Thunder Force is a new Netflix Original starring Octavia Spencer and Melissa McCarthy, directed by the latter's husband and regular co-star Ben Falcone. In attempts to tackle or parody the ever-growing superhero genre, the plot sees our two leading ladies reuniting after years apart to protect their city from the supervillains that run ragged. Seeing these two hilarious women with superpowers undeniably offers a little fun, yet this is unfortunately the only positive that can be taken from Thunder Force.
Written by Becca Johnson
McCarthy and Spencer are two actresses that have natural humour, talent and bundles of charm. It's difficult not to get on board with anything they do. They definitely don't give anything close to career-best performances during the movie, yet seeing them struggle to taser a criminal and doing flips on top of a sports car can be something quite entertaining. In whichever setting with whichever character, the idea of having powers and being able to fight evil villains offers something of intrigue and interest to a large audience. However, to be a successful and loved movie, it has to offer much more than that.
The two leads aren't the only talented actors that Thunder Force gives us. We have a clawed Jason Bateman, a red-eyed Bobby Cannavale and a villainous Pom Klementieff that all appear to try their best, yet offer very weak performances. Most members of the audience will have seen the talent this cast has to offer, so its clear the script is to blame. Bateman's 'Crab Man' becomes a love interest for McCarthy, forcing the audience to endure attempts of eroticism and the two characters feeding each other raw chicken. Cannavale is never quite menacing enough to feel like a powerful villain, and Klementieff often feels like a Scarlet Witch knock-off. The cast try, yet there is only so much that can be done with poorly written characters.
Thunder Force is first and foremost a comedy, with some action thrown in there in attempt to raise the stakes. Unfortunately, the movie doesn't quite deliver in either genre. The jokes rarely land, which is a shame given the leads previous accolades. All attempts at humour are at the expense of the ladies themselves, which is not only unfunny but also stops viewers from being able to take them seriously and get behind them. This means that when the script does try and give us some cute family moments with a bit of heart, the scenes cannot be appreciated. On the flip-side, the action is never choreographed well enough to be admired, and is never serious enough to feel violent or sincere.
Upon watching Thunder Force, it is clear that the team are trying to parody the massively saturated superhero movie market. However, by putting its own superhero's at the end of each punchline, it fails to take that much desired jab at a genre that is often accused of having nothing unique to offer, making Thunder Force yet another movie that has nothing to say. It could have included a wide amount of discourse ranging from gender to age to make it feel worthwhile, yet by the end of the movie, it feels like a waste.