Netflix’s “Thunder Force” starring Melissa McCarthy, and Octavia Spencer is here! This is a street-level superhero flick written and directed by McCarthy’s husband Ben Falcone. A team-up that may work great in marriage, but one that has a track record for resulting in some not-so-funny comedies. So, let’s get into the good, the not-so-good, and everything else, to see if “Thunder Force” can change the pace to deliver some enjoyable superhero adventures.
Where “Thunder Force” Thrives
This is clearly a film aimed for younger audiences and for that aspect there is a collection of enjoyable superhero sequences littered throughout the story. It’s all by-the-numbers plot-wise. It’s routine as far as character dynamics and story-arcs as well, yet McCarthy and Spencer do have a charming chemistry with one another. For kids and young teens, I think the story of two normal people finding themselves with superpowers will be able to deliver some lighthearted fun.
It also has a capable cast outside of Spencer and McCarthy. Jason Bateman is actually able to deliver some amusement as a man with crab arms. Yes, crab arms. Bobby Cannavale brings some mild charisma to the screen as a cut-and-paste villain. With Melissa Leo and Pom Klementieff also adding a touch of screen presence to bland, recycled character-types.
Where “Thunder Force” Stumbles
Watching this one each minute felt like two. Falcone and McCarthy together are a comedic duo, that when too much creative control is given, fail to deliver effective comedy, and this was another example. There are spots of cheap humor, and a few chuckles here and there, but a bulk of this run-time is the usual schtick from McCarthy. Spencer brings moments of legitimacy to the story just not nearly enough to overshadow the usual barrage of McCarthy/Falcone comedic bits.
How it progresses is completely unoriginal when the premise itself actually has potential. But with Falcone writing a juvenile script filled with borrowed elements, and McCarthy in comedic auto-pilot, the charm in this plot never really had a chance. It’s formulaic and dull, something that shouldn’t be the case with the quality of this cast, and the ability for fun in the concept.
Final Verdict on “Thunder Force”
If you want to put on something for background noise this is a serviceable selection. There are moments of dumb fun, and Spencer was a bright spot. At the same time, she is much better than this level of rile, she embraces the childishness of it all like a pro, but she deserves better. If you’re a die-hard fan of McCarthy and her routine, this will work. But if you want something you can lock your attention into, this isn’t really the flick for you.
Anthony J Digioia II - SilverScreen Analysis © All Rights Reserved