Thunder Force

By Joanna Langfield

Well, it’s forced alright. What this one doesn’t do is bring the thunder.

Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer star as reunited childhood friends in this female superhero vehicle. That, on paper, sounds promising. But there are so many bland, dull spots in this movie, there’s almost nothing super about it.

Note I said almost. And I’m not sure if it’s happily or sadly, but virtually the only time this movie brightens up is when the focus is away from our two leads, both of whom seem oddly toned down for this affair. Thank God for Bobby Cannavale, who makes the most out of his thinly written bad guy role. And then there’s Jason Bateman, whose wonderfully dry delivery packs a delicious punch for even the most ordinary of dialogue.

It should be noted, I suppose, that the film has been written, produced and directed by Ben Falcone, who is married to McCarthy. Now, I think McCarthy is a terrific talent, as gifted physical comedienne as she is dramatic actress. But, when you look at the films she’s made with Falcone, well they aren’t as strong or even fun for us as, say Spy (directed by Paul Feig) or Bridesmaids (directed by, whaddya know, Paul Feig). I do think it’s kind of lovely and understandable when stars such as McCarthy and Adam Sandler, for instance, bring their posse along, but there’s no denying those “hey kids, let’s put on a show” movies often don’t work as well as productions where somebody else is around to stir things up. Everybody, remember, needs an editor.