Rating: 7 out of 10 stars
Warning! Minor spoilers ahead!
Considering this movie seems to be universally despised, you may be surprised that I rated it so high and will admit to having had enjoyed it. I watched this movie without seeing the reviews first, which is probably best because I went into it without any specific expectations. While I wouldn’t necessarily call this a super high-quality film, I found it to be funny and entertaining.
This movie is a family film in more ways than one. I think it may not be great for children under the age of 10 due to language and implications of sex. However, I could see it as a family film nonetheless because parents can watch it and enjoy it with their children ages 10+. It’s also a family film because it was literally made by and for family. Ben Falcone wrote and directed the film in which his wife, Melissa McCarthy, is one of the main characters (Lydia). Their child Vivian Falcone plays a younger version of her mother in Thunder Force.
In Thunder Force, cosmic rays have given people with a specific trait superpowers. This shared trait is that they are all sociopaths. This leads to imbalance and violence, and the superpowered villains come to be called Miscreants. Emily Stanton (Octavia Spencer), a smart young girl, is orphaned when her parents are killed by a Miscreant. When Emily is bullied at school, Lydia Berman defends her and becomes her best friend.
These childhood friends drift apart after some tension builds, and are only reunited in their 40s. Lydia is working a blue-collar job, while Emily is a largely successful scientist and researcher who has built her own company for the ground up. When Lydia goes in search of Emily and is left to her own devices in Emily’s lab, she is hilariously out of place and like a kid in a candy shop (or me in a bookstore). When she gets into the laboratory chair, it automatically straps her down and applies the first dose in what will become a recurring and painful treatment for developing super strength.
Emily is aghast because she believes her research has gone down the drain. After all, she has made only one serum for super-strength, and this is what she has been working on all these years to honor her parents. She eventually becomes resigned to the fact Lydia will now have to be her manufactured superhero. She has a separate treatment plan for invisibility that she undertakes herself. Thus, they become the heroes The Hammer and Bingo.
The movie spends a lot of time in this first stage of background information and developing powers, but it does not feel too long or boring because it is peppered with jokes and humor.
My one complaint for the first part of the movie is the distinction made between being a nerd and being smart. That’s because there should not be a distinction! Being a nerd is slowly being accepted as a positive thing, and many people are becoming self-professed nerds. Why take a step back by rejecting the word nerd and embracing the word smart?
She’s not a nerd. She’s smart. There’s a difference”Emily
Lydia is hilarious, asking for a pickle in a bag as a reward for a successful mission and falling for a man with crab appendages. Emily is smart and has a good sense of humor too when she finally lets her guard down a bit.
Lydia and Emily do not fit the stereotypes of the super hero genre. They are not slim, muscular, and young like most heroes. But that’s cool. Not every hero has to look similar. Some of the meanest reviews I saw complained about the heroes being overweight and called them unattractive. What kind of person rates a movie based on how attractive they believe the main characters are? Yeesh.
Some parts are cringy, such as the crab sex scene. Not that it shows anything, but it involves seasoning and it is so weird. Also, Lydia is addicted to raw chicken after gaining her powers. Even though I know it was really sliced pears, it still looked super gross when she’s eating it.
Other parts are realistic, such as the super suits not being machine washable and stinking after being worn repeatedly.
Things are predicable at times, but seeing certain things coming doesn’t make them less funny. We all know Lydia is going to screw something up when she is left alone in Emily’s lab, but it can prompt some laughter nonetheless.
Overall, the movie is fun and enjoyable, a light movie that critics are taking way too seriously.
- Genuinely likeable characters
- Not your average super heroes
- Realism at times
- Kind of cringy occasionally
- Predictable sometimes
If you are interested in how I rate movies, check out my rating system.
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