Sunday, May 9, 2021

Review: Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer Are the Superhero Duo We Didn’t Know We Needed in ‘Thunder Force’

Thunder Force, Netflix’s newest addition to the superhero universe has arrived, and we’re ready to move to any city Octavia Spencer and Melissa McCarthy are defending.

Thunder Force follows Emily and Lydia, two childhood best friends who reunite years later to protect their city. When Lydia is accidentally injected with a serum Emily created to give ordinary people superpowers, the two become a superhero duo called Thunder Force to protect their city from Miscreants (the bad guys). The movie stars Octavia Spencer, Melissa McCarthy, Taylor Mosby, Melissa Leo, Jason Bateman, Bobby Cannavale, and Pom Klementieff. It was written and directed by Ben Falcone.

The first aspect of this movie that I noticed comes right at the very beginning, where viewers are told right away the circumstances of how superpowers came about and who has them – people with sociopathic tendencies, and those who gained powers are called Miscreants. The movie doesn’t try to force the viewer to guess what happened that led to powers or hide it under its plot. As a result, the context provided allows viewers to watch without really having to worry about who got what powers and how. It also uses its opening sequence to provide background on Lydia and Emily’s friendship and the reason they drifted apart from one another.

Hopper Stone/Netflix
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The movie also thrives in the way it approaches how Lydia, and later Emily, adjusts to gaining superpowers. Rather than give the pair powers and bring them to a place of immediately knowing how to use those powers, Lydia receives training, and Emily also faces a learning curve. It keeps the duo at a more grounded level that creates a greater level of believability as far as imbuing normal people with superpowers is concerned. Lydia and Emily are portrayed as normal people with jobs and personal lives who are trying to take the hits as they come and do the best they can, given the circumstances.

No movie is complete, however, without compelling leads, and Octavia Spencer and Melissa McCarthy are just that. Spencer’s Emily and McCarthy’s Lydia are easy complements for each other. They bring the awkwardness of their past to the forefront but also grow together as they navigate their new powers. Their humor fits well with each other and the general tone of the movie. The rest of the cast also brings their own flair. Taylor Mosby is delightful as Emily’s daughter Tracy, using her knowledge and passion to help Thunder Force become heroes. Bobby Cannavale, Pom Klementieff, and Jason Bateman are fitting antagonists for Emily and Lydia, each bringing their own qualities to the table.

Overall, Thunder Force is a movie worth watching. It doesn’t take itself too seriously, providing a slew of ridiculous and entertaining humor that presents a more lighthearted side to the genre. McCarthy and Spencer are wonderful on screen together and add a feel-good quality to the movie, perfect for times you need to take a break from life for a bit.

Thunder Force is streaming now on Netflix. Check out the trailer below.

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Julia
Julia
Julia is a writer/editor/content assistant for Nerds. She joined the team in 2019 but has always enjoyed talking about her favorite fandoms. When she isn't writing or working, you can find her reading, watching her favorite shows and movies, and building her repertoire of Dad jokes.

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