"Superhero Spoof Serves Up Serious Heroics"
What You Need To Know:
THUNDER FORCE is funny, exciting and occasionally moving. Most of it has a clear sense of good and evil. It also has an inspiring, powerful, redemptive scene of self-sacrifice that’s very effective. In addition, there are two scenes of saying grace before a meal. However, THUNDER FORCE also contains several strong profanities and lots of other foul language, plus a few off-color innuendoes and strong action violence. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises strong or extreme caution.
THUNDER FORCE is a highly entertaining superhero spoof on Netflix starring the unlikely team of Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer as two childhood friends who reunite and get superpowers to form a crime-fighting group called Thunder Force to save Chicago from an evil mayoral candidate. THUNDER FORCE is funny, exciting and occasionally moving, but it has several strong profanities and plenty of other foul language, plus a few off-color innuendoes, which warrant strong caution.
Melissa McCarthy plays Lydia, an overweight girl who grows up to be a tough-talking and acting construction worker. Her childhood best friend was Emily (Spencer), a smart nerdy girl who goes on to become a highly successful inventor and industrialist. The two have lost touch over the years, but Lydia visits Emily to make her attend a school reunion. While at Emily’s office, Lydia accidentally injects herself with a serum that gives her super-strength.
Emily has been secretly inventing means to convey superpowers because she wants noble revenge on a race of mutant evildoers called the Miscreants, who killed her parents in the 1980s when a bomb detonated on a city train ridden by her parents. Emily’s special power is invisibility, which she combines with a love of Tasering bad guys to become an effective hero herself.
The two women team up against an evil industrialist called “The King” (Bobby Cannavale) who’s running for mayor of Chicago and will kill and intimidate anyone to win, upsetting the political machine which has slowly rotted Chicago for years. Caught in the middle of Thunder Force and the King’s minions is The Crab, a man who developed giant crab pincers in place of his arms after being bitten on his genitals (it’s only talked about) years before by a radioactive crab. The Crab engages in some of the King’s crimes, but he also has a genuine affection for Lydia and eventually turns into a key informant for her.
All of this plays out in fast-moving and funny fashion, with well-executed stunt and fight scenes, solid special effects and a great deal of charm from the cast. McCarthy has proved to be a deft physical comedian and brings those formidable action skills to bear throughout THUNDER FORCE. She and Spencer make appealing heroines, not just because they have a good way with a wisecrack or action move, but because they have a grounded sense of humility and genuine caring for other characters and their city as a whole. Their action comedy has a clear sense of good and evil. It also has an inspiring, redemptive scene of self-sacrifice that’s incredibly effective. At two points in the movie, the lead characters say grace before a meal.
The writer and director of THUNDER FORCE, Ben Falcone, is Melissa McCarthy’s husband, continuing a recent string of movies they’ve done together. Most of these movies have been mediocre or worse, but it looks like Falcone has finally found his wheelhouse with action-comedy and crafted a movie that’s funny, exciting and even occasionally moving. THUNDER FORCE is a force to be reckoned with.
That said, THUNDER FORCE contains several strong profanities and lots of other foul language, plus a few off-color jokes and innuendoes and strong action violence. In one scene, the movie also has a politically correct joke about homosexuality. Finally, although THUNDER FORCE has frequent comic-book level violence, much of it is played for laughs and isn’t graphically violent or bloody. So, MOVIEGUIDE® advises strong or extreme caution.