James Bond creator Ian Fleming was born in May (28th) of 1906 and was 56 when he passed on in 1964, but his creation opened the door for big budget comic book hero movies. This is not one of them! The Almighty Thor is a curious concoction, broadcast on Sy Fy – a channel which is trying to redefine Sci-Fi and should have kept the spelling to how Forrest J. Ackerman originally coined it. The low-budget made-for-tv movie culled from Norse mythology (oh – don’t confuse this with Marvel Comics – the channel winks at you from the corner of its eye) is a boring two hours of bad acting, mediocre writing and a thorough waste of my time. Maybe the kids of today want as much Thor or any other comic book hero as they can get their hands on…if not, what was the point?
ComicBookMovie.com has a funny review of the film where the uncredited writer states “Thor is played by an unknown named Cody Deal…with his acting skills how did he get the “Deal” to star in this.” That is the question. Cody Deal could be the younger brother of major motion picture Thor star Chris Hemsworth, however rugged but empty headed does not a god of thunder make, thus you know why Hemsworth is on the silver screen and Deal on the tv screen. Deal is said to have graduated Valedictorian of his class, but you wouldn’t know it from this really puzzling performance. Previous roles were as a patron at a strip club (uncredited) in Get Him To The Greek as well as an Egyptian guard, a Roman Soldier and about four different stints playing a Centurion…that being said, the God of Thunder must’ve been a real stretch for him. Richard Grieco’s over-the-top Loki fares no better. Grieco was Dennis Booker on 21 Jump Street and the Booker TV series in the 1980s and 1990s, and was the voice of Ghost Rider on the TV versions of Fantastic Four and The Incredible Hulk in the 1990s (probably cartoons). After appearing as Sinbad in SINBAD: The Battle Of The Dark Knights (1998) it appears all downhill for Grieco, his career seeming to parallel Cody Deals in some kind of film world oblivion. With a better script and some charm this run-through might have had something to offer. Can’t these actors mutiny on the set and demand a little intrigue be thrown in for good measure? It is their careers, after all?
Sy Fy followed up this broadcast with something called THOR: Hammer of the Gods. The description is as follows “When an army of Vikings clashes with a pack of werewolves, a young warrior becomes a legendary hero.” It looked like a continuation of The Almighty Thor and at that point I just gave up the ghost! This 2009 made for TV flick features Zachery Ty Bryan as Thor and outside of playing Brad Taylor on Home Improvement in the 1990s, his career doesn’t appear to have fared much better than Grieco’s or Cody Deal’s.
SyFy could’ve rerun The Incredible Hulk Returns where the Hulk fights Thor – see video http://tinyurl.com/thorvshulk but that would’ve been too easy!
Luckily, fans of the genre get lots of color and lots of style where it matters, in the movie theaters. What a shame, though…the possibilities for made-for-tv films cropping up when a big budget motion picture has a first run took a big hit here. It’s a good idea in theory, just as Thor: Hammer of the Gods was a good idea on paper.
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He was a film critic for Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com and produces and hosts Visual Radio. Visual Radio is a fifteen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed John Lennon’s Uncle Charlie, Margaret Cho, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere, Marty Balin, Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.