Wednesday, July 29, 2009

486 - G-Force review

“Are you telling me you sent those gophers in without authorization?” asks a government agent at one point in “G-Force.” It’s a line that likely says all you need to know about the film, a featherweight thriller for kids that chronicles the exploits of a group of talking guinea pigs who work as spies for the FBI. That same government agent surveys the guinea pigs in action and is emphatically unimpressed with their mission performance. Me, I’d think it was impressive that they spoke my language fluently.

Some questions came to mind during the screening, where the audience consisted of children, the elderly, young parents, and me, sitting by myself in the corner. What does the government pay the guinea pigs? Pellets, gold running wheels, fresh newspaper? Why do the guinea pigs work for humans when we have a legal system that doesn’t entitle them to vote or to constitutional protections?

Ah, those are grownup questions, and this movie wasn’t made for anyone in the double digits. The team is lead by Darwin (Sam Rockwell), the protagonist with a name that just might serve as a wink towards the adults in the audience wondering how these creatures are able to engage in effortless bipedal movement and speak fluent English. There’s Juarez (Penelope Cruz), the squad’s sexpot, though what function that will serve I don’t know, unless they eventually commit espionage against other guinea pigs. Also present is Blaster (Tracey Morgan), role unspecified. There’s even a mole in the organization, literally, and it’s voiced by Nicholas Cage in a manner so different from his usual voice that I didn’t know it until the closing credits.

Present here are a number of what would be parodies of spy thrillers if the film weren’t made for an age group that would largely be unaware of the function of a parody. There’s even a somewhat clever plot twist involving the evil billionaire intent on world domination, played by Bill Nighy, fully aware he is acting in what I have for years termed a “Kitchen Remodeling Role” due to its obvious supply of a hefty paycheck. The billionaire’s scheme involves planting microchips into his array of household appliances that, when activated, sprout legs and weapons and run amok. This lead me to two insights: 1. This plan would be less than ideal for world domination, as there are no doubt a few billion people without a single one of his products. 2. This is the second film I’ve seen this summer where appliances come to life and begin attacking people, the other being “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.” But at 90 minutes “G-Force” is half as long, and using tedious movie math, twice as good.


Blake Badker said...

Wiggidy wam, wam, wazzle! [obligatory maturity gesture]..... That's true! *thanx to all who appear in futarama credit reels.. .... "tell them I hate them!". [miser esqu

Ramin said...

Disney never fails to disappoint me, so I don't intend on seeing this movie. I make exceptions for Pixar films because Disney wisely stays out of their creative processes.

What do they mean when they write "only in cinemas" on the poster? No! Don't tell me these rodent characters will never end up on a $24.99 DVD, or in a Happy Meal!