Thunder Force is keen to give the superhero film a new twist, and while it looks promising, it ultimately falls back into mainstream territory.
These days, the entertainment industry is positively saturated with superhero movies, whether inspired by beloved comics or wholly original ideas. As a result, it is increasingly difficult for overpowered projects to stand out without a well-known IP. A convincing hook is needed. Netflix’s latest foray into this particular realm of science fiction, Thunder force, certainly has an intriguing idea that might grab viewers, and it has the power to kick off with Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer. Directed by Ben Falcone, McCarthy’s husband and frequent collaborator, Thunder force presents moments of delicious madness. Unfortunately, they are rare. Thunder force wants to put a new twist on the superhero movie, and while it’s promising, it ultimately falls back into mainstream territory.
The world of Thunder force is very similar to ours, except for the existence of “disbelievers”. These villains are the only ones with special abilities, and they’ve been terrorizing the city of Chicago for a long time. The brilliant Emily Stanton (Spencer) has been determined to create a way to give regular and good people superpowers since her parents were killed in a Miscreant attack when she was young. Her laser focus on that goal is what took her away from childhood best friend Lydia (McCarthy), an underachieving slob. They meet as adults in Emily’s fancy new lab where, in an error comedy, Lydia accidentally gets injected with the very treatment meant to give Emily super strength. With Lydia more and more accustomed to her newfound powers and Emily struggling with just powers of invisibility, the two must unite to save their city from the Miscreants.
In terms of world building, Thunder force does not have to make a lot of effort. A comic book style opener gives the story of the creation of the Miscreants, a dump of information that is given efficiently and quickly. After spending maybe a little more time than needed to establish Emily and Lydia’s early friendship (as well as their falling out), Thunder force goes forward to the present day, where the real story begins. The screenplay, written by Falcone, seems strangely paced. Sometimes things move quickly and the action beats drop where they’re supposed to. At other times, some gags or scenes drag on longer than expected, making the procedure feel uneven. For example, the amount of time between Emily and Lydia taking their first superpower treatments when they debuted as the Thunder Force may be longer than one would expect, and that narrows the opportunity for McCarthy and Spencer from playing superheroes.
One of the calls from Thunder force This is how it stars two actresses who shouldn’t be directing a superhero movie. Watching McCarthy and Spencer onscreen, it’s clear they had a lot of fun delving into this well-explored genre that doesn’t always factor in women like them. McCarthy’s comedic timing is sharper than ever, and Spencer provides a nice leaf in his steadfastness to the cause. Plus, it’s really fun to see the two actresses take on superhero roles. Thunder forceThe supporting cast is filled with notable players, especially Jason Bateman as the Miscreant known as The Crab. Literally he has crab claws instead of hands. This is an absurd part and he nails it. The budding relationship between The Crab and Lydia is a sweet touch to the film. Plus, Bobby Cannavale and Pom Klementieff are solid like the other two main antagonists, and Taylor Mosby puts on a great performance as Emily’s daughter, Tracy.
Or Thunder force eventually stumbles is in his inability to fully give in to his campy side. There are touches, like how The Crab moves away from confrontations like a real crab would and when Lydia is forced to eat (repeatedly) something disgusting due to the changes in her body. When Thunder force looks at the absurdity, it really stands out. Unfortunately, it too often falls back into the more conventional style of superhero movies. We would have liked it to push the boundaries of what this type of film could be. The cast is clearly in favor of everything; instead, much of it feels like a missed opportunity.
To be sure, fans of McCarthy and Spencer’s work will find pleasure in Thunder Force, but might still want more as the credits roll. The premise could have provided a fresh take on the superhero genre, something sorely needed these days, but it can’t quite live up to expectations. Its leading ladies are in great shape as always, and they are supported by dynamic performers. It’s the story struggling to come to fruition, with a reluctance to let go in any way it can.
More: Thunder Force Movie Trailer
Thunder force begins streaming on Netflix on April 9, 2021. It is 105 minutes long and is rated PG-13 for certain act / violence, language, and mild suggestive content.
- Thunder Force (2021)Release date: 09 April 2021
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