Directed by: Christopher Ray
Starring: Patricia Velasquez, Kevin Nash, Richard Grieco, and Cody Deal
Studio: The Asylum Home Entertainment
DVD Release Date: May 10, 2011
Unrated but warning that it contains scenes of fantasy action violence
The Asylum has done it again. They have taken something sacred like a mythical hero of the nature of Thor and completely desecrated it in such a manner that it is somehow the equivalent of a train wreck you can’t look away from. Why wouldn’t they? It’s what they’re best at and it’s entertaining. Take everything you’ve seen in the big-screen adaptation of Marvel’s super hero character and subtract about $149 million from that budget and you’ll get an idea of what to expect visually and quality wise from “Almighty Thor.”
“Almighty Thor” picks up when ” the demon god Loki destroys the fortress of Valhalla and steals the Hammer of Invincibility. Only the young hero Thor can protect Earth from Armageddon.” As has been the case lately, “Almighty Thor” premiered on the SyFy Channel in their Saturday night movie slot. This was the very night after Marvel’s “Thor” came out in theaters. This “mock buster” was pressed and ready to hit retail outlets on DVD the following Tuesday. It’s a fine-tuned process that The Asylum has practiced now for many years and it works. You know those poor souls who for whatever reason think they can rent a movie the very next week after it comes out in the theater from a Redbox? These are the guys who thrive on that stupidity. Hey, it’s not their fault.
In all honesty, director Christopher Ray has improved his pacing with “Almighty Thor.” There doesn’t feel like whole sections of film were added just to hit the 90 minute mark like some of the other Asylum movies. Then again, that’s another part of the charm that their films hold. The story, while not very intricate, is actually not too bad either.
The cast of “Almighty Thor” features the regular “semi-big” name actors who haven’t done much lately but are still interesting. This time around we get Richard Grieco as the god of mischief, Loki. Now if seeing Grieco, one of the studs of the late eighties, strut around the streets of some nameless city in a Batman-like leather and plastic costume with spiky parts all over it and an evil grin on his face isn’t enough to make you tune in I don’t know how else I can convince you. Pro wrestler Kevin Nash takes on the role of Odin by yelling a lot and acting angry. “The Mummy’s” Patricia Velasquez plays a warrior who seems to have solely been put on the Earth to protect Thor from getting beat up and looking stupid through a lot of the film. Relative newcomer Cody Deal takes on the lead role with short hair and goes through the film just doing what he has to do to maintain.
The special effects for “Almighty Thor” are entertainingly as uneven as we’ve all come to expect. Loki had some hell hounds following him around doing his bidding that sometimes would look pretty decent and at other times appear to be CGI animation lifted from creature features out of the mid-1990s pasted into the shot. The flashes of lightning when the swords would clash with each other were at least early “Highlander” quality. The vortex that characters would travel between worlds through resembled the one used in the “Sliders” TV series back in the day. The “city” of Valhalla resembled a cardboard cut-out of a castle from a medieval times children’s activity book that they stood in front of a digital matte painting. When the “city” burned, the fire appeared to be drawn in using an out-of-date version of Microsoft Paint.
Special features for “Almighty Thor” include a “Making of” Featurette. It has interviews with the cast, director, and crew about making the movie. There’s also some “behind-the-scenes” footage. The funniest part about this featurette is the Richard Grieco interview where he is so obviously uninterested in being there. Patricia Velasquez seems serious about her role in the film and it shows in her performance. Whether she should have wasted the energy or not, she really made an attempt to put her best foot forward. A Gag Reel is included that is pretty useless. There are some funny scenes of Richard Grieco’s sword getting caught in his cape. The rest is just a bunch of scenes of the cast laughing together about a joke that we’re not in on apparently.
If you’re looking for a fun way to blow an hour and a half then grab a copy of “Almighty Thor.” It’s not going to satisfy fans of Marvel’s version of the super hero, but it will definitely please fans of movies that are completely self-aware that they are low-grade cheese fests for people to poke fun at and have a good time. A pasty-faced Richard Grieco sword fighting in a cape is worth the price of the rental alone. Plus, like the DVD cover says, this is an “Epic Action Spectacle in the Tradition of ”300″ and “Clash of the Titans!'”
“Almighty Thor” is available in Blu-ray and a regular DVD format. You can buy the Blu-ray version right here. You can buy the regular format DVD version right here.