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It would be redundant, I'm sure, to call 2009's "Thor at the Bus Stop"
a quirky, little, low-budget independent film. I mean, "quirky,"
"little," and "low-budget" practically define independent productions,
and this one certainly qualifies on all counts, an odd duck that
combines a little comedy, parody, and pathos into a fantasy about the
Norse god Thor wandering the suburbs of Las Vegas. No, it's not the
Chris Hemsworth Thor; this one is the Jerry Thompson Thor, Thompson
having co-starred in, co-written, and co-directed the project with his
brother Mike. It's their first full-length feature.
As one might expect of a low-budget effort, the movie doesn't look as polished as a big studio production and doesn't benefit from many experienced actors. That's part of its charm, of course. With the exception of Thor, for instance, the players seem to be wearing mainly their everyday clothes. Moreover, the Thompsons appear to have shot the film in and around the same few neighborhoods on the outskirts of Las Vegas, and the homes easily substitute for any housing tracts in America. So, it all works out pretty well in its Everyman, everywhere, sort of symbolic approach.
Anyway, while some of its humor falls flat, "Thor at the Bus Stop" is mostly amusing in its own deadpan manner, the assorted skits lazily weaving their humorous courses into and through one another. I didn't find any huge, laugh-out-loud gags in the film, just a succession of gently comical moments. In fact, the film's convoluted narrative style may remind viewers of "Pulp Fiction," with some of the laid-back whimsy of "The Big Lebowski" thrown in. In the case of the latter, the Thompson brothers may be experiencing a bit of Coen envy, and that's not a bad thing.
I don't think you're going to mistake "Thor at the Bus Stop" for a major Oscar winner, yet if you're like me, you may find the longer you watch it, the more you'll like it. You've just got a sweet, humorous, poignant little film here. For a first-time feature-length effort, it's not bad.
Let me also add that there is nothing about "Thor" that is offensive, crude, or gross. Unlike most of Hollywood's big-screen comedies anymore, "Thor" contains no profanity, no nudity, no sex, and virtually no violence. It's kind of refreshing, actually.
I stumbled upon this film a few weeks ago at The Exchange (used DVDs, games, music ext.) for a dollar. My girlfriend is a huge Thor fan so naturally we picked it up. We were expecting some horribly produced POS that we watched once and kept as a novelty but, to our surprise, we loved the film. It's not the best at anything but it's endearing. Just an honest piece of Americana that somehow just works its way into your heart. We have now watched it countless times and have viewing parties with our friends that are first time watchers and friends that have seen it with us dozens of times. I would recommend this film to anyone who enjoys films, comics and great stories.
Thor at the Bus Stop definitely exceeded my expectations, and, even
though it's a low-budget (no budget?) independent film, I enjoyed it
more than its far-more expensive distant cousin, Thor: Dark World.
Thor at the Bus Stop owes its success to two brothers, Jerry and Mike Thompson, who wrote, starred in, edited, and did nearly everything else in this oddly endearing film. A third Thompson brother helped them film it, as did their film-school teacher, David Schmoeller (Puppetmaster, Tourist Trap, ), who's guidance helped steer them toward success.
In the movie, the title character, Thor, God of Thunder, is on route to Ragnarök, the twilight of the Norse Gods, where he knows he is destined to die in a final battle with the Midgard Serpent. Thor's final journey takes him through a nameless town on the edge of Las Vegas. He must have lost his goat-drawn chariot somewhere along the way because he's just standing around waiting for the bus to take him to his last stop. And, well, as one might expect in a world that's forgotten him, Thor's kind of depressed about it all and feeling rather unappreciated.
But the real story here is a patchwork of eccentric characters slowly moving around Thor, and the crossing and interweaving of their lives and stories. We have the likes of White-Trash Chuck, who's spent a life trying to be cool, and failing miserably; One-Way Walter, a rather polite car jacker who nonetheless is intent upon murder; some bath-robed clad man, striding with unknown purpose, while carrying milk jugs; a girl who wants her overly laid- back boyfriend to be assertive, more of a "jerk"; a couple of unusual police officers who buddy together; fake news reporters; and even some punks who bully small children to steal their lunch boxes.
It's all good, funny, enjoyable to watch. Don't expect great acting, elaborate props, special effects, and so on, but also be prepared to have a fun time and to be impressed with the art that can be created by a talented pair of young film-school grads with no budget, a cast of volunteer actors, and some excellent local band music.
Thor at the Bus Stop is a movie which follows Thor, the God of Thunder
and Lightning and quite a few locals around town for a day. The plots
of individuals are interconnected- but only tangentially, giving off a
random feeling of "why are these characters here", or "why do these
people matter?". Those looking for a movie like 11:14 where the plots
converge and are interesting will be sorrowfully disappointed. Some of
the characters names are funny, but just get involved with random
There really isn't much of a plot to the movie, and any search for a metaphor won't really come up with anything. Some parts are interesting, but really fail to follow through. Overall, I would definitely skip this.
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