Melissa McCarthy is one funny lady, and we know that she must be fiercely loyal too. Because once again she puts her career on the line to try to make the most out of her husband's, Ben Falcone's, flimsy comedy, "Thunder Force."
Bottom line: It's terrible.
But so were Falcone's last few films - "Superintelligence," "Life of the Party," "The Boss" and "Tammy," - films that were all directed by Falcone and with the exception of "Superintelligence," written by him as well. And they all share another commonality in that each film stars his wife, Melissa McCarthy, who is a tremendously funny and gifted actress whenever she is not trying to make the most of a Ben Falcone movie.
Their latest debacle is "Thunder Force," a superhero satire that is neither funny, nor really a satire in that it wastes opportunity after opportunity for real laughs. On paper, the idea of McCarthy teaming up with Octavia Spencer to form a super-hero duo might be ripe for comedy. And while McCarthy does her best not to embarrass herself or her husband, Spencer has never been so lifeless on screen.
As the story goes, childhood friends Lydia (McCarthy) and Emily (Spencer) grow up and grow apart, with Emily becoming a renowned scientist. They live in a world populated by "miscreants" - or "mutants" by normal standards, with the only difference being that all "miscreants" are psychopaths. Think of it as a world full of villains with no superheroes in sight.
When Emily doesn't show up at a high school reunion, Lydia decides to go to Emily's lab to get her, but she unwittingly becomes a subject of Emily's experiments and is given super-strength. Emily gains invisibility and then after a lengthy training sequence, the two decide to fight crime as the new super-duo, "Thunder Force." Yawn.
The only kernel of comedy comes from the villain known as The King (Bobby Cannavale), a man running for re-election and who has a penchant for killing off his own henchmen every time he gets angry. Jason Bateman plays a man with crab hands, who was bitten in the genitals by a radioactive crab...Bateman too, can be filed in the category of "tried his best with the material he was given." Others like Melissa Leo and Taylor Mosby will most likely be leaving this one off of their resumé.
From the awful premise to the unbearable dialogue, "Thunder Force" is a huge swing-and-miss, and when it comes to the team of of McCarthy/Falcone, lightning has now NOT struck going on 5+ films. It may be time for Falcone to focus on his acting career, a move that would undoubtedly lead to thunderous applause for those that have been tasked with having to watch his recent filmography, and trying to think up something nice to say about them.
Run Time: 1 hour 45 minutes.
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Octavia Spencer, Taylor Mosby, Jason Bateman, Bobby Cannavale, Ben Falcone.
Written and Directed by Ben Falcone ("Superintelligence," "Life of the Party," "The Boss," "Tammy").
"Thunder Force" is available on Netflix on Friday, April 9th, 2021.
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