Thor (plot) point
August 13, 2022 5:43 AM   Subscribe

I have a question about potentially triggering material in the most recent Thor movie, Love and Thunder. Inevitable spoiler alert so there's

I've been told that there's material related to chemotherapy in Love and Thunder and also a death from cancer. For those of you that have had experience of those events in your family, how extensive are those references and did you find them sufficiently upsetting that in hindsight you wish you'd not seen this installment, or was it a relatively minor part of the plot and somewhat cushioned by the overall tone of the movie?

I'm a bit unsure as to what to do here, as I do have quite a soft spot for the hammer-wielding guy (and also love The Guardians, especially Rocket) so I would like to see this film if I can, but I've just started to get back on my feet a little after a run of anniversaries related to losing my dad that hit me harder than I expected this year, so I'm just trying to be a little mindful about putting myself back into that headspace again.

Happy to read minor-ish spoilers in thread if that will help you make your case for seeing it or not?

Thanks in advance!
posted by Chairboy to Media & Arts (11 answers total)
Best answer: Chemotherapy and dealing with the consequences and pain is a major plot point of the movie. It would definitely remind you of your own experiences. I wouldn't say the outcome was particularly satisfying way, but I suppose some could see it as uplifting.

If you don't want to think much about chemotherapy, I would simply avoid the movie. I don't think the movie was much better than any other marvel movie, and much less important than avengers, etc, to the cinematic universe!
posted by bbqturtle at 6:19 AM on August 13, 2022 [3 favorites]

Best answer: It was definitely surprising and upsetting a bit for me personally, having lost my wife to non-cancer disease earlier this year. But I've been doing "well" in terms of dealing with her death, but yeah those things were hard.

That said, the after credits scene was extremely comforting on the subject of death and lost, at least for me personally. The person who died in the movie fought hard and to me that fight and suffering was acknowledged and admired in the after credits scene, which was deeply meaningful.

I think this is something that will be pretty indivilastic, as grief usually is. It might come down to the particular mood you have when seeing it. If you go, I'd recommend viewing it with a good friend if possible, someone who has been good at listening and being there for you through all this.

Rocket and the Guardians make brief appearances near the beginning of the movie and they aren't it much. Overall, the film is humorous, but from your description of your situation I'd guess that the chemo stuff will be touchy, so tread carefully there.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:34 AM on August 13, 2022 [5 favorites]

Best answer: I’d call the decline, loss, and fallout central to the plot, in a way that (for me) honored really crappy circumstances. In other words, it didn’t feel like a cheap ploy, if that affects your decision making.
posted by tchemgrrl at 7:14 AM on August 13, 2022

Best answer: While it’s not a very graphic depiction of cancer and resulting death, I agree it’s a key and recurring plot point that starts early in the film and lasts to basically the end of the film. It’s completely unavoidable. Also the guardians are barely in it. They make an appearance in the first few minutes and that’s it. I kept expecting them to pop up again later but they don’t. It’s more of a cameo than having any substance.
posted by Aranquis at 8:00 AM on August 13, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I think if the MCU hadn't killed off the vast majority what few major female characters it has, it would have landed differently, but for me, it just felt like yet another woman fridged in the service of Man Pain.
posted by Tamanna at 8:15 AM on August 13, 2022 [6 favorites]

Best answer: I have extensive experience watching a loved one go through chemo -- in my case, my bestie was in full-time cancer treatment for 5.5 years (!!!) and then died. And Thor just made me really angry, because they put this character into cancer mode and then didn't have the guts to show what that's really like. The character "suffered" by looking pretty and weak, while still sporting a full head of hair. It annoyed the fuck out of me.

(Also, I freaking hated the movie, entirely separately from this storyline. I usually enjoy Marvel's stuff but this just felt lazy and boring from start to finish.)
posted by BlahLaLa at 8:44 AM on August 13, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I approached this movie with trepidation because I am currently dealing with a beloved dog's drawing near the end of his extended battle with cancer. I agree that one's reaction will be individual and maybe not even predictable in advance, but I will say that the character involved is surrounded by quality support. Even the universe honors their choices. I found that somewhat comforting.

I wasn't really expecting an even vaguely realistic physical depiction of cancer from a comic-book movie, but if that's important to you...this movie doesn't have that.
posted by praemunire at 10:10 AM on August 13, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The cancer is completely unnamed, they never identify what type, but there is a lingering scene of chemo treatment and then hospitalization later, plus numerous shots of Jane in weak/ill/suffering mode. The Guardians barely exist in it and the trailer/promo shots are mostly misrepresentations of their appearance in the movie. I definitely struggled a bit with some of the illness stuff, but my friend and I did find it kind of bitterly amusing that it's just generic "cancer." I love Thor too, but I was really disappointed in it, and I'm not sure that loving the character might make it worth the emotional turmoil you could have.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 1:58 PM on August 13, 2022 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Everyone has addressed the cancer issue (my niece died at age 29 from a rare cancer, it was hard to watch in the movie) but no one has really said that this is kind of a bad movie in general. I am a HUGE Marvel fan and I'm a little pissed that I spent money on it in the theatre. If you're concerned about your reaction, there's no reason not to wait til it's streaming.
posted by cooker girl at 4:16 PM on August 13, 2022 [2 favorites]

Best answer: This movie has some cute moments, but it is definitely NOT the lightning-in-a-bottle that Ragnarok was (which I think is the best MCU movie). The writing is uneven, not all of the jokes work, the plot doesn't hang together super well, but there are some good performances and it is funny in spots. It's very mid.

I'm a cancer survivor and the cancer stuff felt kind of cheap to me in the sense that it was used so extensively in the plot but the reality of being sick was never really grappled with.
posted by jeoc at 5:33 PM on August 13, 2022 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks all - I decided not to go in the end, and I think that was the right decision. Marking this as 'resolved' now.
posted by Chairboy at 7:43 AM on August 15, 2022

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