Thunder force plays as a superhero movie designed by someone who doesn’t like superhero movies, with the intention of presenting them in the shallowest and most unpleasant way to convince others at this point. At a time when superhero rates are richer than ever, the film wastes the opportunity to deal with the genre’s familiar conventions of either love or subversive activity, instead reluctantly testing them in ways that are perfect and deeply lazy. While the film is a slogan to sit through, the innate lethargy of its writing is felt most acutely during a scene in which the two hosts come to the name of their team of superheroes. Walking into the closet for inspiration, forklift operator Lydia (Melissa McCarthy) says, “Crater Joss, Crackers from Flajac, Thunderstorm, Mango Flops.” “Force of thunder”? One in which the screenwriter needs a shortcut.
Point of several descriptive shortcuts Thunder force, which began in 1938, when young Lydia (Vivian Falcone) befriended her more diligent classmate Emily (Bria D. Singleton), whose motivation stemmed from Batman’s school of dead parents. In this universe, cosmic radiation has flooded the Earth, unlocking superpowers only in people genetically predisposed to be sociopaths. These villains, called Miscreants (a name that doesn’t inspire the slightest threat), rage, killing Emily’s family in the process. Emily, for her part, vows to develop scientific superpowers for herself when she grows up so she can get revenge.
The friendship between the two should be the emotional core of the film, but the hurried early parts, designed to establish their dynamics, are clear and useful for dialogue depicted by the teenage dramas of the early outs. Lydia’s awkward attitude quarrels with Emily and her more bookish pursuits in both ways. Years later, the two reunite in a sequence that ends with Lydia (Melissa McCarthy), developing a superpower in an ironically weak part of a conspiracy.
At this point, she and Emily (Octavia Spencer) have long been estranged, and so their awkward, unshakable dynamics, though understandable, weigh on the already complete film. Screenwriter-director Ben Falcone overcompensated by filling the script with comedy scenes, including (bad) impressions of Jody Foster, time-consuming jokes and physical comedies that involve McCarthy being hit in the crotch. None of these lands.
The casting of two large 50-year-old women in a genre associated with tight spandex and wavy muscles is in itself a subversive activity, but one that the film does not make sense to admit
The film finds its channel only when Emily figures out how to become invisible and the two begin to fight crime, developing easy chemistry along the way. In an absurd sequence, Lydia fantasizes about a slow dance with a semi-crustacean Miskrint, who has just been detained (Jason Bateman with crab crabs and a flawless comic moment). The view of the two rotating strobe lights with clothes from the 80’s and big hair is a sharp tonal deviation from the rest of the film, but far better. The only other villains in the film are Laser (Pom Clementiev), who shoots lasers from his hands, and a mayoral candidate who crushes people (Bobby Cannavale). Both are devastating things when it comes to superpowers.
A subplot of the mutually beneficial relationship between superpowers and shady government agencies pulling their strings quickly loses steam because it is completely transparent and carefully formulated early. This is a narrative line that would have had a more dramatic impact if it had been used as a great revelation, as Amazon Prime Video’s The boys made a big impact in its final season.
The biggest bad service of this film, however, is for Spencer and McCarthy, both talented actresses saddled with cool material. The casting of two 50-year-old women of large size in a genre associated with tight spandex and wavy muscles is in itself a subversive activity, but one that the film does not make sense to admit. To Paul Feig Spy, which came out six years earlier, a cunning weapon of McCarthy’s individual – who would suspect a woman described as “Santa’s wife” of being an undercover agent in a profession that promoted the body bond pattern? Thunder force, on the other hand, pulls its blows and as a result has a weak impact.