Thor: Hammer of the Gods
Directed by Todor Chapkanov
Written by Steve Bevilacqua and Rafael Jordan
What could have been a cool concept is instead bogged down into a mediocre entry into the SciFi Channel original movie canon. The premise seems simple: Vikings vs. werewolves, and Thor shows up! The execution is problematic. The main problem is the pacing. There is lots of padding with Viking ceremonies and birthright nonsense. That’s great that the screenwriters are some of those people that know a disturbing amount of Nordic culture, but it doesn’t always make compelling viewing. The Vikings spend a lot of time running back and forth on the island as their comrades get picked off, while the werewolves start out as invincible supermonsters and quickly become incredibly easy to kill. Look, I don’t care if the Vikings are wearing the wrong color clothes, have horns or no horns on their helmets, or even if their sword stances are wrong. I just care if the movie is fun. Because, a movie about Vikings vs. werewolves is supposed to be fun. That’s the whole point!
Thor Hammer of the Gods does have good moments. The battles in the last half are pretty good, and it does pick up the pace some. Everyone speaks with exaggerated Shakespeare accents, which at first I found goofy, but it added to some of the camp value that should have been in the rest of the film. It is obvious the film had a very small budget, and it seemed to do well with what it had, I only wished they had spend more on action and less on the Viking stuff, especially since it seemed to not add much of anything to the characters. We learned little about Thor except he was brave and needed to learn more about leadership. That gave us no real emotional connection.
The actors I found little fault with. The biggest fun was Zachary Ty Brian (who has dropped the Ty) as Thor. When I first head this cast announcement, I laughed. I expected this to be terrible. But Zachary Bryan pulled it off, partially because he wasn’t Thor God of Thunder, but just a guy named Thor. As Zachary Bryan has been spending his post-Home Improvement career playing jerks of various degrees on movies and TV, it was nice seeing him do a different role. He might even have a career doing SciFi Channel films to supplement income from the latest Hollywood movie that needs a jerk. Most of the other cast is unknown, but Daz Crawford was pretty entertaining and makes a good jerk character. George Zlatarev appears near the end of the film and does a good job with what little he was given. He was also in Manticore and Grendel along with dozens of other SciFi Channel films.