Thorn, David Blair
Directors: Joel Gibbs, Mark Cowart
Producers: Ruwan Jayatilleke
Format: Animated, Color, DVD, NTSC, Widescreen
Region: 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
Number of discs: 1
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: Shout! Factory
DVD Release Date: September 13, 2011
Run Time: 72 minutes
just come right out and say it: motion comics suck!
constitute someone reading a comic book to you and showing you the pictures,
robbing you of the visual dynamic while offering nothing in return. Thor
and Loki Blood Brothers benefits from a beautiful palette and a
compelling story, but its lack of action gives us no reason to spend money
on it instead of the original comic.
The good news is that it’s a very good comic. The “Thor” part of the
equation is quite disingenuous; we focus almost entirely on Loki and an
existential quandary that proves scarier to him that any magic hammer. We
open with Loki usurping the throne of Asgard, casting Thor and Odin into
chains and claiming the crown for himself. He finally gets everything he
wanted . . . and then learns that he can’t stand it. The god of mischief
needs an authority figure to defy, and when he himself becomes the authority
figure, it takes a lot of steam out of his stride.
For the better part of an hour, we follow him in this quandary, evinced by
beautiful dialogue from comics writer Robert Rodi and delivered with relish
by actor David Blair. It gets into surprisingly deep stuff, including the
old fate vs. free will question and the idea that Loki really sees himself
as the better option than Thor.
Unfortunately, all of that pondering remains completely internal: great if
you’re reading, but frustratingly static on the video screen. That
fundamental flaw dogs Thor and Loki from the first scene. The imagery
invokes Esad Ribic’s artwork from the comics quite well, but the
computerized animation jars badly with his rich oil colors. Thor himself
hardly appears at all, lending the suspicious sense they they’re cashing in
on the recent live-action movie here, and as a further step into the Thor
mythology, it remains surprisingly limited.
The meaty nature of Rodi’s story saves it from being a total waste of time.
On the other hand, why experience the story in this bastardized version when
the original comic is still readily available? The extra six dollars
delivers the tale in a far more appropriate format and eliminates the
frustrating sense of motionlessness that dogs the DVD from beginning to end.
Let Kenneth Branagh handle the moving version of these characters; the story
we see here belongs firmly in another medium.
THE DISC: The disc has a bare spate of extras: some
behind-the-scenes material and a trailer for the piece. The most rewarding
is a conversation with Rodi in which he discusses the genesis of the story.
WORTH IT? Not unless you absolutely cannot find the
original comic book. Considering that Amazon has it on discount, that
shouldn’t be too hard.
RECOMMENDATION: Thor vs. Loki features a
solid story that finds much better expression elsewhere. Even completionists
can probably give this one a pass.
- Rob Vaux