a critiQal film review G-Force (2009)

  • DVD
  • Blu-Ray

Plot: A covert government program trains animals to work in espionage. Armed with the latest high-tech spy equipment, these highly trained guinea pigs discover that the fate of the world is in their paws when they go up against Leonard Saber (Nighy) and his newly created mechanized army.

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  • ...Tracy Morgan provides most of the laughs as the voice of guinea pig Darwin in Jerry Bruckheimer's only semi-entertaining first attempt at animation.

This past weekend, we didn’t think we were going to be able to get to a movie to continue our Summer At The Movies ’09. After all, we were on vacation back in our old stomping ground, Vermont. Much to our surprise, we ended up seeing 2 movies while we were there. While one we had already seen (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)), somebody suggested G-Force, the new action/animation adventure about the guinea pigs. True, we probably wouldn’t have seen this movie on our own, despite some funny moments in the preview (the mice chanting “poop in his hand! poop in his hand!”), but it was something that looked halfway interesting, so we agreed.

While there are a couple of familiar faces amongst the live-action characters in G-Force (Bill Nighy, Zach Galiafinakis), it’s obvious most of the big bucks was spent on the guinea pigs themselves, from their animation to a voice cast that includes Nicolas Cage, Penelope Cruz and Steve Buscemi.

Oddly, none of those voices are largely recognizable, and ex-“Saturday Night Live” (TV) actor Tracy Morgan – whose voice is easily recognized even in the previews – basically steals the show. His character, Darwin, supplies most of the humor of the film, and is easily the most fun to watch. The rest – aside from occasional highlights – mostly fade into the background, becoming, while not quite indistinguishable, just not worth the effort to identify.

G-Force, unfortunately, while being billed as a “family” film, is obviously aimed at the younger crowd. There are parts that are fun to watch, and the computer animation is top notch when it comes to animating the gerbils, but the plot is rather thin and predictable for the older kids among the crowd. The movie is rather a bit too simplistic, and will probably get more of a positive vote from the kids than the adults that accompany them.

Of course, with TV shows like “Teletubbies” and films like The Land Before Time, there are duller ways for adults to spend time with kids, so if adults are dragged to G-Force with the kids, they should count themselves lucky.

Basically, if you’re going as a family – and you have some children in the mix – you could do a lot worse than G-Force. But if you are going as a couple – or just friends – you may want to give the film a pass in theaters and wait for it to hit DVD. Then you can get the occasional laughs without spending the big bucks.

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