‘Thunder Force’ (2021) | Movie Review | Netflix

‘Thunder Force’ is directed by Ben Falcone and stars Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer as two estranged best friends Lydia Berman (McCarthy) and Emily Stanton (Spencer) who reunite after Lydia accidentally gets turned into a superhero, meant to be for Emily Stanton to save the world. Now the two will have to work together to save the world from a fairly generic villain and a ‘crabby’ henchman played by Jason Bateman. Not unlike this year’s’ Barb & Star Go To Vista Del Mar’, this film is ultimately about friendship and bonding, but the way that they do that with this generic superhero story makes for a fairly boring and unfunny time.

What was most disappointing in this film to me came from the bland storytelling. Maybe you can look at ‘Thunder force’ as a twist on traditional tropes of the genre, but it’s only unique because the superheros are Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer. My point is the story feels like it was put in only as background noise and was meant to service McCarthy and Spencer’s improvising through the scenes.

Which leads to the next issue. The comedy is pretty hit or miss here. I think the PG-13 rating is a BIG hinderance from what this is to what it could’ve been. I could tell they were trying to bring in a younger audience by watering down the comedic elements that if were maybe more vulgar and violent tones could be much more satisfying. It’s on Netflix, why not go R?

Both dramatic performances by McCarthy and Spencer are done well, Emily Stanton’s relationship with her daughter is great and I especially enjoyed any of the scenes with Lydia and the henchmen played by Jason Bateman who literally has crab arms. There is a lot of potential with this film it just never really kicks into the higher gear and tries to bring something original and unique to the superhero genre.

Overall, ‘Thunder Force’ is not one I would recommend unless you have nothing better to do one day. There are few funny moments that land and the story I wish had more depth and originality to it and maybe a more crass and violent edge.


Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

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Patrick Beatty
Patrick Beatty

Patrick Beatty is a film critic and creator of PatrickBeattyReviews.com and the Gaggle of Geeks Podcast network. Watch him Friday’s on ABC4 Good Things Utah talk about movies and follow all his work in the link below.

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