CULT FACTION

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Thunder Force (2021)

Two childhood best friends reunite as an unlikely crime-fighting superhero duo when one invents a formula that gives ordinary people superpowers.

On a streaming service that carries most of Adam Sandlers recent comedy failures, it takes a special kind of skill to bring together comedic talent and multiple Oscar winners and become one of the worst comedy movies on Netflix.   Director Ben Falcone has that skill.

We are introduced to the two best friends at some point in the early 90s, it goes to type straight away, one is a rock chick with no respect for authority the other is a studious nerd.  No prizes for guessing who’s who.  Its at this point we get one of the stand out performances from the cast and its in the shape of McCarthy and Falcone’s real daughter, Vivian Falcone who plays a young version of her mother.  This is where the all the good ends.  We then see a few short scenes of their developing friendship and their ultimate parting of ways.

Jump forward 20 something years and it is the present day.  Lydia (Melissa McCarthy) is working a dead-end job, hiding lunch break beers in a thermos. Emily (Octavia Spencer) is the successful CEO of a Bio-Tech company developing a way to give everyday people superpowers.  I should probably mention that the all the exposition for this movie has already been played out for you by this point.  Somehow certain individuals have been granted superhuman powers.  Bizarrely all of them have chosen a life of crime and are called miscreants.  These miscreants killed Emily’s parents, setting her on a path of revenge to ultimately develop her new super serum (I don’t think it’s ever named so that’s what I’m calling it).

It is the night of their high school reunion and deciding that the only possible reason for Emily not showing up is the fact that 20 something years ago she didn’t like arriving to parties on her own, Lydia decides to pay her old pal a visit at the newly opened lab which just happens to be back in her hometown (I would like to say you couldn’t write this shite, but clearly someone did).

Busy and uneasy at the sudden arrival of her former best friend and knowing full well what a total disaster zone Emily is, she decides that its absolutely fine to allow her unfettered access to her top secret, highly experimental and costly lab equipment, safe in the knowledge that all will be well when she returns.  I think it is safe to say we all know where this is going.

Lydia gets dosed and now must continue to get dosed or some sciencey thing will happen and she will die (at least that’s how I heard it as I was momentarily distracted by the far more interesting and far more amusing large crow that landed on the fence in my garden).  Now, with Lydia dosed and the only other super enhancing McGuffin to hand being some pills to make you invisible the two must take the fight for justice to the miscreants together.

The script is terrible, there are no laughs and if the plot were not written on the back of a cigarette packet it would certainly fit on one.  I think maybe Netflix has a joke quota you must fulfil for the algorithm to recognise this as a comedy but what it does not pick up on is that if you repeat that same joke, it counts it again.  I lost track of how many times we are supposed laugh because the suits smell, or the big bad Miscreant cannot remember the names of his henchman. The same can be said for the raw chicken gag which in a gross out way is funny the first time, multiple times, it is just gross.

I lied a little at the top of this review, not all the good ends with Vivian Falcone’s performance.  We also have Jason Bateman as The Crab, a once happy honeymooner who we learn was bitten on the testicles by a radioactive crab (yes you read that right the first time) and developed pincers for arms. Its obvious this a paycheck movie for him but he still puts in a decent performance and the scenes with him, and McCarthy carry some genuine chemistry.  Unfortunately, that amounts to around 10 mins screen time, so it was never going to save this movie.

Verdict: 0/10. I hope one day this movie will be released on bluray so I can buy a copy and destroy it.  Destroy it with fire!

 

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