The evil god Loki (Richard Grieco), is determined to rule the universe, and as part of his plan he destroys the god Odin (Kevin Nash) and his elder son Baldir (Jess Allen) after raising their fortress of Valhalla to the ground.
Before he dies Odin hides the legendary 'Hammer of Invincibility' and now Loki is hellbent on recovering it. However he did not count on Odin's younger son Thor (Cody Deal), who with the help of the independent and strong willed demigoddess Jarnsaxa (Patricia Velasquez), has also vowed to find the hammer and avenge the death of his father and brother, whilst saving mankind just for good measure.
Right. Before we go any further, let's establish a couple of points. Firstly Almighty Thor is no big budget Hollywood production like Kenneth Brannagh's recent epic Thor, and unfortunately there are places where this shortcoming is glaringly obvious! Secondly when I tell you that one of the main characters is acted by a WWF star (apparently Kevin Nash is a big name, though as I know absolutely nothing about WWF other than that large men with long hair throw each other around, I will just have to believe the notes that accompanied my preview disc), you will realise that the performances here aren't going to be winning gold come next year's award season.
The land of the gods with its vast mountain ranges and fortified cities is also a bit amateur in a Xena: Warrior Princess type way. The destruction of Valhalla by Loki and his giant Hell spawned dogs is suitably explosive, but the walls of the citadel appear slightly plastic and certainly don't look like they'd hold off any marauding hoards. The confrontation between Loki, Odin and Baldir is also pretty weak - for a battle between supposedly all powerful super beings it's over a bit quick, and going by what we see here I don't think the human race will be in too much danger from the mythical gods anytime soon (though this said threat is supposedly the whole crux of the film).
However the film's most annoying aspect - and as it happens virtually every five minutes when there is any opportunity for some hand to hand combat or a battle, it does begin to grate - is its use of slow motion and a thumping, chant like soundtrack to create tension. It certainly does this for the viewer, though not I think in the way intended.
The film gets better when the gods pass through a magical portal into our world in order to find the magic hammer which has the power to either save or destroy the universe. It is then that Loki raises his aforementioned pets from beneath the ground to wreak havoc on the unsuspecting populace of Los Angeles, and the real fun starts. Anything which can help with the clearance and remodelling of inner-city America should, I think, be congratulated, and these creatures and their brief scenes during the film's climax are amongst its best parts.
That Loki can wander around downtown in full leather body armour complete with spikes and flowing cloak without causing much more than a few raised eyebrows from the locals, just goes to show how weird urban America must be. Thor also gives little more than an initial double take when he is first transported to earth, and his speed at learning how to use human weapons is highly disturbing.
Despite my gripes though, if you take Almighty Thor at face value, which I think is always the best way to approach superhero outings whether they're on an epic scale or not, it is actually not bad for a straight to DVD release, and should certainly help to pass a damp Sunday afternoon.
Extras: 'Blooper's Reel' and brief documentary on the making of the film.
Almighty Thor is released on DVD on 29th August