Local filmmaking brothers Jerry and Mike Thompson turn in a winning, whimsical film for their feature debut, a mélange of quirky stories that represent a side of Vegas rarely seen in films. Thor at the Bus Stop, expanded from a pair of Thompson short films, interweaves various stories catalyzed by the title character, whose angst over being the unsung savior of the world sets off a string of random lightning strikes.
Despite the mystical overtones, Thor isn’t a supernatural movie; it’s more along the lines of magic realism, with elements like the thunder god and a guy wandering around impaled by a yield sign mixing with more grounded stories about relationships and family. The Thompsons deftly tie their disparate characters together, and the cast of locals (including Mike and Jerry and non-directing Thompson brother Scott, as well as magician Teller) is almost uniformly strong.
The filmmakers also make good use of their small budget, with creative shot composition and location choice. Some of the scenes could use a little tightening, and some of the comedy is a little too tame, but Thor is an auspicious start to what will hopefully be a long career in feature filmmaking for the Thompsons.
Thor on the billboard
Brenden Theatres inside the Palms is giving an unprecedented promotional push to local feature Thor at the Bus Stop, which opens Friday. This billboard on West Flamingo is just one element of a campaign that includes pre-show advertising, a cardboard standee in the theater lobby and live appearances by Jerry Thompson as Thor. The Thompsons are in talks with a distributor to expand the film into 20 theaters in November, and up to 200 by February.