The build up to any new MCU movie and TV show always contains a massive amount of hype. Especially when the media in question looks like it’s doing something completely different from anything the MCU has already put out. Leave it to Taika Waititi to lead the charge of some new weirdness in his second go-around in the MCU with Thor: Love and Thunder. If, like many comic fans, you are anxiously waiting on the edge of your seat for Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) next adventure, here are seven excellent movies to tide you over until Love and Thunder rocks the big screen.
1. Galaxy Quest
Galaxy Quest is a celebration of all things sci-fi with an amazing blend of tongue-in-cheek jokes and emotional sincerity. The film is about a group of washed up actors who starred in a Star Trek type show about 10-15 years prior to the events of the film. While attending a fan convention, the crew of actors are taken away by aliens who believe them to be the actual characters from their show. This movie is so well regarded that a lot of Star Trek fans accept this movie as being an honorary Trek movie. To be held in the same regard as classic Trek movies like Wrath of Khan and the one with the space whales is high praise from a notoriously picky fan base. To say anything more about this film would only ruin the twist and turns it makes, but this film has become a cult classic for a reason. It has a lot of heart, an excellent sense of humor, and career best performances from Tim Allen and the late, great Alan Rickman. This movie is ahead of it’s time, and is available to stream on Paramount +.
2. Jojo Rabbit
As Love and Thunder has been described by the people involved as being more emotional than Thor Ragnarok, it’s a good time to see how Waititi can pull at your heart strings while also making you laugh. If there are any major flaws in Thor: Ragnarok, it would be that the dramatic moments had no room to breathe and were always undercut by jokes. If only judging by Ragnarokit would be hard to believe that Waititi is capable of drama, when that could not be further from the truth.
Jojo Rabbit follows the story of the titular Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) and his family as they try to survive in Nazi Germany as World War II rages on. Jojo is indoctrinated by the Nazi party so effectively that he sees Hitler, played by Waititi himself, as his imaginary friend. Waititi balances this film with gut-bursting jokes and intense tragedy in a way that most directors would fumble. This is the only film on this list that comes with a slight caveat, which is that it does not shy away from how horrible the Nazi party was during the Holocaust. If that at all sounds like something you won’t be able to stomach, it might be better to appreciate this movie from afar.
Jojo Rabbit is not currently streaming on any service, but it is available to rent and buy on all major outlets.
Mel Brooks is one of the best comedians to ever stroll across the silver screen. The crown jewel of his cinematic classics is Spaceballs. Besides being one of the best parody movies ever made, it also has a deep love and understanding of every space-themed movie it lampoons. There’s an argument to be made that this film is even funnier today than it was in the ’80s. The ongoing jokes in the movie about the merchandising machine, and the cynicism of making sure the IP never dies hit a lot different since Disney bought Lucasfilm.
Spaceballs is currently available to buy or rent on all major outlets.
4. Men in Black
The first Men in Black movie is a perfect example of a fun, sci-fi romp. Perfect to pair with Thor’s latest adventures, like a fine red wine with a well-cooked steak. It does not take itself too seriously, but it never becomes a farce either. There’s a lot of charm in this movie, especially with the chemistry between the buddy space cops played by Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones. The choice to tell a story in a world where space aliens live among us being set in New York City only enhances the worldbuilding and setting. It’s a cliché at this point to say that New York City is “like a character in the movie” but Men in Black is a rare case where that is actually true. In a movie where the general public do not seem fazed by aliens failing to act like real humans, it’s almost like NYC is the only location that would fit for this idea.
Men in Black is currently available to watch on UMD for PSP. Which isn’t an optimal way to view this film but a fun fact nonetheless. The movie is actually available to stream on DirecTV.
5. The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai: Across the 8th Dimension
I do not believe this has ever been explicitly stated, but Waititi’s sillier take on Thor that has been put in place since Ragnarok, is heavily inspired by Buckaroo Bonzai. The character of Buckaroo Bonzai is a near perfect human: renowned across the world as a highly skilled brain surgeon, a rock star, and a superhero. The movie is meant to evoke the tone of a comic book that’s in the middle of its run. It treats each character as if the audience already knows them and are just along for the ride in a new standalone adventure.
Every couple of years a sequel or a TV show is threatened to be made (but up until this point all of them got stuck in development hell) and it is easy to see why. This nonsensical goofiness lends itself to more stories. This makes it nice to see directors like Waititi carry the torch of what this movie was aiming to accomplish in their own features.
Buckaroo Bonzai: Across the 8th Dimension is currently available to stream on YouTube.
6. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)
Douglas Adams’ seminal Hitchhikers series is one of the most influential pieces of sci-fi comedy ever made. The book series has been adapted several times across multiple mediums, but the movie adaptation has an extra layer of bittersweetness. Hitchhikers was Adams’ baby, he was very protective of these characters and stories and how they were portrayed. He was so protective that he became one of the few authors to write the film adaptation of their own source material. Sadly, Adams’ passed away before the film released, which is how the movie became so bittersweet. This film was the last work from one of the greatest modern authors.
While this 2005 adaptation Hitchhikers isn’t the most faithful adaptation in the world, it still oozes with Adams’ sharp wit and absurdism. It is also a very hopeful movie, challenging cosmic nihilism with genuine kindness and love. It’s a bit cheesy, but who doesn’t love cheese?
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is currently streaming on Prime Video.
7. Mars Attacks!
This movie is essentially a cartoon, and one of Tim Burton‘s most underrated films. The movie is about Martians invading Earth as an ensemble of different characters deal with it. This movie embraces its B movie influences to make a film that’s deeply dark as it is hilarious. The schlock of this film is counter-balanced with some pretty funny social commentary. Seeing everyone from the President of the United States (Jack Nicholson) to a low level soldier (Jack Black) completely fumble and make things worse never gets old, and how this film ramps up the stakes make it feel as if it came out of a Looney Tunes short.
Not every joke in this movie is a winner, but it’s fascinating to see Burton tackle something that isn’t inspired by gothic horror. While there is a lot of death in this movie, it never forgets the B-horror movie inspirations. It’s silly, it’s darkly humorous, and more meta than would be expected for a mainstream movie that came out in the ’90s.
Mars Attacks! is currently available to buy and / or rent on all major outlets.
Check out more mighty stories about ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’:
Thor 4 ‘: Release Date, Cast, MCU Connections & Everything We Know So Far About’ Love and Thunder ‘
Thor Recap: From ‘Ragnarok’ Leading up to ‘Love and Thunder’
‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ Featurette Explores the Hero’s Journey and Legacy
Natalie Portman on ‘Thor: Love and Thunder,’ Deleted Scenes, and Playing The Mighty Thor
First ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ Reactions Call It a Bright Spot and the Best of Phase 4