Warning: Do not go by the reviews which have been judging the film negatively just because it is directed by one of the film’s two leading ladies’ husband. I have a confession to make. I am an unabashed fan of Melissa McCarthy. Her collaborations with her director husband Ben Falcone have always entertained me. It’s simple. I find MM entertaining no matter what she does, whether it is burping belching or worse… she can carry off bodily noises with the greatest aplomb. And MM’s comic timing is incompatible.
Yup, she is one of her kind. When they put Melissa with Octavia Spencer, another oversized powerhouse actress the result has to be a combustive laugh riot. To a large extent, Thunder Force doesn’t disappoint. The writing is meant to showcase two leading ladies’ considerable talent for improvisation. And to that extend some of the writing could have been less stilted. Why not let the joint charms of McCarthy and Spencer take over the show completely? Whenever they are left to their own devices, Thunder Force rocks.
The lines are glibly clever and the situations…well, you can’t judge a film about two Size XX superheroes by its cover! On the surface, the ladies are let loose to have themselves a contagious riot.McCarthy and Spencer play childhood friends who grow apart because ..well Lydia (McCarthy) has a way of messing up things whenever she is around.
Emily (Octavia Spencer) is in search of a better world. Lydia couldn’t care less. As long as her beer is chilled, so is she. Some of the writing that turns them into a superhero combo is downright clunky. Not being a fan of superhero fan I am just happy seeing the genre not being taken seriously. These are two ultra-talented actresses having a ball with the genre. What is the problem with that? The villains named The King and the Crab are risible in their ambitions of conquering the world. Thunder Force has no such ambitions. It is goofy silly giggly fun with the two leading ladies in the mood to have a swinging time. There are some interesting little cameos, like Melissa Leo as Octavia Spencer's starchy assistant whom Melissa brings down a peg or two by calling her ‘Jodie Foster’. My favourite cameo is that by Marcella Lowery as Octavia’s grandmother who insists Octavia and McCarthy are a lesbian pair and dares them to disappoint her by saying they are not.
Yes, I was laughing at the sheer absurdity of it all. Sometimes we just need to loosen up and flow with the glow. And Melissa McCarthy sharing raw chicken with the Crab (Jason Bateman) is the best pitch for vegetarianism I’ve ever seen.
Directed by Ben Falcone, Thunder Force gets 3 stars.
Image source: Netflix