By: Amanda Guarragi
What do you get when you mix Ben Falcone with the superhero genre? You get a very bland, silly and downright dud of a superhero film starring two Oscar winners, an Emmy winner and an Oscar nominee. It physically hurts to watch this film because of the all-star cast doing the most absurd things. Ben Falcone has a weird sense of humour and so does Melissa McCarthy. Their awkward humour doesn’t really translate with a poor script. If it was an awkward SNL sketch, maybe it would stick the landing but nothing really worked.
Like most comedies being released today, they used the crutch of referencing popular games or television shows that would resonate with a wide demographic. In Thunder Force they appeal to the young kids by using ‘Fortnite’ and then use references to Urkel or Jodie Foster to make a simple joke. You may question me saying, “But Amanda, it’s meant to be fun.” Listen, if I had fun, I would say it. I was excited to watch this because of Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer playing superheroes because you never get to see heavier set, middle-aged women kicking major butt and I was more than happy to see that representation. However, their friendship was lacking. They hadn’t seen each other for years and then magically start working together but none of their previous issues were resolved.
It all just felt very convenient, just so they could keep it light and avoid any serious, emotional moments. People need to realize that slapstick comedy no longer works for the climate, unfortunately. I am also extremely tired of McCarthy doing physical comedy just to get the laughs in, when her comedic timing and line delivery is pure gold, people tend to fall-back on her physicality. Majority of it felt really awkward and the film wasted the talents of Bobby Cannavale, Melissa Leo, Jason Bateman and Pom Klementieff. It just didn’t work as well as I would have hoped. I do commend them for one thing, and that’s the bravery it took to make an original superhero film in this day-and-age with so many comic book films surrounding it.
Thunder Force sadly falls short and doesn’t have enough energy to carry the runtime. By the time these characters get to the final battle in the third act, your care for them is non-existent and you just want the bad jokes to be over already. It is such an awkward movie to sit through, especially when Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy were sharing a scene. I kept questioning why certain scenes were kept in the film and who even thought they were funny in the first place. We rarely get comedies anymore, so when one is released it’s a must-watch for me but this one was really disappointing.