to simply call the asylum movies low budget or b-movies would be an insult to low budget filmmakers and b-movies. we’ve all seen and love movies made with a minuscule budget. i haven’t done the math but i would say most filmmakers with limited funds would try to cover up the low budget part and pack in as many interesting and entertaining elements into their movies. instead of special effects and grand sequences, they would spend the time and effort to work on and develop things that don’t involve money, like screenplay, characters, mood, tone, dialogues…etc. almighty thor is the 7th asylum movie i’ve seen*, so i know by now pretty much what to expect. regardless of what asylum level you’re on, it is still an insult, though not as big as some of the other asylumnites i’ve seen.
lucky for them, norse mythologies are not copyrighted, so they get to make a movie with the word thor in the title, and premiered it the day after marvel’s thor came out. the asylum logo doesn’t seem to show up in the beginning of the movie. so equal blame goes to SYFYllis since the only logo we see in the opening is “syfy presents.”
i guess i could do the usual plot summary but i really don’t think i should spend more time on the plot of almighty thor than the people who made the movie. much like marvel’s thor, there’s the hero thor, the bad guy loki, thor’s dad, thor’s brother, there’s also a female sidekick/love interest.
in this version, thor and loki are not related, thor has another brother just so he can get killed. instead of oscar winnner anthony hopkins, we get wrestler kevin nash (d.o.a.: dead or alive). loki is played by richard grieco (tv’s 21 jump street, if looks could kill, mobsters). the female sidekick/love insterest is played by patricia velasquez (mindhunters, the mummy 1 & returns), who looks kind of like a hispanic sandra bullock, or roselyn sanchez (tv’s without a trace, rush hour 2, boat trip, basic, the game plan). her character’s name is jarnsaxa, so she really doesn’t have any choice but follow the myth of being the love interest. she does however, chooses to dress like she’s either an extra on xena the warrior princess, or ready to be the next pussycat doll.
instead of going with the wrestler look like the marvel’s thor movie, they decided to go with the owen wilson-esque surfer dude who looks like he’s going to a costume party or renaissance fair. and he acts about as intense and driven as owen wilson.
the first act of almighty thor had me worried, it’s more or less the opening sequence of a real movie stretched out to an act. in a real movie, it would have been 15-20 minutes tops. but like most asylum movies, things are repeated over and over with nothing developed. this part wouldn’t look too out of place in a uwe boll movie. the fight scenes are more or less 300-ish, with slow motion every once in a while. we also see thor’s hood in ps1 quality graphics.
things get slightly better when they get to presumably earth in present time. jarnsaxa helps thor to be inconspicuous on earth, so she gives him a trenchcoat. i don’t know in this universe the matrix exists. she also apparently has a base on earth that looks like the stock room of an electronic store, except with lots of guns. yes, she teaches thor how to fire a gun in this hideout/stock room. they fire twice in this small headquarter and each time the camera shakes. way to be inconspicuous. i do have to say, it’s some kind of commentary on the state of the earth when they have to use guns instead of swords and hammer to fit in our society.
so that’s something. i don’t often think about things like statements and commentaries during an asylum movie.
of course, loki follows them to earth. there are some fish-out-of-water type situations here but thankfully they didn’t try to be funny about it. some passersby look at loki strangely, but to me he just looks like a middle aged dude who’s going to a goth club, or some magician/illusionist who has a reality show on cable.
most superhero and action movies try to stack things heavier on one side (one man vs. an army, regular size man vs. big men, a lone cop wrong place at the wrong time vs. a terrorist group) so when the hero wins at the end, it feels like the underdog won, so the audience would feel like it really is triumphant. almighty thor tips the scale way over the line. we see loki as a pretty good fighter in the first act. but then he also has abilities like shape shifting, summoning and communicating with dinosaurs type creatures, has flashbacks to events that he was not a party of, and simply walking by or touching inanimate objects he can see inside them and find out what happened moments ago. he can also regenerate like t-1000 even though he bleeds when his hand was cut off. although my favorite has to be the ability to materialize sand out of nowhere. he actually fights off almighty thor by blowing sand in almighty thor’s face.
almighty thor himself on the other hand, as seen in the movie, is anything but almighty. we repeatedly see him losing fights, getting beaten, and just an emo whinny bitch in general. they try to create an unlikely hero but it seems like they often forgot about the hero part. i don’t think you can call yourself a hero or a norse god if you start yelling and needs minutes when someone blow sand in your face.
loki is after the hammer, i think i realized that after about the 50th time he said “i want the hammer.” he really is 2 legit 2 quit. not thor’s hammer but the hammer of invincibility.
except this hammer of invincibility is pretty vincible when almighty thor has it. at one point he actually has the hammer of invincibility AND an uzi and yet he still loses.
loki takes the hammer of invincibility eventually, but not before he straps almighty thor to the side of a building and send almighty thor to hell, where he apparently use the hellfire to create a new hammer, but one that’s piñata-looking that’s made out of paper.
despite all that, almighty thor is a baby step up from some of the other asylum movies. but that’s not really surprising since even uwe boll seems to evolve, however small the improvement is. as with most asylum movies, there are scenes that are shown numerous times, but not as many this time as their other movies. there are way too many scenes of people running alongside walls. they also repeated a scene with loki walking down the same block, which i don’t understand. is richard grieco that expensive? anyway, they are rising into the zone of merely crap from the so-bad-it’s-good territory.
also like most asylum movies, the special effects and graphics veers between nintendo 64 and ps1. they really got ambitious in the third act with loki and his dinosaurs wreck havoc in the city, kind of a poor man’s version of roland emmerich type disaster porn. there are also some pretty decent overhead footages of the city, which i always appreciate. i have to give them credit for expanding the scope and the stakes. i always thought it’s weird that all the earth scenes in marvel’s thor seem to take place in one block, with natalie portman’s lab and the diner and the hammer location within one block radius. so i guess it’s something for an asylum movie to actually be superior to the real thing.
in addition of the numerous mentions of the hammer of invincibility, there’s also the tree of life, which is mentioned frequently. it’s kind of unfortunate that the only sure in so far this year for best picture will associate forever in my mind with an asylum mockbuster.
almighty thor is currently available on netflix instant