In 1980, Earth was reached by cosmic rays that gave superpowers to people with sociopathic tendencies, known as miscreants. Since then, the miscreants have committed several crimes, but none of them were punished due to their extraordinary skills. In one of these atrocities, they killed some people in a train, among them, the parents of Emily Stanton, played by Octavia Spencer. After that day, Emily made an oath to continue her parents’ work to stop the miscreants by giving normal people superpowers.
That’s the basis of “Thunder Force”’s storyline, the new Netflix movie released on April 9th. The film is a superhero comedy directed by Ben Falcone, who also directed several movies like “Superintelligence” and “Tammy”, and has Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer as the protagonists. “Thunder Force” doesn’t have a strong story, and even though it’s a comedy, most of the jokes end up not being funny at all and often make you cringe. The movie… it’s not terrible, but it’s also not the type of movie that makes you feel something in the end, in fact, sometimes you can feel like the film is much longer than it really is.
After the introduction of what happened on Earth and Emily’s oath, the film introduces McCarthy’s character, Lydia, and how the two protagonists met. Emily was mocked at school and was always called a nerd by her classmates, in one of these moments Lydia defends her and, from that point on, they became best friends. The two girls are the opposite of each other, Emily is the child prodigy, responsible and organized, while Lydia doesn’t care much about her duties and always brings comic relief.
The reason for the fight and distance between the two was Lydia’s lack of responsibility, a recurring topic even during the discussions they have after reuniting. But, one of the good parts of this movie is the development of their friendship, the scenes of their childhood and teenage years are fun to watch, the end of their friendship and the reunion more than 20 years later complement this development and show how strong their bond is.
Another good thing that this movie brings us is two heroines who don’t follow the “pattern” of heroes that we normally see, whether it’s because of the goofy and silly humor, or them being two middle-aged women, that look like two middle-aged women, or both. This type of inclusion in the cinematographic universe, in general, is extremely important because, as we know, cinema has always been excluding, since most hired actors are men, white and thin. Thus, the representation of two non-standard superheroines is highly meaningful for people to feel represented and included.
Continuing the story, thirty years later Emily achieves her goal and discovers a way to turn ordinary people into superheroes. However, because of Lydia and her clumsy ways, what was supposed to be a solo job became a double, since Lydia accidentally receives the treatment to possess super-strength and Emily invisibility. After that, the movie begins to decline, the story seems to never end and it gets weaker and weaker. The script is very predictable and you can deduce what’s going to happen with each character, as well as with the plot. Because of this, “Thunder Force” doesn’t make us feel so much emotion, or any connection to the movie itself, which makes it a not-so-great cinematic experience.
Besides all that, there are a lot of random events during the story, especially the romantic scenes between Lydia and Jerry (The Crab), Jason Bateman’s character, they are all quite uncomfortable and cringy to watch. The jokes are also not really funny, some of them make you laugh, but not the majority. The special effects are also not the best, but they aren’t bad to watch, they even end up complementing the movie.
The combination of all these factors turns the movie into something tiring to watch. In conclusion, “Thunder Force” is not a masterpiece, but the charisma and acting of Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer, and the differentiated proposal for a superhero movie, make the film more interesting. Also, it’s the perfect movie to watch with your family and friends when you have nothing else to see and want to see a bad movie that turns out good because of it.
The article above was edited by Laura Okida.
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