As if we didn’t already have enough superhero movies, Netflix today brings us Thunder Force, a superhero comedy film starring Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer. This flick is written and directed by McCarthy’s husband Ben Falcone, writer and director of Tammy and The Boss, and as expected, this is another one of his spousal shitfests. Netflix’ on-screen blurb describes Falcone’s offering as “Two childhood best friends reunite as an unlikely crime-fighting superhero duo when one invents a formula that gives ordinary people superpowers”. Clichéd and stale plots aside, this is basically another Melissa McCarthy snore-a-thon which will be forgotten about in the years to come…
Thunder Force is not ridiculous enough to be a parody, it’s not original enough to be a decent addition to the superhero sub-genre, and it’s not funny enough to be considered a comedy. Everything about this movie feels either amateur, outdated, or outright hackneyed. The plot for instance, involves a cosmic ray striking the world in 1983 which activates a gene in “sociopaths” giving them superpowers, thus creating a race of evil-doers called “The Miscreants” (which sounds like a grandpa from the 1950s describing the neighbourhood kids). Guardian Of The Galaxy‘s Pom Klementieff plays a miscreant named “Laser”, a bland and non-humorous moniker which reminded me of “Taserface”, a name and scene which managed to be funny in an actual superhero movie.
“The King”, “The Crab”, and “Laser” are not amusing names. There’s a training sequence that’s not funny, a Glenn Frey dance sequence that’s also not funny, numerous unfunny conversations, and the invisibility and super-strength doesn’t bring about any laughs either, and so on and so forth. I literally didn’t laugh for the entire duration of the film. I guess the creator of Life Of The Party isn’t going to bring us Guardians Of The Galaxy 3 and since James Gunn has already made two, possibly three successful superhero comedies, what’s the point in this straight-to-streaming trash?
There’s definitely been a lull in filmic comedy since the mid-to-late ’90s that hasn’t yet been remedied. Ever since a certain generation of comedians set foot in Hollywood, we’ve been inundated with a slew of underwhelming wannabe-funny films. Melissa McCarthy is comparable to her peers Will Ferrell and Adam Sandler in that respect; she’s irritating, not to mention overrated, and similarly she’s never in her career made a memorable comedy film. Speaking of annoying comedy actors, Thunder Force also stars Jason Bateman who’s been ruining the moving picture since Teen Wolf Too with his repetitive performances. This time around, Jason Bateman plays Jason Bateman but this time with crab claws… hilarious… not. Seeing this twat’s smug, smirking face in yet another film, a film that can’t even coax out a grin from the audience, is quite irksome. Please let some new (talented) blood into this decrepit genre.
Whether on the small-screen at home or on the big-screen at the cinema, there’s no shortage of superhero films, and now we have this pissy faux-pastiche to place in the pantheon of other similarly mediocre crapfests including My Super Ex-Girlfriend and Kick-Ass. Thunder Force begs the question: have we come to the point of oversaturation in the superhero sub-genre? Somewhere between Unbreakable, Batman Begins, and Joker, it feels like we’ve exhausted the concept of superhero originality and yet Hollywood keeps churning out more and more underwhelming shite. It seems like if you show up to a studio clutching any banal screenplay, as long as it features rubber suits and lasers shooting out of someone’s hands, your script will be green-lit almost immediately. Please can we move on from this threadbare concept and give a different genre a go?