Dylan Dog: Dead of Night VS Thor

Of course, there’s no contest here.  I just thought it would be a nice way of introducing the two movies I rented this week.  Dylan Dog: Dead of Night, with Brandon Routh and Sam Huntington.  And Thor, with Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman.

First, let me say that despite the 6% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Dylan Dog: Dead of Night isn’t that bad.  Based on the world popular Italian horror comic created by Tiziano Sclavi, the movie stars Brandon Routh as a paranormal detective.  Or, as Dog explains in the movie, he is something of a go-between for the various underground races of horror legend (zombies, vampires, werewolves.)  He is assisted by Sam Huntington’s character, Marcus.  

The movie focuses on Dylan being brought out of retirement when a girl’s father is killed.  Refusing the case, Dylan is still drawn in when someone attacks and kills his partner the same night – don’t worry though because Marcus is “special,” and comes back to life as a zombie.  Not being familiar with the comics, I can’t say how much of this was lifted from the source material, but the movie could stand on it’s own except for one small detail that overshadows the entire film: Brandon Routh has the acting range of a tub of butter.

I’ve been a vocal fan of Superman Returns, defended Routh in his portrayal of the character.  But in Dylan Dog, the young actor is as deadpan and dry as a desert.  He delivers his lines flat, has little facial expression.  He’s just there, reading from the script.  Maybe this is how the character actually is in the comics, or maybe it’s bad direction.  The script has potential.  But I blame Mr. Routh particularly because most of the other character, while perhaps a little over the top at times, are better portrayed.  Taye Diggs does deliver some pretty monotone lines, but he does so with a little movement to enhance the delivery.

I’d recommend at least Red Boxing the movie.  You can’t complain too much for $1 – well, I know some of you can, but come on.  Give it a shot.  It’s not like there aren’t worse movies out there.

Thor, on the other hand, with Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and some screen time with Agent Coulson himself, Clark Gregg, is much better than I actually thought it would be.  Of all the comic book based movies that have come out over the past several years, this is the only one I haven’t been to the theaters to see.  I just couldn’t get hyped up about it.  First, you’ve got Kenneth Branagh directing and Chris Hemsworth starring.  It was described as deep, thought provoking with an actual lesson to be learned in humility and self sacrifice by the main character.  Well, that’s just depressing …

Thankfully, it wasn’t depressing!  Knowing Branagh’s previous directing credits, I was hesitant, but glad I didn’t completely hold off on renting the dvd.  It’s definitely a must buy for your Avenger’s collection.  My only complaint is the same as I’ve read on various other sites when the movie first came out.  That complaint being that little time actually passes before Thor actually learns his lesson.  I enjoyed the movie, but so much is crammed into the time frame that the story is rushed from one point to the next and then is over.  Of all the comic to film franchises presented to us, so far, this is one that could have benefited from having deeper character growth – or, at least showing us how the character really grows and transformers from a snobby brat to someone who actually cares for their fellow man.

Still, worth buying on blu ray for the added high definition Asgard scenes.

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