Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Octavia Spencer, Bobby Cannavale
Director: Ben Falcone
Running Time: 107 mins
Thunder Force is an American film about two estranged best friends from school who reunite later in life and become superheroes, who make it their mission to defend their city from the evil plague of super Miscreants.
Who is this movie even for? Seriously, the biggest problem with Thunder Force is that it somehow oscillates between an action movie aimed at 5 year olds and an R-rated Hollywood comedy, with seemingly no in between. Complete with a non-sensical and tedious story, subpar performances and middling special effects, Thunder Force is by far one of the worst movies of recent years, and a total waste of your time.
I do think Melissa McCarthy gets a bad rap as ‘the female Adam Sandler’ in Hollywood. That said, some of her latest outings in the likes of The Happytime Murders, Life Of The Party and now this monstrosity don’t go a long way to discrediting that reputation.
Much like The Happytime Murders, this movie sees McCarthy go beyond the typical Hollywood comedy into the superhero genre, only to somehow bungle what could be such an easy movie to land. I never expected Thunder Force to be amazing, but with some clever comedy that pokes fun at the barrage of comic book movies we get nowadays, it could have at least had some laughs to it.
Instead, it feels as if you get two films for the price of one here. And the problem is that both of those films are terrible.
One is a family-friendly, fluffy superhero movie complete with cutesy special effects and a superficial, one dimensional action story. The film spends a long, long time following McCarthy and co-star Octavia Spencer’s characters as young children, and that sets up the movie as if it’s a kids’ movie.
In fact, for the entire first act, I was surprised by how soft and family-friendly this movie was, but it might have been my own misreading of the film’s marketing that led me to believe it was targeted at a slightly older audience.
However, the second act then seems to turn absolutely everything on its head, with the return of typical Melissa McCarthy humour, gross-out gags and even some bewildering and pretty revolting scenes of sexually charged intimacy between McCarthy and Jason Bateman, who has crab claws in this movie. (Don’t ask).
It was at that point that Thunder Force was completely lost on me, because I still have absolutely no idea who the movie is for, and what on earth the filmmakers were hoping to achieve with it. Apart from burning a few million dollars for Netflix and putting a black mark against the names of a number of A-listers, Thunder Force is one of the first movies I’ve ever seen that I really can’t explain to anyone.
Is it a kids’ movie? No, because some of the scenes are way too inappropriate for younger viewers, and totally ruin what could have been a bland but at least fluffy superhero movie.
Is it an adult comedy? Again, no, because the comedy is so lightweight and the story so one-dimensional that you’ll think you’re watching a kids’ movie throughout, apart from when it randomly decides to break into R-rated territory for no good reason.
So, I don’t really know what to say about Thunder Force. There’s some superhero mumbo-jumbo about Miscreants and super-people that’s not in the slightest bit interesting, and the rest of it is just a dumpster fire of terrible comedy, bad ideas, lazy storytelling and poor performances.
In short, avoid this movie at all costs. I’m giving it a 2.8, and hopefully that’s the last time I’ll ever think about it.