Looking back to the opening scenes of “Love and Thunder,” and to the battle that won Thor his screaming goats, audiences find that the God of Thunder has expanded his fight repertoire. Previously, Thor was a caped god who swung his mighty hammer with lightning right behind it. By “Love and Thunder,” he has a new head on his shoulders, a powerful axe, and quite a lovely set of abs. The axe, nicknamed Stormbreaker, can channel magical powers, fire lightning bolts, and cut through just about anything with a hard enough chop, it seems. Thor, meanwhile, seems to have gotten more comfortable with fist-fighting and actual martial arts moves, as proved in a scene wherein — perhaps inspired by the masterful Jean-Claude Van Damme — Thor can stop two speeding vehicles on either side of him by kicking his legs out in the splits.
If, upon entering the theater, an audience was looking forward to grounded, hefty fights that employed actual gravity, this scene will convince them to leave their preconceptions far behind.