Maybe it was the exhaustion from yesterday’s all day labor at home improvement, that led to the decision to watch a Netflix movie . Maybe it was the two big name actresses that led us to choose Thunder Force. But it was pure determination that kept us watching this dud until the end . Although my husband did fall asleep before it was over , right during the main action scene . But I just had to see what other cliches and barely subliminal messages would be thrown at the audience before the credits rolled.
It was obvious from the beginning that this movie was going to be bad . The opening scene was not funny , not original , not even logical . Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer are two misfits in school who become friends. One is Black , one is White, of course. One is a smart ,nerdy type and the other is a loyal friend with no social skills or verbal restraint. Spencer plays a girl whose parents were killed by the actions of a “miscreant” , a bad girl/guy with super powers. Her goal in life is to become a super hero to avenge her parents . She leaves her best friend behind when she goes to college and becomes a famous scientist with a daughter by a boyfriend who doesn’t stay with her with she gets pregnant, of course. In this movie , all the men are bad guys, by the way, except for the subservient and weak men.
McCarthy goes looking for her long lost friend to get her to come to a high school reunion. This leads to McCarthy going to Spencer’s lab where she haplessly gets injected in the face with dna modifying chemicals that were meant for her friend to become a super hero. Spencer is a good actress in serious movies such as The Help and Hidden Figures, but she does not play this role well . Her facial expressions never change enough to show how extremely pissed off she would have been at that moment. She tries to seem strong , but she just doesn’t pull it off . And McCarthy never really seems like anything other than a bumbling fool who’s desperate for a friend . The rest of the movie is them both becoming super heroes and having a few battles with them, one with super strength and one with invisibility powers. They try to make it funny ,but the humor just isn’t there. The script felt very quickly thrown together even though some of the scenes and action were fairly complex .
Jason Bateman plays a strange character, a man with crab claws for arms . He’s a villain with a conscience. At one point he and McCarthy somehow get romantic. Not sure how that worked , but it was creepy. My favorite character was the daughter of Spencer , played by Taylor Mosby. This girl’s acting and lines were so much better than the rest of the movie it was like she had a different script writer. She is the only normal person in this weird group of villains, victims and idiots. Her actions end up saving the two super heroes and the whole city from the bad guys. I think there is a message there.
Some of the other messages included very obvious “pro-female” casting, even the main villain is a female; anti-male stereotypes ; pro-genetic modification assumptions ; pro-omnipresent technology, and the typical plot of good guys versus bad guys but in this case the bad guys didn’t seem to have much of a goal other than killing people. In fact , killing was mentioned many times by the main bad guy who was a political candidate, by the way. This guy was running for mayor of Chicago and when he got mad his eyes turned red, especially when he loses to a female candidate. Of course there are two positive discussions of gay relationships. However, oddly, there are no gay characters that I recall. One of the good females turns out to be a bad guy, I guess that was a bone for the boys in the audience.
The best parts of this movie were the drone views of the city of Chicago which is a very beautiful place. We did laugh a few times, but not many . Mostly it was a cringe and groan session which was somewhat fitting after laying tile all day.
Watch at your own risk! Let me know if you agree or disagree with my review in the comments. PS, I’m sure some people wonder why I have Netflix at all. Mostly because I share the account with my adult children who like to watch various series . But it may be time to pull the plug. Now it’s time for me to get back to work !