If you enjoy reading my Spoiler-Free reviews, please follow my blog @
Ben Falcone and Melissa McCarthy, husband and wife, have been making movies together since the former began his filmmaking career. Literally, every film directed, written, and/or produced by Falcone has the famous actress in the lead role, all exploring subgenres of comedy. From romance (Superintelligence) to crime (The Happytime Murders), without forgetting a road trip (Tammy), now comes the time for Thunder Force, a dive into the highly profitable superhero circle. However, I don't believe the couple's real goal is to deliver a globally liked movie. Actually, I firmly defend that their purpose is to provide the most nonsensical piece of storytelling possible, hoping that viewers find it entertaining enough.
Directors, screenwriters, actors, and every other crew member... a vast majority aspire to deliver a groundbreaking masterpiece. A film recognized by everyone as "remarkable cinema". Something worthy of many Oscars, Golden Globes, and much more. Movies like Thunder Force aren't made to receive regular nominations, but instead, to try and be present at the Razzies - both Falcone and McCarthy have been quite successful in this achievement. While the actress continuously shows her undeniable talent that would be better employed in other films - such as Can You Ever Forgive Me? And Bridesmaids - the writer-director continues to put together awfully dull movies.
To be completely honest, the first act of Thunder Force is surprisingly decent. The setup to the main narrative is interesting enough, and the comedy peak is reached during the first half-hour. The massive problem is that this peak offers no more than a couple of chuckles occasionally. From the start of the second act until the very end, Falcone embarrassingly fails to offer genuine laughs. The tone is ridiculously out-of-balance, with almost every scene being a forced attempt at humor, even when the moment doesn't ask for it. Incredibly flat - and some disgusting - jokes are repeated throughout the film, which ends up dragging an already stretched out runtime.
The superhero plot is as generic and predictable as it could be in a movie that makes no effort in trying to do something remotely different than what viewers have seen for the last couple of decades. The VFX look like they came from an amateur studio as if Netflix didn't even care about its own product. Story-wise, there's not even a proper way of analyzing such a silly screenplay. In one moment, it seems to be taking a specific scene seriously, but a couple of minutes later, everything is back to the annoyingly dumb environment. Don't get me wrong: if there's a type of humor I absolutely adore is absurd comedy, but it needs to be done properly, with the right people and the right story.
In the end, I usually tend to have a light hand in films like this. Thunder Force is just another addition to the never-ending list of "forgettable movies", which isn't something that really bothers me. It's exactly what everyone expects it to be, which can work as a compliment if people want to. The most frustrating aspect of all of this is watching McCarthy and Octavia Spencer - two outstanding actresses with five Oscar nominations combined, including a win for the latter in The Help - working on hopeless projects such as this one. It begs the famous question: why?
Thunder Force is yet another piece of pointless, absurd storytelling from Ben Falcone, featuring unbearably dry, forced humor, besides a forgettable story. A film that cross-checks every requirement for a Razzies contender, something quite familiar for the writer-director and his wife, Melissa McCarthy, who keeps doing favors. Despite an admittedly decent first act, the rest of the film goes downhill concerning its entertainment value. Honestly, I don't know what's worse: witnessing McCarthy and Octavia Spencer waste her exceptional talent in nonsensical movies or seeing major studios continue to give opportunities to filmmakers that have nothing important to say while necessary, significant voices are still out there waiting desperately for their shot. The best compliment I can give this Netflix product is that it doesn't mislead anyone: it's precisely what viewers expect it to be, whether that's nice or horrible.