McCarthy, Spencer Unlikely Superheroes in Netflix B-Movie, Thunder Force

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Thunder Force

Lydia and Emily become best friends in grade school by virtue of both being social misfits. Emily was the curve-blowing smart kid, while Lydia was the sleep-in-class and deliver answers cribbed from Peppermint Patty. But when they have a falling out, they lose touch with each other for twenty years, until Lydia (Melissa McCarthy) decides to reach out to Emily (Octavia Spencer) to attend their class reunion. Through a series of childish missteps, Lydia accidentally obtains super powers from an experiment Lydia's tech company was working on.

The setting for Thunder Force is one where cosmic rays bombarded the world decades ago, creating genetic mutations in a small minority of people, giving them super abilities. Unfortunately, all these people turned out to be sociopaths dubbed "miscreants." One of them killed Emily's parents, and she's devoted her entire life to finding a way to grant super powers to someone who could fight the miscreants on their own level.

Half the film involves Lydia having to finish the course of treatments and training that end with her strength being enhanced to the levels where she can lift and throw a city bus, while Emily merely takes a regimen of pills that ultimately allow her the power to turn invisible.

Being a comedy, and being that one of the leads is Melissa McCarthy, one can rightly assume that the result here is a superhero movie on a storytelling par with the very best of Nickelodeon productions, but with some adult language and themes. In fact, all the humor is on McCarthy's shoulders, and it's the same act we've seen before, only this time in a leather super-suit (not even a cape) as Thunder Force go after the worst of Chicago -- Laser (Pom Klementieff) and The King (Bobby Cannavale), as well as the not-terribly-evil The Crab (Jason Bateman) who becomes something of a forbidden love interest for Lydia.

If you're expecting sense from the plot, pick another movie. The story jumps from scene to scene without doing anything to arrest the bad guys they fight until the very last scene. And the inevitable victory of good versus evil still manages to drown itself in infantile barf humor.

If you come looking for something like Ma or The Help, this isn't it. If, however, you expect something more like Ghostbuster (2016) or Life of the Party, then this is the film for you.

Grade: 
3.0 / 5.0