Netflix original ‘Thunder Force,’ falls flat

Written By Jordyn Hronec, Editor-in-Chief

2 Globes out of 5


Netflix released its new film “Thunder Force” on Friday, April 9. The comedy film, directed by Ben Falcone, stars his wife, Melissa McCarthy, and Octavia Spencer as a team of superheroes who take on various “miscreants” terrorizing the streets of Chicago. 

When I first saw this film on Netflix, I was intrigued. It had a lot going for it in its cast, which also includes Jason Bateman, and I thought that the premise of a genius geneticist turning her childhood best friend into a super strong superhero with an experimental treatment was interesting. But mostly, I was surprised to see a film where two overweight women were showcased wearing tight superhero suits and kicking bad-guy ass.

I had never seen that before. And when I started the film, I was even more delighted to see a Black woman and her daughter be portrayed as a pair of poised super-geniuses. It was refreshing to see stereotypes be so swiftly rejected. 

And then the rest of the movie happened.

My biggest issue with “Thunder Force” is that it simply feels unfinished. It also takes a very long time to get to where it is going. I paused the movie during the exposition, and I saw that I was already 40 minutes in, and there was yet to be any superhero action. They hadn’t even gotten their superhero suits on or had named themselves the Thunder Force yet. This movie also seems to be allergic to any kind of conflict. And yes, it is a comedy film, but it is also a superhero film. Any peril or even any disagreements between characters are resolved quickly and easily. There is never a feeling of there being any high stakes, even when citizens’ lives are on the line. 

This movie also does not deliver much in the comedy department. Melissa McCarthy is known for her comedic roles, but this one does nothing for her. Her character is written to be more laid back and rough around the edges, and she’s often the one performing the goofy physical stunts and gags. But Octavia Spencer shined in her performance, even though her character was written to be more calm and collected. Her straightforward deadpan delivery definitely landed more laughs. 

My unsavory opinion of this film was solidified at the end when Melissa McCarthy’s character performs not one, but two Fortnite dances while she is cheered on by an adoring crowd. This was an inexcusable offense. 

I did not go into this movie expecting it to be of the same caliber as, say, “Avengers: Endgame.” Hell, I didn’t even expect it to be of the same caliber as Age of Ultron. This wasn’t a Marvel movie; in fact, it was supposed to be a parody of one, which is why I am giving a pass to the poorly-done special effects.

Overall, this movie suffered the most from weak writing, especially when it came to the plot, but also when it came to comedy. It failed to wow me as a viewer in its storyline. I also didn’t laugh, and so ultimately, this film was simply not successful in what it set out to do.