Monday, 23 May 2011

Almighty Thor - Film Review

The chances are that if you’re a movie fan then you’ve probably heard of The Asylum. No, I’m not talking about the old barn where TNA held many of their early shows. I’m talking about the film studio.


Basically The Asylum specialises in what is known as the mockbuster. Whenever a big Hollywood blockbuster is released The Asylum boys and girls are there with something similar. For instance, The Day The Earth Stood Still was also the same day as The Day The Earth Stopped. Whenever you see some Transformers you’ll probably see some Transmorphers as well.

They also produce a variety of other low-budget films, many of which involve hybrid monsters fighting each other. The next one will probably be titled Mega Giant Crocogator versus Super Giant Dinosharktopus.

Oh, and they also made a film called Titanic 2. I kid you not.

Thanks to their partnership with the Syfy channel they’ve recently stepped into the realms of the mythological superhero, so while Kenneth Branagh’s Thor was selling out cinemas The Asylum hit the small screen with Almighty Thor.

The film stars a guy named Cody Deal as our god of thunder, alongside Richard Grieco as the god of evil Loki. Some of you may remember that Grieco starred in high school police series 21 Jump Street a few years ago before being spun off into his own series. I guess the producers didn’t think that his co-star Johnny Depp would amount to much in the future.

As a lead character Thor isn’t actually that likeable. He constantly whines about not being trusted by his father Odin, and comes across as a poor man’s Mark Hammill. As for Grieco, it’s obvious that this teen heart throb has seen better days. Either that or it’s the pasty-looking make-up he’s been forced to wear. He spends most of his time wandering around with a sinister smirk on his face.

So while am I talking about this film on a wrestling-related website? That’s easy, because Thor’s father, the almighty Odin, is played by none other than Big Sexy himself, former WCW and WWE World Heavyweight Champion Kevin Nash.

Yep, you read that right. While Kenneth Branagh and Marvel have given us Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins The Asylum gave us Kevin Nash.

It’s obvious from the outset that Nash is only there because he’s taller than Cody Deal and because he’s got long grey hair and a beard. It’s certainly not because of his acting ability, because he doesn’t have any. He’s as wooden as the numerous trees that surround him in the forests where all of his scenes take place.

Let’s not forget his fighting skills either. As someone who marveled at the fight scenes in Highlander and the Star Wars films it looked like big Kev hadn’t had a day’s training in his life. His one and only big scene against Loki saw him swinging his sword about with his right arm while his left arm remained limp by his side. He basically looked like a one armed man in an ass kicking contest.

Thankfully Loki kills Odin early on (I thought Asgardian gods were immortal), so we’re spared from further assaults on the acting world from Big Daddy Cool.

However, that doesn’t stop Deal, Grieco and Patricia Velasquez, here playing a Valkyrie warrior named Jarnsaxa, stinking up the screen as they leave Asgard for Midgard looking for the mighty Hammer of Invincibility.

This brings us to modern day Los Angeles, or rather a few back streets as Loki stalks Thor and Jarnsaxa while they search for the worst prop in film history, before unleashing some strange dog-like creatures on an unsuspecting world, who continue to attack the back streets, totally missing out on any of the city’s major landmarks or population areas while Thor and Loki engage in a final fight to the death in a car park.

Now I have to say that I really have no problem with The Asylum blatantly cashing in on the latest film trends. I thought their version of Cloverfield (Monster) was quite good, and I’ve enjoyed some of their other releases. But Almighty Thor kind of sucked.

The acting is terrible all round. Deal and his co-stars act as if in a production of Asgard 90210. The lighting in the street scenes reminded me of nuclear holocaust thriller The Day After and there’s plot holes you could drive a bus through. It’s as if they just threw a load of ideas at a wall and kept the ones that stuck.

So in all this film doesn’t get the thumbs up. I haven’t seen the other Thor yet, but I’m pretty sure it will be a lot better than this. But if you’re tempted to check out other Thor-related films, look for the Tales of Asgard animated feature instead. They probably spent more on the opening titles than The Asylum spent on this entire mess.