Almighty Thor (2011) (92 minutes)
Directed by Christopher Ray.
Written by Erik Estenberg.
Starring Richard Grieco, Patricia Velasquez and Kevin Nash.
The Asylum film company is pretty famous in certain cinematic circles as the company that puts out knock offs based on blockbuster hits. Snakes on a Plane became Snakes on a Train, while Transformers became Transmorphers! When they do it right, The Asylum are capable of crafting hilarious pieces of cinematic cheese. But when they do it wrong, boy do they mess up! Almighty Thor falls into the later category.
Taking its inspiration from the release of the then new Marvel Studios Thor movie, Almighty Thor has its own approach in showing us the legend behind the hero. Loki is up to his old tricks again though and has stolen the hammer of invincibility, which obviously makes Odin pretty miffed. On a good day Odin is not someone you want to trifle with, but when he is played by ex-WWE wrestler Kevin Nash you better watch out! Now Kevin Nash has his good days and bad when it comes to film roles. He was fun in The Punisher and he does pop up (and out in fact) in a small role as a stripper in Magic Mike. But here he gets to do all of nothing and his acting is pretty terrible. This is because he is shown as a bit of a wimp and gets killed off pretty quickly as does Thor’s other brother. I am not up to speed on most of Thor’s back story so he could indeed have another brother. I would like to think if he does, he got more plot development than the guy did I this. These deaths are meant to serve numerous purposes. It is meant to show Loki’s power, add some gravitas to the movie and help to set Thor on the track he needs to become a champion. Good to know it fails in all of departments.
I feel a little sorry for Cody Deal who plays Thor. Taking a page out of the Marvel movie, The Asylum has obviously tried to make their Thor into an inexperienced, hot headed braggart and cocky warrior. This is what they wanted. What they actually did was create a surly teenager. Watching Thor throughout the movie is like watching a teenage boy have a tantrum. Imagine an even whineier Luke Skywalker and you are on the right lines. This does not make for a pleasant viewing experience. He is trained to fight by Jarnsaxa (who I can remember nothing about, which in this film is probably a plus point, as it means she did not mess up to much) in the ways of fighting. I think the aim of the film at this stage was to try to add some sexual tension between the two of them, but it never comes across. Maybe if Thor stopped moaning for 10 seconds we would know for sure. From here it is a race to Earth, where Odin has hidden Thor’s hammer and where Loki is also looking for it. After numerous tussles on our lovely home planet Thor gets sent to hell, but comes back and saves the day!
Loki, who you would expect to be the main draw in this movie, turns out to be a bit of a flop. Compared to Thor he is a breath of fresh air, but he never really makes any kind of impact. This could be because he comes of like a hammy Emo Goth, wearing white face pant and spouting lines like “Every fabric of the universe is against you Thor” (which Thor responds to in typical teenage fashion “Damn the fabric of the universe!”). In a lot of scenes he looks like Gary Newman and his CGI powers (including the awful dog creatures he has) look dire and very silly to be honest. The film tries to make him appealing though. They have him push a sword through his head in one scene. It is just a shame that it is obviously just been held behind actor Richard Grieco’s head. He even pretends to be Thor’s dying love interest to get at Thor’s hammer, something I imagine Freud fans will have a heck of a time annualizing.
It is heartbreaking when a film that could have been a trash classic falls so far from the mark. The budget was obviously an issue. This movie was never going to be able to match the sheer scope of a Kenneth Branagh film, but it is a shame that it does not even try. If a scene does not happen in a forest of some kind, then it happens in an alleyway. These are the two main locations throughout the film. CGI is used to create destruction, but it never does its job. When needing to pad out the run time we get slow motion scenes, and we get them a lot! This is a film that has both Loki and Thor having an automatic gun fight and it fails to raise a smile. Thor gets sent to CGI hell and somehow manages to craft his own hammer out of molten lava making the whole quest for his actual hammer pretty redundant. The film introduces elements like the World Tree and the Sisters of Fate to try and fool us into thinking the scale of this is more epic than it is, but you forget about all of that when watching the movie because of how bad it is. So Almighty Thor fails to amuse even on a bad, but good level which leaves us which just a bad movie. Shame as with some tweaking it could have been great…well possibly great!