If Jerry Bruckheimer, producer of such bombastic cinema travesties like Bad Boys, Con Air, and Pearl Harbor, were to attach his name to a movie for kids about talking guinea pigs, what would it look like? Would it still have all the familiar Bruckheimer tropes we know and love? Would Michael Bay direct it? These are trying questions for trying times indeed, and strangely, the answer to most of these would be a resounding “Yes.” It has everything we might expect given the pedigree of the individuals involved:
Giant destructive robots…check.
A world in peril…check.
A clock counting down to doomsday…check.
Explosions, explosions, and more explosions…check.
But equally strange is the fact that G-Force somehow works, and works quite well. The film opens in the middle of a top-secret operation a’la True Lies in which the band of super-rodents, codenamed G-Force, are infiltrating the residence of a technology billionaire Leonard Saber (Bill Nighy) in order to steal top-secret information from his computer. Information which could determine…bum bum BUM… the fate of the free world. The little animal wonders, equipped with the latest in miniature spy technology and Happy Meal-Ready names like Blaster (Tracy Jordan), Speckles (Nicolas Cage), and Hurley (Jon Favreau), are actually the product of a government experiment to study and harness the power of human-animal communication. But when the mission goes awry, the government shuts down the operation and their leader Ben (Zach Galifianakis) is left empty-handed while the fate of the world (something about orbital space junk and the power of magnets…it really doesn’t matter) hangs in the balance.
Who will get to the bottom of things and stop the destruction of planet earth? Why, none other than G-Force of course! The talking guinea pigs take it upon themselves to get to the bottom of the conspiracy with plenty of pint-sized gadgets and gizmos from their genius bearded buddy Ben. Along the way they meet up with a several action-figure-ready talking animals who help them out and teach valuable lessons about teamwork, sacrifice, and the power of friendship. There’s a car chase and some robot fights thrown in for good measure too, just to keep things interesting. And for what it is, it works just fine. I didn’t start watching a movie about talking superhero rodents expecting Citizen Kane or Shawshank Redemption.
Criticizing a movie like G-Force is somewhat moot, since the film is aimed squarely at a target audience who buys Zhu Zhu Pets. But unlike some of its peers like Shrek, G-Force thankfully never plays to the lowest common denominator of toilet humor and cheap pop culture references. Like the Disney adventure Bolt from a few years ago, it’s silly enough to be fun, but doesn’t play its audience for fools either. And unlike other Bruckheimer explode-fests, Michael Bay actually didn’t direct this one. And that is most certainly a good thing.
Last 5 posts by Simon R.
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