Friday, April 9, 2021

Thunder Force (2021)

Streaming Services: Netflix
Movie Name/Year: Thunder Force (2021)
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Length: 106 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Production/Distribution: Marc Platt Productions, Netflix
Director: Ben Falcone
Writer: Ben Falcone
Actors: Melissa McCarthy, Octavia Spencer, Jason Bateman, Bobby Cannavale, Pom Klementieff, Melissa Leo, Taylor Mosby, Marcella Lowery, Melissa Ponzio, Ben Falcone, Nate Hitpas, David Storrs, Bria Danielle, Tai Leshaun, Vivian Falcone, Mia Kaplan
Blurb from IMDb: In a world where supervillains are commonplace, two estranged childhood best friends reunite after one devises a treatment that gives them powers to protect their city.

Selina’s Point of View:
I’ve had a few people challenge my statements about what I expected from this film.
If you haven’t read my Top 20 for April 2021, you can read it here.
I basically said that Melissa McCarthy (St. Vincent, Mike & Molly, The Kitchen) strikes me as the female version of Adam Sandler (Uncut Gems, Murder Mystery, Hubie Halloween). She’s a great actor who chooses parts in lower quality flicks. Whether it’s because she has bad judgement or just enjoys playing those kinds of characters, I don’t think it matters.
As a result, I expected this movie wouldn’t be phenomenal, but I had to include it because of how much I enjoyed the trailer and the idea.
Thunder Force hit every pitfall that I thought it would.
This is one of those situations where some of the stuff in the trailer didn’t even make the film. The parts that I didn’t see in my watch-through seemed like they had been added to the trailer instead of being cut from the movie. I see this as a form of lying to the audience. It’s not something I can get behind.
A lot of the flick was tropey, but I can get passed that most of the time.

None of the tropes were of the deal-breaker variety. They were just things you expect from your run-of-the-mill superhero and/or comedy fare. Stuff like a comic book panel exposition opening or talking badly about someone who turns out to be within earshot.
A good movie can have those kinds of things in it without taking a quality hit.
Unfortunately, Thunder Force just wasn’t good.
The actors were fine, but the script was full of badly-done cringe and second-hand embarrassment comedy. A lot of the ‘laughs’ – I use that term loosely – were based on McCarthy’s specific brand of clumsy, too-obvious, humor.
I’ll admit that I enjoyed the origin of the friendship between the two main characters and I thought the ‘grandma’ character was way too good for the film. Also, the soundtrack was top-notch.
Other than that, I didn’t have a good time watching this one.
This is not something I’m ever going to revisit – if I even remember it exists.

Cat’s Point of View:
Thunder Force was a bit of a wild card for us this month. You never quite know what you’re going to get with a Melissa McCarthy movie. Some are excellent, and some are just bonkers. In this case, I’m happy to say that I found this film bonkers – in the most excellent way.
For a moment, I was wondering if there was an actual comic out there that formed the basis for this story. It was clear that comic superhero tales were a heavy inspiration for the framing of the movie.
Writer/Director, Ben Falcone (Tammy, The Boss, Life of the Party), brought this to life as an original stand-alone and I’m here for it. Hey Netflix – if you’re not planning on doing a sequel or series with this IP, you might consider dabbling in the graphic novel market with this team. Just saying.
That being said, I think it’s clear that I really enjoyed the slightly bumbling crime-fighting duo of McCarthy and Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures, Ma, Onward). I was really feeling a Hancock (2008) meets a legit superhero movie mash-up. I also love how these 2 beautiful women weren’t forced to crash diet or whatever else it is that Hollywood does to rapidly shed weight for roles. They were phenomenal as their authentic selves and I’m glad that they were able to represent for those of us with ‘realistic’ body types.

As some of you know, I’m a bit of an action movie fanatic. I loved the physicality that was brought to the superhero and villain roles here. The stunts were well executed. For that matter, I didn’t mind the CGI, either. They didn’t have to try too hard to sell this spectacular satire.
Jason Bateman (Horrible Bosses, Zootopia, Game Night) and Bobby Cannavale (Boardwalk Empire, Motherless Brooklyn, Mr. Robot) were also spot-on perfect for their respective character roles. I think Cannavale gets a bit type-cast, but he does what he does really well, so it’s not a complaint. Bateman’s character was absolutely ludicrous and added some of the cornier parts of the humor within the story; but, surprisingly, didn’t make the whole film feel hokey. (Though parts at the end were rather…strange.)
My daughter watched this one with me and we had a great time laughing together over this crazy tale of family, friendship, and ass-kickery. I actually got maudlin in a few places and she was engrossed with the movie so much that she didn’t even notice. I would caution that there are some mild language and adult situations in the film so this is generally not the best movie for the very young, but it should be fine for teens.
Thumbs up, Netflix. This was exactly what I needed after a miserable week of oral surgery pain. I might even watch this one again. I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Thunder Force for anyone looking to de-stress and have a good time.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 23%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 25%
Metascore – 34/100
Metacritic User Score – 1.4/10
IMDB Score – 3.5/10
Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating1.5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating4/5
Movie Trailer:

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