Wednesday, August 12, 2009

G-Force (2009)

"G-Force" is just a few yards short of being something really memorable. If it were actively going for it's own look and feel rather than something akin to a "spoof" of producer Jerry Bruckheimer's "house style" action-filmmaking, it might well have gotten there. As is, it's pretty damn decent kid fare; and will probably make a reliable franchise for Disney.

The "G" is for Gineau Pigs, so we're clear. The film principally follows an underfunded government espionage program based around the use of specially-trained animals as spies; the centerpiece being a team of three GPs (and one starnose mole) who act as a Bond/Bourne type infiltrator unit. The entire enterprise seems premised on the formula that Gineau Pigs are awesome and that the sight of them scurrying around on their stubby little feet slinging around pint-sized versions of night-vision, grappling hooks, tech-vests, etc. is enough to carry an entire 90 minute feature. On this point, it is mostly correct.

The plot involves "G-Force" versus an appliance billionaire (Bill Nighy) who's uber-popular products have been outfitted with hidden tech that causes them to "weaponize" into killer robots, the resulting action sequences render this yet ANOTHER movie that does "Transformers's" job better than IT does. Add the element of Pentagon brass looking to kick these "weirdos" back into the private sector and the plot goes about where you'd expect, though with a welcome eye toward tweaking expectations: I was, for example, impressed that the slovenly non-lab-tested GP the team meets in a pet store tags along but DOESN'T become the main hero-journey character; and breathed a welcome sigh of relief when their adoption by a pair of annoying kids turns out to be a comic aside instead of the entire storyline.

The "fun" for older film geeks, of course, is in seeing the Bruckheimer "stamp" applied to a talking-animal yarn, and while it's indeed fun to see legit amunition and pyro flying in a Gineau Pig movie, I'd offer that if Bruckheimer wants to make straight-out family fare he might want to be more on-the-ball content-wise: The story allows the audience to believe that one of the characters has perished in a pretty hairy way - accidentally crushed in a garbage truck - and the onscreen-depiction of said "death" had the younger ones in the audience freaking the hell out and not in a good way. Overall, not bad.


Anonymous said...

I liked it better when it was called Cats and Dogs.

Anonymous said...

I would have liked it better if they didn't Disney it.
Too many clichè puns in the trailers, and they should really stop trying to cover up the bad with the "ITZ DIZNEE 3D!!" tag.

I also didn't want Jerry's name all over it.

untravaersil said...

Cats and Dogs was definitely a better movie. That, and I prefer the classic showing of movies to the new gimmicky 3D effects.

Im old school that way.

Dav3 said...

Another bullseye of a review, Bob.

OK for a kid's movie, a few solid twists, and more interesting action than any of this summer's so-called blockbusters (until GI Joe, that is)

I just want to say that you seem to be a reviewer who "gets" this type of movie. In other words, you understand that a movie doesn't have to be Gone With The Wind to be worth watching.

Keep up the good work!

btw, Any chance on a review of "The Hurt Locker" anytime soon?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Dav3.

"Any" exposure for "The Hurt Locker" is a good thing.

More people need to see this masterpiece.

It's the best Iraq War film by far. Easily knocking "The Kingdom" to a distant second.

Dav3 said...


I brought up The Hurt Locker because I HATED it, in spite of the tremendous praise it's been getting. (the one particular quote they keep using calls it a "near-perfect movie")

Bob obviously thinks on the same wavelength as I do and I was hoping his thoughts about it could help clear up my confusion.

(but then again I couldn't see how this relates in any way to his comments about G-Force)

Jai said...

I wanted to see this just for Bill Nighy. I'm happy to hear that it does not outright suck, despite my expectations from the trailer...