Middling animation and an erratic tone weigh down director Oskar Jonasson’s Thor: Legend of the Magical Hammer, a so-so family offering that offers up a different spin on the tale of the headstrong son of Norse god Odin.
Originally titled Legends of Valhalla, this foreign-produced effort finds village blacksmith Thor, empowered by a talking hammer that falls from the sky, battling an evil Ice Queen and her army of vicious giants threatening his village. The additional rub? Said Ice Queen has kidnapped Thor’s mother… so it’s personal as well!
The animation here leans toward that of the Aardman variety, but without as much skillful shading or nuance. Likewise, Fridrik Erlingsson’s screenplay seems like a catch-all grab-bag, informed as much by Shrek-style rude humor and attention-deficit-disorder-dictated action sequences as any of the mythological underpinnings of its actual narrative. Brisk (it clocks in at just over 80 minutes, inclusive of credits) but throwaway entertainment, this Thor makes Kenneth Branagh’s recent version look like the high art its visual vocabulary and framing wanted it to be; only those in need of some video babysitting need apply.
Housed in a regular plastic Amaray case in turn stored in a complementary cardboard slipcover with raised lettering, Thor: Legend of the Magical Hammer comes to DVD presented in letterboxed widescreen, with a Dolby digital 5.1 English language audio track. While the transfer is solid and free of any artifacting or edge enhancement issues, there are no supplemental bonus features included herein. For more information, click here to visit the movie’s website. C- (Movie) D (Disc)