Thursday, January 21, 2016

I watch "Almighty Thor" so you don't have to!

Today is Thor’s Day, so why not celebrate with an *ahem* cinema classic.

Look I get a hammer too, even though I get
no billing on the DVD cover at all!
Oh, the Asylum. You keep B-movies alive and for that we have to thank you. Their series of mockbusters continued this year with the epic Almighty Thor, clearly no relation to any Marvel movie that may have been released at the same time.

Johnny Depp got old and became Captain Jack Sparrow.
Richard Grieco got old and became... this.

As the movie opens, Loki (Richard Grieco after far too much drugs & surgery) and his giant devil dogs besiege Asgard. Odin (wrestling’s greatest star without ever working for it Kevin Nash) along with his sons Balder (?) and Thor (Cody Deal, most famous as a guy in the background of The Hangover) visit the Norns only to learn their fate is sealed: death. Thankfully, Odin manages to hurl his “Hammer of Invincibility” (because no one at the Asylum apparently knows that Mjolnir isn’t copyright protected) to where it first formed.

Everyone but Thor quickly die (the prophecy said so after all), and Thor enters straight Luke Skywalker mode. Prince Whiny-boy of Asgard tries to attack Loki, but nearly dies. Thankfully Jarnsaxa (because no one at the Asylum apparently knows that Sif isn’t copyright protected) comes to his rescue. After an overly long-winded chase segment, they escape to Midgard (because someone at the Asylum apparently knew they could use that).

They arrive in an unnamed city in the daytime, one apparently only populated by a mugger and his victim. They immediately flee to a safehouse Jarnsaxa keeps on Earth (because why not), and Thor learns how to use a gun. I respect the Asylum for this quite a bit, because honestly the only thing cooler than a hammer swinging god of thunder is one that also will just shoot you in the face.

"Wow. Guns are cool."
Loki soon follows, and apparently the city wakes up somewhere midday and everyone that drives in it has a broken horn that is always on.

Thor and Jarnsaxa decide that they haven’t traveled through enough portals, and go through another one to the heart of the Tree of Life (because no one at the Asylum could spell Yggdrasil). Of course, Thor will have to fight a knight at the Tree of Life to get the Hammer of Invincibility, because why not?

At the heart of the Tree of Life, it always rains and everyone must fight with
two swords. Because shields are for wee pansies. 
Director Christopher Ray has some sort of obsession with slow motion action sequences and even more so than previous fights, this one shows that slow motion coupled with bad choreography isn’t a good thing.

The heart of the tree turns out to be just a big tree, but Thor does get to hear Daddy’s voice and learn “The power is now yours.” Sadly this isn’t followed by a Captain Planet or He-Man cameo. Thor does get the Hammer of Invincibility though. How useful it will be for him remains to be seen, as Loki already offed Thor’s dad while he held an item with “Invincibility” in its name.

Thor turns in to Whiny Boy again as he confronts Loki, only to have magic powder thrown in his eyes and Jarnsaxa needs to save his ass again.

Unfortunately the movie derails from here as Thor apparently defeats Loki, but it’s only a set-up for a painful mind game that serves mostly to eat up time, but does finally give Loki the dang hammer.

Humans finally get vaguely involved with the story at this point as well, but only in the “Loki has summoned monsters to Earth” way.

After Thor is captured, he goes through a really creepy Jesus sequence as he’s trapped against a wall, prays to his father, and given the willpower to ‘rise again’ against Loki. Except he doesn’t, instead getting thrown in to Muspelheim, a place no two actors can say the same. (Thank goodness they didn’t use ‘Yggdrasil’ then.)

"Ah! I'm falling! Ooh, a birdie!"

Alone and surrounded by some lava (or at least super-imposed over it), Thor whines for a bit because he hasn’t done quite enough yet. Meanwhile Loki travels to the heart of the Tree of Life to kill it, because that seems like a good idea to good ol’ Pasty Pete.

For some reason, everyone else in Muspelheim is dead except Thor, but he sets out to forge a weapon for himself. He does this by picking up some lava and shaping it like clay, just like blacksmith’s have done for centuries.

After the required ‘beat up the military’ segment, it’s time for the final confrontation between Loki and Thor, now sporting a semi-shiny new hammer and a muscular new chest plate. It goes pretty much as expected from there.

Thor gives a few final words to the Norns before the film ends.

Sadly, Almighty Thor fails to live up to the so-bad-it’s-good mentality of many Asylum films, instead falling in to just mediocrity. It tries too hard to be taken seriously and in the process drains a lot of the fun out of the utter stupidity of much of the film.

Still I can’t help but think this is the Thor film we would have got if Marvel had signed a contract for it 20 years ago. If you’re interested in picking up the film it is now available at Amazon.

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