Original title: Thunder Force
Tagline: Newly super. Almost heroes.
Duration: 1h 45min
Vote average: 5
Vote count: 36
Production: Marc Platt Productions
Original language: en
Release date: 2021-04-09
Director: Ben Falcone
Actors: Jason Bateman, Melissa McCarthy, Octavia Spencer
DVD Covers, 2021, Action, Comedy, Custom Covers, Fantasy
Thunder Force 2021 DVD Cover Summary
Thunder Force 2021 DVD Cover. Two estranged childhood best friends reunite after one devises a cure that gives them powers to defend their city in a world where supervillains are commonplace.
“Thunder Force” is set in modern-day Chicago, where residents are dealing with the fallout from a cosmic-ray explosion in 1983 that transformed sociopaths and criminals into lethal villains with dangerous superhero-like abilities.
The cowed and powerless population refers to them as “Miscreants.” Since then, the Miscreants have wreaked havoc, and ordinary people have been helpless to deter them. Lydia (Melissa McCarthy) and Emily (Octavia Spencer), childhood best friends who were estranged for several years, team up to fight the Miscreants, using a genetic soup-formula created by Emily through a painstaking years-long phase that can be injected into “ordinary” people, granting them superhero powers as well.
“Thunder Force,” written and directed by Ben Falcone, is also a genetic soup, a mash-up of various genres: buddy comedies, buddy dramas, and girl-power superhero films. It’s surprising that so much of the film is inert, rote, and traditional, particularly with McCarthy and Spencer at the helm.
Emily has risen to the top of her profession as a geneticist and CEO of her own business when Lydia and Emily re-enter each other’s lives after a long separation. Lydia is a forklift operator. Lydia is shocked when Emily fails to turn up for the high school reunion, and she heads to Emily’s gleaming corporate offices, determined to entice her friend back to the band.
Emily was studious, Lydia was a bruiser, and this is their childhood all over again. It was effective as a child, but not so much as an adult. Lydia is told not to touch anything in the offices, but she does, inadvertently injecting herself with half of the superhero-genetic formula, which will make someone super, super powerful. Lydia and Emily had not agreed to participate in this. Emily is furious, but she has little recourse. She uses the other half of the genetic formula to render someone invisible.
Then there’s the preparation montage, in which they both get used to their new abilities.
Meanwhile, in Chicago, a mayoral election is heating up. One of the candidates, Bobby Cannavale, is known as “The King,” and he is an overtly evil thug who struts about in suits that make him look like he stepped out of a Damon Runyon novel. The King is in cahoots with the Miscreants, one of whom, Laser (Pom Klementieff), he uses to inflict pain on his supposed foes. Lydia and Emily rename themselves “Thunder Force” and go on a few practice runs before deciding to take down The Dictator.
Lydia is distracted by a flirtation with Crab Man (Jason Bateman), a half-Miscreant with no apparent superpowers unless you count awkward crab-pincer arms as superpowers.
Thunder Force’s popularity stems from the fact that it stars two actresses who are unlikely to appear in a superhero film. McCarthy and Spencer have a lot of fun onscreen, and it’s obvious they had a lot of fun digging into this well-explored genre that doesn’t often take women like them into account. McCarthy’s comic timing is as good as ever, and Spencer’s steadfastness to the cause offers a nice foil.
Plus, watching both actresses take on superhero roles is a lot of fun. The supporting cast of Thunder Force features a number of standout performers, including Jason Bateman as The Crab, a miscreant. He doesn’t have hands at all; instead, he has crab claws. It’s a ridiculous part, and he does a fantastic job with it. The Crab and Lydia’s budding relationship adds a sweet touch to the film.
In addition, Bobby Cannavale and Pom Klementieff deliver strong performances as the other two main antagonists, and Taylor Mosby shines as Emily’s daughter Tracy.