Monday, September 14, 2020


PHENOMENALITY: *marvelous*
FRYEAN MYTHOS: *adventure*

I’m no fan of Marvel Studios’ largely botched adaptation of Marvel Comics’ franchise character The Mighty Thor. Still, even the least of the three big-budget films, THOR RAGNAROK, offers a little more entertainment than this straight-to-DVD mockbuster.

Director Christopher Ray—son of Fred Olen Ray, whose credits also include reams of undistinguished schlock—hangs his narrative on that most popular of Nordic myths, the threat of Ragnarok, the utter destruction of the world. And how does he handle this portentous matter? With lots of tedious photography of people either running through woods, or running through some big city (presumably L.A) whose streets have no nearly no people in them. Loki (Richard Grieco) kills off his father Odin and one of his brothers in order to possess the Hammer of Invincibility. Younger brother Thor (Cody Deal), who manages to seem callow in spite of his impressive pectorals, swears vengeance on Loki. However, since he doesn’t know how to fight, a Valkyrie named Jarnsaxa (Patricia Velasquez of the MUMMY movies) succors the son of Odin. The two of them spend most of the movie running from pillar to post on a formless quest that the writer seems to be making up as he goes along. The script tosses in a few raggedy versions of Norse myths-- the weavers-of-fate known as the Norns, and some hellhounds given indifferent life by bad CGI. For what it’s worth, “Jarhsaxa” is the name of Thor’s wife in one myth. However, the writer’s book on Norse Mythology for Dummies must have been missing some pages, since he also works in the non-Norse name of “Hrothgar,” maybe just to prove he’s read BEOWULF.

The only actor who even tries to bring a little chutzpah to this mess is Grieco, who does his level best to exude unremitting malice, since this version of Loki is no trickster, but just a really mean, mean guy. The actor’s close-ups are most effective on those occasions when the film’s makeup department succeeds in keeping his skin a deathly shade of white.

No comments:

Post a Comment