For the past decade, we have been completely spoiled with superhero stories. Whether they appear on the big screen or the small screen, superhero storytelling has really taken off. Artists have really tapped into what makes this type of storytelling such a treat to audiences and we have had content that is overwhelming good. Remember, I am not saying that we are flooded with masterpieces, because that's not true either. But the majority of what we get is good. There are so many good examples of superhero stories out there now, whether you like more adult storytelling or something that is more loose and broad. The thing is, with all of these examples, it seems weird to think that someone can make a bad superhero story using television or movies.
"Thunder Force" sadly, is probably the worst superhero movie in a decade. The legit last time I remember hating a superhero movie this bad was "Green Lantern."
I like Melissa McCarthy. I LOVE Octavia Spencer. While Melissa McCarthy's husband Ben Falcone is funny in his starring roles, he hasn't particularly wowed me with his directorial credits. It seems his entire career has amounted to throwing his wife in a goofy premise then rely on "Fatty Fall Down" humor. While I am grateful that there really isn't any fat humor in this movie. It stinks that we have a superhero comedy that neither thrilling or humorous.
McCarthy and Spencer play Lydia Berman and Emily Scanton respectively. Lydia and Emily became best friends quick as young teens and remained friends throughout high school. Emily was the smart bookworm and Lydia was the wild child and they had each other and it was a perfect friendship. Lydia wanted to stay in their hometown and take life as it came to her. Emily wanted to leave her hometown and make something out of herself, which left their friendship and parting of ways. As adults, it's their high school reunion and the world has changed drastically. People with superpowers are everywhere seemingly, and they mostly commit crimes. No superhero in sight. Lydia hasn't seen Emily in years and she decides to visit where she works. Emily has become a profound scientist who has found a way to give superpowers to regular people. She is able to give Lydia superpowers and they both decide to become superheroes called The Thunder Force.
Its definitely an interesting premise for a superhero movie. Its ripe for humor, using the conventions of the superhero genre to make jokes and to parody it. But it seems to me that Ben Falcone has never really picked up a comic book before. His comedy here is so ordinary, going for easy jokes, and it almost feels like its come from a novice writer. Not someone who already has a few screenplays under their belt. There is also no real stakes to anything. Emily has a daughter, their relationship improves. Lydia and Emily get into a fight, and they make up only a few scenes later. The big battle at the end of the movie has no stakes. It's hard to have that thrill of superhero movie without any danger.
Jason Bateman, Pom Klementieff, Bobby Cannavale and Melissa Leo all co-star. Each and every one of them a great actor. They have absolutely nothing to do here. Each and every one of them wasted. It's a real bummer. The special effects are something special, if this were the 90's. The costumes look like they are from a television show, not a movie.
All of this tells me that I'm blown away that a movie this bad, with so many good and even great examples out there, even exists. With all the talent involved, and all the potential. We barely got anything in return.