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Thunder Force (2021)


Thunder Force is a Netflix original superhero movie set in Chicago. A loose collection of baddies are running rampant during a mayoral election season. Two grade-school friends that lost touch become superheroes. The film was written and directed by Ben Falcone and stars his wife, Melissa McCarthy, and Octavia Spencer along with Jason Bateman as a man with claws. McCarthy does not receive a writing credit like in Tammy or Life of the Party.

The film does not take itself too seriously, a good move for most superhero movies. Unfortunately, it is just never that interesting. McCarthy plays Lydia Berman, a heavy drinking, heavy equipment operator with no aspirations or direction in life. Spencer is Emily Stanton, a girl who was picked on in high school and defended by Lydia. Spencer focused on school and is the CEO of a large, advanced technology company. Eventually, the film gets to the superhero origin story and Lydia and Spencer get their powers. Lydia becomes a hammer so the entire world looks like nails while Spencer gains the ability to turn invisible and continue to hide from people. This sets up what might have been a good buddy cop storyline, but the film is just too over the top. Case in point, Jason Bateman plays The Crab, with literal crab claws for arms.

Netflix is throwing money around to make second and third-tier movies to keep boosting subscriber numbers. Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone are continuing to make commercially successful films together in the vein of Adam Sandler, who also has a massive Netflix deal. Where Sandler uses the same cast in his films, McCarthy and Falcone keep convincing new people to join them for a film. After seeing McCarthy in Can You Ever Forgive Me, her other roles leave me disappointed. Thunder Force is less than the sum of its parts and never hits the right tone like an MCU film.

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