How does a grown man/cynical film critic approach the new Jerry Bruckheimer produced talking guinea pig movie? With much trepidation that's for sure, though that doesn't really help. As far as steaming piles of garbage go G-Force is a doozy. Its yawn-inducing plot involves a CEO that happens to be evil (don't they all?) who aspires to take over the world by activating a computer chip that has been laying dormant in all of his company’s home appliances. Lucky for us humans though, G-Force, a bunch of government funded 3D rodents, well versed in covert operations, are here to save the day.
In actuality those 3D special effects are dazzling; holograms beam out of the screen, water pours down on the audience, and a fly appears to enter the picture from behind your left shoulder. If all that jazz is enough for you, then G-Force might be a tolerable experience. But...if you require a little bit more (plot development, funny lines, characters you can care about in the least), then this film is going to be one extremely long, bitter gulp of medicine.
Somehow Bruckheimer and director, the impossibly named Hoyt Yeatman, have found a way to both bore the audience to death and grate on their nerves at the same time. They apparently see no need for exposition and drop us almost immediately into a scene involving the titular rodents (led by Darwin, voiced by Sam Rockwell) invading a high class soiree being thrown by that previously mentioned CEO, who goes by the name Leonard Saber (Bill Nighy). The plan is to steal his plans for world domination and in the process justify their continued budget funding to government officials.
While it is well known that action sells more tickets than talking, there is no excuse for the way this film happily blows past any explanation for these bizarre antics in an attempt to get to the next frenzied sequence just that split-second faster. After the initial mission goes bust the government suits try to shut down the operation and the guinea pigs (along with their friend, a mole) end up exiled in a pet shop. What follows is a long stretch in which Darwin and friends have to plan their escape so that they can save the world. Saber, like any self-respecting evildoer, is planning total human extermination and has a giant ticking clock counting down to the big moment. This way the audience knows exactly how much time G-Force has before the unthinkable happens. Tracy Morgan, playing Blaster the guinea pig provides the bulk of the annoyance, as his jive talkin' is overplayed and simply not at all funny.
But the real perpetrators in this crime against humanity are husband and wife writing team Corman and Marianne Wibberly. Their idea of a pop culture reference is turning Robert Duvall’s classic “napalm in the morning” line from Apocalypse Now into a fart joke. One of a gazillion fart jokes actually. And that's not to say that fart jokes aren't funny, some are hilarious, just not any of these. G-Force also boasts perhaps the worst double entendre in cinema history: "I hate it when my fly is down." That one still stings.
The laugh lines were almost universally DOA with not a single one producing a theatre wide chuckle. No moral dilemma exists that can't be solved with two lines of dialogue and a purported surprise ending is remarkably uncreative. This script was probably found in a stall somewhere. If you want to look deeper, you could find a theme running throughout that serves to remind humans that every time they over step their boundaries in the natural world there will be unforeseen consequences to deal with. But none of the under tens in the audience are really going to pick up on it and even if they did nothing in their life would change. Meaning the only way this film is likely to change the world is through the artificial spike in guinea pig sales that it is likely to induce.
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Penelope Cruz, Steve Buscemi, Tracy Morgan, Sa, Rockwell
Director: Hoyt Yeatman
Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures
Runtime: 90 minutes
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