When Netflix offers a superhero film with three of my favorite actors, then I am joyfully obligated to watch said film…but did Thunder Force satisfy my expectations?
Thunder Force is a comedy written and directed by Ben Falcone and starring the marvelous Melissa McCarthy, Octavia Spencer, Jason Bateman, Bobby Cannavale, Pom Klementieff and Taylor Mosby. After a cosmic radioactive ray blasts planet Earth in the 1980s, the world is threatened by villains who were transformed by the radiation into sociopathic superheroes called Miscreants.
These bad guys kill people at random, and that is how we meet Emily and Lydia. Emily’s (Octavia Spencer) parents who were genetic scientists are killed by the Miscreants, and Emily swears that she will one day find a way to turn good people into superheroes, but for now she is a kid, a nerd to be exact, who loves reading books. Emily is picked on by the school bully until Lydia (Melissa McCarthy) gives the schoolyard bully a taste of his own medicine. The girls become close, almost like sisters. Their personalities are so different that there was bound to be a fight, and there was, when Emily refuses to go to a concert with Lydia because Emily rather study.
In their mid-forties now, Lydia a forklift driver, tries to reconnect with Emily, who is now genetic scientist running a huge rech company that is working on a top-secret project. Lydia learns that Emily is a mother and that her daughter, Tracy (Taylor Mosby) is just as smart as her mother…only more fun. This is where the action begins as Lydia accidently injects herself with a genetic formula that makes her super strong. Emily is then forced to take the matching formula that enables her to become invisible at will.
If you were expecting anything like a Batman and Robin team…forget it! Emily and Lydia have no clue on how to use their superpowers, or even what to call themselves. They learn on the run, and as “Thunder Force” their first job is a robbery at a convenience store where they meet the Crab (Jason Bateman). The Crab was a normal person, but on his honeymoon a radioactive crab’s bite caused him to grow huge lobster arms.
The Crab, along with Laser (Pom Klementieff), work for The King (Bobby Cannavale) who is running for Mayor. The King is a bad guy who is not happy about his political rival winning the Mayoral seat. Although the Crab and Lydia have an interesting one-night stand, Lydia doesn’t know if he will help stop The King’s plans to assassinate his political enemies.
The one film that I felt was Melissa McCarthy’s best role was in Spy. I expected that same level of smart comedy from McCarthy in Thunder Force, especially because of her co-stars: the fabulous Octavia Spencer, and the incredibly talented, Jason Bateman. I was a bit disappointed. There are a lot of funny scenes, but the best parts are when Octavia and Melissa are not in their weird superhero costumes. It is a good movie to watch, just not the great movie that I was expecting especially because of the caliber of talent. Maybe it’s because she isn’t that funny when hubby Ben Falcone is sitting in the director’s chair. That does happen sometimes. Oh well.
But I always say that anyone can be a critic for the price of a theater ticket, and maybe…what wasn’t my cup of tea, will make you laugh. I am asking that you check Thunder Force for yourself, and let me know what you think.