Thor: The Hammer of the Gods, 2009.
Directed by Todor Chapkanov.
Starring Zachery Ty Bryan, Mac Brandt, Alexis Peters, Melissa Osborne and Daz Crawford.
Thor (Zachery Ty Bryan) and his companions venture on a quest for the Hammer of the Gods – a mighty weapon that can save an island terrorised by wild beasts.
Whenever a big screen adaptation of a comic book or myth/legend (or sometimes both) comes out, you can be sure that following closely in its shadow will be the low / no-budget version. Hot on the heels of last year’s Marvel movie Thor (directed by Kenneth Branagh) comes the release of this made for TV special. The plot lines are different in fairness but the timing of this release is most certainly trying to make use of its bigger budget cousin.
Thor (Zachery Ty Bryan) is travelling with his brethren to a mysterious island, in search of fame and glory. It’s all a bit vague as to what they’re really after at the start of the movie, or quite why they’ve decided to search for the ends of the Earth. In any case, Thor et al get more than they bargain for, encountering wolf creatures. All the while, Thor is plagued by haunting visions of a mysterious and great warrior from a time long ago, which – as is plain to the audience – is himself in a previous life, wielding the Hammer of the Gods. As the kinsmen find themselves in grave danger, it becomes clear that they must try to find the Hammer to vanquish the enemy.
As with many of these cheap cash-ins, it’s pretty terrible all round. The film is poorly made, tacky, woefully written and wholly uninspiring. The film opens with a group of warriors on a ship. It seems as if they’re incidental characters, of no importance. I was waiting for them to get killed off by whatever creatures the protagonist and his group would later encounter. However this was Thor and his group. They all looked, and acted like extras. They were totally generic, with poor dialogue and not an ounce of presence between them. It sets the tone for the whole film. Poorly written, poorly acted and no one who can hold the movie together or indeed hold the audience’s interest.
As Thor, Zachery Ty Bryan is the star name here. Some may remember him from Home Improvement, playing Tim Allen’s oldest son in that popular sitcom. He looks different, though eventually you’ll recognise him. It took me a while and quite a few “haven’t I seen him somewhere?” questions to myself. Sadly, Bryan probably ranks as one of the most unimpressive movie heroes ever put on screen. He’s terrible. In no small part the horrendous dialogue doesn’t help him, but Bryan often looks like he’s out of breath, or just looks like a blithering simpleton. Physically he’d look more at home propping up a bar somewhere than wielding the mighty Hammer. In fact he looks about as menacing as Timmy Mallet!
The remainder of the cast are also pretty bland, whilst the direction is amateurish and uninventive. As I said before, it’s very cheap and it all looks like a group of fantasy role playing enthusiasts, from the silly dialogue, the shabby costumes, to the clumsy, slow and tippy-tappy fighting.
In terms of enjoying this on a so-bad-it’s-good level, there is some entertainment to be had. It might require inebriation, but you may get to a point where the preposterous nature of it all is suddenly amusing, but it would take quite a few brewskies for that, and it lacks the barmy charm of something like an Ed Wood film. In the end, there’s very little to recommend about Thor: The Hammer of the Gods, unless you’re running low on drinks coasters.
Flickering Myth Rating: Film * / Movie *