davis says the film "is everything I wanted it to be," with "big, colorful, weird Guns N' Roses-fueled battles to go w/ a hopelessly romantic story about discovering love in unexpected places. Christian Bale & Russell Crowe are especially great. And Korg!" "Christian Bale is phenomenally menacing as #ThorLoveandThunder's villain, Gorr the God Butcher," writes Kirsten Acuna, of Insider. "One of the creepiest Marvel villains we've ever seen on screen. Gave me some Dark Knight Ledger Joker vibes at one point." Simon Thompson of Forbes, Variety, IGN and more calls the sequel "a vivid and vibrant blast that delivers," giving props to Portman's Jane Foster and Tessa Thompson's Valkyrie for being a "top notch pairing." Italiano says, however, that "the plot felt flat and stakeless," but clarifies, "Not sure if that's a #Thor problem or an MCU-without-a-big-bad problem." Starring Hemsworth as the fan-favorite god, the new film follows Thor after the events of Avengers: Endgame as he sets on a quest for "inner peace," per the official logline from Marvel. Along the way, he interacts with some familiar faces, including King Valkyrie (Thompson, 38), Korg (director and co-writer Taika Waititi) and his ex-girlfriend Jane Foster (Portman), who is shown wielding Thor's legendary hammer Mjolnir by the end of the teaser trailer. The film also includes Bale, 48, as Gorr the God Butcher, a galactic killer who poses as a threat for Thor and his friends. Matt Damon also previously teased he'll have a cameo in the film, after previously appearing in 2017's Thor: Ragnarok. Thor: Love and Thunder hits theaters on July 8.