They say love conquers all. Well the love between Melissa McCarthy and husband Ben Falcone that made them deliver Thunder Force not only fails to conquer it meekly surrenders. The promotion and trailer promises so much but this poor film under-delivers on storyline, plot and most importantly laughs.
The script by Falcone is so full of holes it could strain pasta.
Starting with an explosion which kills the occupants of a tube train, including the parents of Emily Stanton (Octavia Spencer) who is at school with Lydia Berman (Melissa McCarthy). The blast (radioactive?) turns some of the population into Miscreants, mutants with malevolent superpowers.
We meet the two girls at school in the early ‘90s as the two become friends and then fall out as the polar opposite personalities of the educational slacker, Lydia and that of the over studious Emily fracture the relationship. Emily, now a teenager, is intent on creating technology to turn normal people into superheroes to combat the Miscreants. Lydia, on the other hand is intent on developing the skills that will lead her to crack open a six pack in later life.
Now some 27 years later, despite not spoken since high school, Lydia invites Emily to their high school reunion. Lydia is now a forklift truck driver and Emily is the owner of a billion dollar high tech company.
Emily does not attend the re-union so, in true McCarthy style, Lydia tracks her down and bulldozes her way into Emily’s high tech headquarters. Emily has developed a formula that will make her both invisible and super strong. Unfortunately for Emily, bull in a china shop Lydia accidentally stumbles into her laboratory and gets injected with the super strength formula (of which there is inexplicably only one dose). The invisibility formula is a course of pills which Emily swallows. And so, over a period of 33 days treatment, Thunder Force is born. Or rather still born.
The whole film is pretty nonsensical and formulaic with later scenes somewhat reminiscent of Adam West’s batman of the 60s. All that’s missing is the starburst cartoon ‘Splatt’ and ‘Bam’ captions. It even has The Crab (Jason Bateman) a man bitten by a radioactive crab that turned his arms into pincers and makes him walk sideways although he’s not a patch on Oswald Cobblepot.
Melissa McCarthy can be a brilliant comic actor (Spy, The Heat) with the right script and director. Thunder Force has neither. Hopefully she and Ben Falcone will continue to have a long and happy marriage but please, no more collaborations.