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Review: Thunder Force (2021)

Thunder Force (2021)

Directed by: Ben Falcone

Premise: An astral event has given superpowers to people with psychotic personalities. A genetic scientist (Octavia Spencer) reunites with her childhood friend (Melissa McCarthy) and they each receive treatments that make them superheroes.

What Works: Taylor Mosby is cast as the daughter of Octavia Spencer’s character. The daughter is the most interesting and engaging person in the movie. There are comic and dramatic moments between her and Spencer and McCarthy’s characters that have promise if had they had been followed anywhere.  

What Doesn’t: Thunder Force is another cringingly unfunny Ben Falcone-Melissa McCarthy collaboration. Even for them, Thunder Force is really badly made. The film intends to play on the superhero genre but even silly comedies need to make sense. Thunder Force is inept storytelling. The movie posits that people with psychopathic personalities have had superpowers for decades but apparently these villains aren’t doing anything with their abilities because they are nearly absent from the story. A mayoral candidate (Bobby Cannavale) orchestrates a crime wave to enrich his political prospects. This is an interesting idea but it doesn’t come to anything. Jason Bateman plays a crab-man who actually isn’t such a bad guy, undercutting the conceit of the movie. The filmmakers turn their attention to the lab where a messy blue-collar worker played by Melissa McCarthy receives experimental gene therapy overseen by a scientist played by Octavia Spencer. These two are supposed to be old friends but they’re relationship is unconvincing. They have no comic rapport. Most of Thunder Force consists of slapstick in the laboratory. The whole joke is the idea that Melissa McCarthy could be a superhero. The filmmakers bring nothing to the superhero genre and Thunder Force is entirely dependent on McCarthy turning the obnoxiousness up to eleven.

Bottom Line: Thunder Force is reminiscent of the movies of Adam Sandler. It’s one lame joke after another strung together by a plot that makes no sense.

Episode: #890 (February 6, 2022)